We are all bundles of energy.
If we don’t monitor our energy usage and regularly refill, by the end of the day, we find ourselves in the “I am about to shut down” zone, similar to a battery warning symbol illuminating on a phone. With no battery charger to restore us to full charge, we slowly watch the hours fade away as we cling on for bedtime, in the hope we can recharge overnight—only to repeat it again the next day.
No wonder people get stuck on the couch each evening after work. Without an awareness of our energy levels and a regular refill practice, we are on a one-way street to exhaustion.
Someone told me recently, “You have a lot of energy.” I smiled and nodded in agreement. I do. 100 percent. Not always. But mostly I do. The reason why? Well, there is no magic answer, but I intentionally protect my energy levels by setting boundaries and regularly cultivate more.
Here I will let you in on some simple energy life hacks—all linked to awareness and boundaries. Sit back and prepare yourself to take back control of you and your energy. No more evenings waiting for bedtime—you will be outside enjoying the summer evenings.
Radiators and Drains: What are you talking about?
“Radiators” are people who radiate energy, positivity, and who make us feel full of life. “Drains” on the other hand drain us of energy, motivation, and steal the life from us. If you want to manage your energy you need to hang out with more radiators and limit time, as much as possible, around those who are drains.
How can you identify them?
Human drains steal your energy with their complaining, comparing, and criticising—on repeat. They are usually in a victim mindset where they see life acting against them. You will know one—they moan a lot, are generally unhappy, look for the bad, and take no personal responsibility. We can describe them as fun stealers.
Human radiators, on the other hand, are full of energy and life—they are caring, fun, and interested in you. They have this aura about them—like a superpower—a magnetic force. They are the sort of people you want to be around because they make you feel good. They are optimistic, practical, and have a bounce in their step. Life is working for them. They smile often and have an effortless vibe about them.
How does this impact your energy levels?
We are the product of who we surround ourselves with. The people you spend the most time with shape who you are. They determine what feelings dominate your life and impact your mood. Eventually you start to think like they think, behave like they behave, and feel how they feel.
Yeah, you guessed—if you surround yourself with drains they will zap your energy, or worse still—you will become a drain. Whereas if you surround yourself with a community of radiators, then you will be high vibing, and probably high fiving each other.
If you have zero radiators in your life, you will feel drained.
How can I spot them?
List the people you speak to and communicate with on a regular basis—who you work with, and are in your inner circle of family and friends. Describe them in three words, then sit back and reflect on how you feel being around them, or when in contact with them.
Are they a drain or a radiator?
If the three words are positive and they make you feel energised, then it is likely they are a radiator. If all you see is a list of low vibing words then I am sad to tell you, you have found a drain in your inner circle.
How can you create a high energised bubble?
It’s a fact of life that some people keep us stuck in their gloomy world, while others propel us forward. For instance, you can’t hang out with drains and expect to have an energised life. You will likely have a sore head—a tension headache.
Actively develop your social environment. Don’t let it depend on how it has always been, but plan who you do and do not allow to be in your life. Yes, you have the choice.
What happens if drains can’t be removed?
You may have identified a drain, or drains, in your inner circle. They may be work colleagues, family members, or life-long friends. Unless you quit your job or family, you will be unable to avoid contact with these people.
How can you protect yourself from drains?
>> Set boundaries—limit how much time you spend directly with them. Where possible, have breaks from them, or meet them when you are feeling energised so the impact on you is minimal. Most people can manage a drain for a set period of time before it really impacts your mood and energy.
>> Recharge—be mindful to recharge on a regular basis. If you have spent considerable time around one, their negativity will have passed onto you. Literally shake it off with some movement or dance. Meditate to calm your mind from their constant low vibe groan. Get out into nature to reconnect to the wonder of the world. Treat yourself to something that boosts your mood—a bath bomb bathing session, a cup of tea in a quiet corner of your room, or an evening stroll to catch the sunset.
What happens if you think you are a drain?
Listen to your self-talk and how you talk to others—what is your default narrative?
Do you complain? I believe complaining is a lazy trait—it is easy to complain. It is okay to make an observation about a situation, but complaining solves nothing—it lowers your vibe, steals your energy and your positivity.
Rather than complain, be grateful.
Instead of thinking, “This coffee is cold,” say, “I am grateful for this coffee, it could be hotter, but others around the world can’t afford a coffee.”
What about switching up, “This rainy weather is depressing me,” with, “I love the feeling of rain on my face, it makes me feel alive,” or, “I can use this rainy day to declutter my house.”
See it as a game—for every time you catch yourself complaining, replace the complaint with two grateful statements. This will slowly rewire your mind to see the positive in any situation.
Positive emotions are lighter so you are conserving your energy through gratitude.
Do you criticise yourself and others?
Stop—criticism is a sign of perfectionism. You expected more and are disappointed in the outcome. Try reframing the situation to see it as progress. When you catch yourself being overcritical, ask yourself, “What did I learn from the situation, and what would I do differently next time?” Then let go.
By criticizing, you are using up your precious energy being stuck in the past, replaying a situation over and over. It happened, you can’t change the outcome, but you can change how you react to it and move forward. Life is not perfect. You will fail. So go easy on yourself and see life as a game, where you are a continually learning student. Stop setting tough expectations for yourself. Enjoy the process and watch the criticism mindset fade away.
Remember these key insights and keep an eye on your energy levels.
>> Set boundaries and control who receives your energy, and who steals your energy. Keep an eye on those drains and how much time you spend around them. If you find you have few radiators in your inner circle, then it is time to refresh your tribe. Connect with people who are naturally lighter and carefree. It may be through a group, or community, or reconnect with some old friends, or work colleagues, people who will lift your vibe.
>> Practice gratitude. Each time you feel the need to complain, pause and be grateful. It will take some practice, so see it as a game.
>> Actively catch those self-critical thoughts and reframe them. Repeat the manta—”progress over perfection.” Acknowledge what you learned from the situation and then let go of the negative constant self-talk.
Awareness is the key to making better decisions. We each have 24 hours in a day. You can choose how you want to feel. You have the power to change anything and everything.