We know from The Resilience Engine research that for individuals, energy and resilience are directly correlated. If you plot one on a graph across time, the shape of the other will follow the same line on the graph. They are not the same thing, but the ups and downs exactly track one another.
Maximising your energy is fundamental for resilience.
What do we mean by energy? The amount of energy you feel and experience. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. It’s not fancy, it’s simple. You might experience your energy in different ways:
You know when you’re too tired to talk with others
You know if you’re dragging yourself around
You might be full of tension, a form of energy that is consuming you
You might have high mental energy but be physically tired.
You might feel uplifted spiritually but not have the physical or mental energy to enact on what has inspired you.
You might feel bouncy
You might feel focused
Incredibly, we all have a fantastic override capability where we ignore our energy levels – when our mind overrides the reality – and continues to try to operate at full tilt. Like at the end of the day when critical decisions have to be made. Or when you are due to meet an important person. If we are overriding our energy and pushing ourselves to continue, the decision will be poor, the relationship put at risk. Energy counts a lot in our performance.
What can do we do about our energy on behalf of our resilience?
Specifically that means becoming more aware of it, accepting it and the implications, and working to input more energy on a regular and ongoing basis.
Here are my top energy maximisers that work for me:
Really good quality time with my children, that is not filled with tasks, but is ‘extra’. Time for playing, chatting, talking, laughing. I can do this when I’m relaxed, and doing it relaxes me.
Really good quality time one-on-one with my husband. Always good, especially if it’s not jammed hard against home or work tasks.
Music, especially classical music, is a major topping up factor. There are lots of options:
- I can listen to ten minutes of music and get a little top up that helps just in that day. If I listen to music every day, I get that top up every day.
- If I play music (I am a very amateur piano player, a guitar player and singer), I get a real feeling of calm and connection with something very simple and nourishing in myself.
- If I play music with others, boy, the payback is tenfold. Really good, I get energised by the connection made with no words. This is inspiring for me.
Water. Being near it, walking next to it, especially the sea, but rivers and lakes are good too.
Natural spaces, the bigger the better. Includes my garden, being on the hills, being in the mountains. Our holidays in the north of Scotland, an area of outstanding beauty and space, replenish me in a very deep way, across many months.
Learning to manage your energy is a key capability that will serve your resilience and your performance well. And to help you do that, remember, The Resilience Engine describes resilience like a river :
When the water is low, the water bangs into the rocks, not seeing them for what they are; the river can get taken off course. When the river is high, the water whooshes over the rocks, continuing in the right direction. The river source is a reservoir
How are you going to maximise your energy?
Senior Executive Coach and Resilience Researcher
The Resilience Engine has been researching resilience since 2007. To learn more about our research please click here. Get in touch if you are interested in what resilience can do for you or your organisations - Contact us here