Most of us can identify things that are draining to us (Drainers). We also know that there are things in our lives that are energizing to us (Gainers). Here is one example for me. I love to be with people. For most of my adult life my job has been to spend time with people. But too much time with people and I am drained. I have learned that time away is good. In fact, “Away” is one of my favorite places!
Time away from people can be quite energizing to me. Time alone thinking, reflecting, and praying is also energizing to me. Time with my family is energizing to me. (Most of the time:) Just being aware of your drainers and gainers can help you to stay in balance and keep you from going crazy! To keep your drainers from taking over your life, grab a pen and a pad of paper and walk through the following exercise.
Step 1: Make a list of a few things that are draining to you.
This may include certain kinds of work, too much time alone, too much time with people, or activities and habits that are contrary to what you believe. Spend a few minutes brainstorming and naming these drainers. Just naming them and being aware will help you to not get swallowed up by drainers.
Step 2: Make a list of a few things that are life-giving to you.
Your list may include people who are life-giving, work that inspires you, creative outlets, exercise, time alone, or time with God. Naming and being aware of these gainers will help you to commit to spend more time doing these things.
Step 3: Look for ways to limit your drainers and expand your gainers.
What can be limited? What can be eliminated? Is your entire day dominated by drainers? Do you have a planned day off? What will you do to re-charge?