I may have mentioned I have a new man in my life. No, no, it’s not anyone my husband should worry about, it’s my business coach, Garry.
Garry is brilliant! He’s got me working in a much more focussed fashion. We’ve identified my business strengths and weaknesses, and he believes in me. He totally believes in me, and I still can’t believe it!
He’s also known me for three years and he’s seen what I’m like in the depressive cycle of the bipolar.
Because, yes, I’m there again: the migraines of ten days ago really were the harbinger.
I don’t know if you experience this, but everyone, I mean everyone, in my life tells me to rest while I’m in this state. I hate resting: I want to be doing something! I spent the weekend binge watching Miss Marple, and, after it, felt more depressed than ever. So, Garry and I are making plans.
One of the reasons I adore this man is that he doesn’t waste any time on sympathy; he just deals with the situation.
I know I keep saying this, but one of the great weapons we have in our arsenal is self-awareness and analysis. It’s that analysis that enables me to say, with some confidence, I will be out of this in six weeks’ time. It’s the self-awareness that means I can monitor my pattern of energy flow during the day, and notice anything that contributes to that energy and anything that drains it.
Your energy pattern may be different, but here’s mine:
6am – 8am: almost normal. Promptly at 8am, the world starts to shimmer, and the legs go weak and wobbly.
8am – 11am: Shaky but the brain still works. Conscious of increasing fatigue.
11am – 6pm: Exhausted and incapable of anything productive
6pm – 9am: Another increase in energy, both physical and mental.
Here is a list of things that energise:
· Writing: if I can get immersed in the words, despite the shaking hands, those words can take over.
· Emails or text messages from friends: I feel cared for and reassured they are not forgetting me.
· Sleep. No – not rest, but actual sleep. If I can take short naps, I awake with more energy.
The things that deplete that energy:
· Talking – whether in person or in a phone call. Speaking is difficult with the stammer. 30 minutes is the limit.
· Tasks requiring thought – anything with figures; planning; research; even cooking.
· Physical activity.
· People: there are very few people I can be with during these times. Even close family and friends can be exhausting.
The best plan, therefore, is to take advantage of those spells of higher energy, and to use them to write, create marketing posts and to fulfil essential work commitments. That’s when I need to do the more demanding work requiring thought.
For the rest, sleep when I can, and endure the enforced rest when I can’t.
I’d love to know what your patterns are, and how you use your energy when you have it.