When You Feel Depleted

March 10, 2013

We all feel depleted sometimes. That is not a pessimistic statement. Actually, recognizing depletion is one tool for maintaining a higher level of hope in your life.

My candle often burns at both ends, and sometimes in the middle. My guess is many of you feel exactly the same way. Periods in life are like that: crunch time at work, extracurricular activities for your kids, even joyful events like holidays and wedding planning. It’s part of growing, prioritizing and living with purpose.

I call that the Dedicated state. You want to achieve your goals, you are willing to be a support to others and you see the promise of balance in the near future. Being dedicated to career, family and self are respectable motivations. In fact, dedicated choices fuel our sense of worth, develop perseverance through pressure and strengthen connections with others.

Now, here’s where being mindful of your energy, stress level and focus is crucial. When you sense your frustration is flaring up, your patience is waning low and your ability to focus on what truly matters is diminished, you are in a Depleted state. Being aware of your depletion and the cause(s) fueling this state gives you a chance to pull things back and restore the integrity of your spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Consider this scale:

As you can see, allowing the Depleted state to linger unchecked builds downward momentum that could pull you into the Defeated state. There, you feel the intensity of one side of being or the other:

  • Apathetic or anxious
  • Numb or hypersensitive
  • Unworthy or egocentric
  • Fearful or reckless
  • Powerless or controlling

Your pendulum swings unique to you. A setback for some could be a defeat for others; likewise, a fear for some could be a motivator for others. The key to mastering this scale is to know when you are depleted. Then, you will quickly recognize what fuels your dedication and what feeds the embers of defeat. You will be more equipped to safeguard your spirit, rest your mind and nurture your body.

The climb to return from Defeated to Dedicated is not immediate or without its trials, which is why I urge you to keep watch over your Depleted moments. You likely focus on the needs of others and would gladly assist a friend with the climb . . . you are worth the same care and effort.

You are in control of your happiness and your state of being. I, for one, believe in you and cannot wait to see how the Dedicated you will inspire and embrace hope.

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