March 18, 2019

1/3 secrets of buoyancy—Reflect

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I used to hate Mondays.

On Mondays three things I actively do to help me re-charge:

Mondays for me is the day after my biggest day of work. If the Sunday service was great, I would crash after the adrenalin high. But if Sunday was not to my hopes, then on Monday I would feel low and depressed. Things are different now. Post-burnout I look forward to Mondays as I know that come the end of my big day, my tank will be filling.

Reflect, Refocus and Replenish.

Learning to reflect takes time.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash

Time was not something that I gave myself. This was clearly seen in my schedule. Appointments, and meetings were back to back, with no space in between. Typically I just powered directly on to the next thing. Typically my schedule was back to back appointments, one thing is done, onto the next. Silly me!
Now after breakfast on Mondays, I take time to reflect.
This means that I usually only look at the previous week. I have a number of gauges that I monitor to help me answer the question, “How is my emotional tank?” If my answer is low, I will look back further to see if this is a trend. If the trend is down, I note that I need to adjust my coming week/s calendar and appointments.

What in your life indicates your emotional tank’s level?

I found the easiest place to measure my emotional tank is in my sleep pattern and in the level of my fatigue.

Insomnia is easy to measure. Did I go to sleep easily? Did I stay asleep? I would often find myself awake in the early hours of the morning and have great trouble getting back to sleep? I know what it’s like to feel fatigue—muscles ache and feel heavy. Fatigue makes me want to sit or sleep. Learning to measure our emotional well-being is helpful in building self-awareness. Most noteworthy is our activities can fill or drain our tank. If I see regular insomnia with increasing ftigue I choose to adjust my activities. Engaging in the things that fill and restricting the depleters increase my buoyancy level.

What drains and what fills?

Discovering which things deplete my tank emotionally and what things fill it has helped me make the positive choices to engage in activities that bring buoyancy. Make a list some things that fill your tank and things that deplete it. Keep this list active and add to it as your self-awareness grows. You can gain more insight to your fillers and depleters by asking some of the key people in your life what they see which fills and empties your tank.

When making your list don’t neglect the good things of life. It is not just things like a broken relationship or a dilemma that may deplete your tank. Celebrations of life in a funeral or and a wedding can impact your emotional tank.

One example of this for me is preaching. Even though I enjoy this great privilege, it drains my tank.

For teachers, the end of year ceremonies celebrating the achievements of students drains the tank. The uninitiated may be surprised considering the awards ceremony are the showcase of the teachers’ application of their gift. The students actually learned lots. Well done, teachers! Enjoy your well earned holiday.

As I continue in reflection, looking over my appointments and engagements of the last week, and ask myself the question, where did ‘the oil flow’? Where did I feel the presence of God? Now I love to ponder, how could I have done differently? What questions would have been good to ask? Am I doing what I need to be doing? I used to think reflection would just cause negative feelings to surface. Reflection is now my friend who allows purpose and strength to flow into me.

Self-reflection is key to our thriving.

Most of us are not good at this and find it a challenge to allocate the time. The most proven way to build this vital ability is with the guidance of a trusted mentor. They can help us begin to see what we do not see in our well-being. Who is helping you grow your self-reflection?

Continue reading with these articles…

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