From the blog: Energy Vampires: Sixteen Ways to Deal With Them. If you’re like most people, this has happened to you: you were talking to someone and before you knew it, their complaints, their whining, their negative attitudes or their drama drained the life right out of you. After they left, you looked for fang marks on your neck but they were nowhere to be found. Then you realized Energy Vampires don’t have fangs. They have other means to suck your energy, like negative comments and punching holes in your dreams. Energy vampires drain not just our energy, but suck the joy out of life!
Similarly, we all know people who seem to exude energy. These are the folks who are full of vitality and enthusiasm. They can’t wait to dive into the day and make getting everything done seem easy. When you pass them in the office hallway, they have pep in their step and a smile on their face. (I confess, I’m usually one of these morning-loving high-energy gals.)
You might gaze at these highly energetic people with wonder over the sheer volume of tasks they accomplish during the day, while still attending school events, church, and their book club.
Maybe once, you were full of energy, too. And while it’s often true that energy vampires come in the form of other people, sometimes they’re found staring back at you in the mirror. Sometimes, the energy vampires are actually in the lifestyle choices we make.
No matter where your energy vampires may be rising up, learning how to rid your world of these life draining emotional monsters is crucial to living the life you truly desire.
Here are Sixteen Ways to Rid Yourself of Energy Vampires.
The tips below include some natural ways to increase your energy, vanquish the energy-stealing vampires, and help you to continue curating a life you love. There are also some attractive, energy-enhancing suggestions for how you spend your precious time.
One – Ditch the Drama Queens from Your World
If you hang out with drama queens, you will become one. And anyone that has been around drama knows how exhausting it can be! Remind yourself that someone else’s drama is not yours. Spend less time with those who fan the flames of drama.
Two – Remove Energy Drains from Social Media Feeds
Do your uncle’s political rants raise your blood pressure? Unfriend him. Does the newsfeed from your favorite newspaper irritate you? Unlike them. Yes, my dear, un-follow the Negative Nellie’s from Twitter and un-friend (or hide) the Facebook friends that only complain. Only follow people on social media that fuel your precious energy.
Three – Connect with Folks Who Make You Excited About Life
Sure, drama queens have good stories, but they drain your energy. Yes, those political pundits can be interesting. Choose to spend time with folks who lift you up with their happiness. That will fuel your own energy by the example of their own choices. Reconnect with an old friend, ask the new gal in the office to go to lunch, or reach out to that sister-in-law of yours that always makes you laugh. Follow inspiring and uplifting folks on Facebook and Twitter.
Four – Complain less
Complaining is a choice to focus on the problem instead of seeking a solution. Complaining rewires your brain to the negative and shuts down your ability to problem solve. The more you complain, the more your brain will bring about those negative, thoughts. And the more drained of energy you will be.
When it comes to your romantic relationships, The Gottman Institute found that couples who share negative interactions are more likely to divorce early. What’s worse, because our brains are wired to the negative, we are more likely to believe criticism over compliments, which destroys our confidence. It also drains your energy.
Five – Say no more often
Nothing drains your energy more than doing something you just don’t want to do. I’m not just talking about turning down additions to an already busy schedule. One super important secret of people who always have energy is that they know when they’ve reached maximum capacity — and how to simplify. Say no to that holiday party, tell the PTA you can’t bake cupcakes by tomorrow, and work with your boss to ensure a better work-life balance. Remind yourself that every item on your task list is there by choice, not obligation.
Six – Energy for a full day begins in the bedroom: make quality sleep a priority.
I’m sure you’ve heard that our bodies need sleep in order to reinvigorate and renew, but it goes deeper. Our bodies need periods of rest that are long enough to synthesize our hormones, grow muscle and repair our damaged tissues. Sleep debt is real and it’s also really a problem — one that can lead to a whole host of health issues along with your daily dose of fatigue.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven and nine hours per night. And kitten, this isn’t an “average” number, where you can get five hours of sleep most days and then sleep in on the weekend. This means making at least seven hours of sleep PER NIGHT, EVERY NIGHT a priority.
Quality sleep, which is more closely tied to a consistent sleep schedule.It’s also something you can’t snooze away in a single weekend. Instead, focus on getting a good night’s sleep every night.
Seven – Be grateful
Every night before you go to bed, write down at least three things you are thankful for. Remind yourself what’s good in your life. Going to sleep with gratitude on your mind will bring you a more positive approach when you wake to a new day. Gratitude rewires your brain for joy; joyful people have more energy.
Eight – While we’re in the bedroom, don’t forget about sex
People who have regular sex keep their hormones and neurotransmitters flowing optimally; meaning, your brain releases all sorts of feel-good chemicals that make life’s challenges seem much easier to conquer. When we have sex, we are also satisfying primal needs of human connection. Though sex may exhaust you in the moments afterwards, begin paying attention to what happens with your mind and body in the 24 hours after sex. No matter how you slice it, sex amps up your energy stores.
Nine – Speaking of the night before, an evening routine will set you up for success
Is there anything more energy draining than to hunt for your keys when you’re trying to get out the door? Create a launch pad for each family member, lay out clothes for the next day, and do other tasks to help make mornings easier like set the coffee pot up the night before.
Ten – Fuel Your Day with Solid Morning Routines
Routines are about managing your energy effectively so that you can channel it towards your real desires and purpose. Routines fuel your day and nourish your spirit. When you make the decision to take charge of how you spend your time, you begin to move yourself off of dead center. You also bring calming energy to you day.
Eleven – Amp up your energy by pairing your routines with a morning ritual
It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or extrovert, you need to connect with yourself. Whether it’s the way in which you make your first cup of tea in the morning, choosing to meditate before you shower, or sitting and reading something uplifting before you head to work, rituals are energy giving. Consistently starting your morning with something you enjoy will invigorate your mind and body and send you out into the day with a sense of purpose.
Twelve -Tidy up and clear your clutter
Long ago I learned that a messy room exhausted me. To have more energy for your life, be like Mary Poppins (or Marie Kondo) and tidy up your space. Too much stuff and clutter will always drain your energy.
Thirteen – Get outside to naturally fuel your energy stores
If you’re feeling drained, just a few moments in mother nature can give you a boost of calming energy. A series of studies published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being out in nature made people feel more energetic after spending time in natural sightings. Additional research by doctors found that patients recovering from surgery and heart problems had shorter hospital stays and needed less pain medication when they saw nature out their hospital window versus seeing a brick wall. What this means for the average person is that being out in nature will tilt your mood to the positive.
Fourteen – Move your body
Seems a little counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to add some extra pep to your step is to… take more of them. Exercise is excellent at clearing brain clutter, triggering the release of endorphins and reducing stress and anxiety. The result? A happier, more productive and energetic you. You don’t have to go to the gym or pump iron. Go for a walk. Dance around your house. Do some jumping jacks. Play with your dog. Just move your body!
Fifteen – Fuel Your Body with Good Foods
I’m all about that first cup of coffee, but don’t rely upon sugar and caffeine to fuel your body. Sure, you may have a spike of energy immediately after, but you’ll also likely crash. Choose to eat a well-balanced diet of whole foods over fast foods. You must fuel your body with quality food and adequate water in order to have the energy to go about your day!
Sixteen – Play adds to your energy levels
Brene Brown’s research found that one of the commonalities in people who exhibit wholehearted (read: energetic, engaged) living is that they play. Play doesn’t have to be overly formal, it doesn’t have to involve balls or a team, and it doesn’t have to result in winners and losers. Play can be almost anything, as long as it’s something you want to do, find enjoyable, and allows you to lose track of time and just have fun.
Maintaining an energetic lifestyle has become a little more difficult as I’ve gotten older, but the tools I shared above consistently help me stoke the fires of productivity, efficiency and positivity that I need in order to cultivate a truly nourishing life. As we move more deeply into fall, we come to the time of year when we all feel pressed beyond their typical schedules into a state of ‘always busy‘ that leads to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
This is when the energy vampires find their strength, and when we must be ever-vigilant about keeping them at bay.