Here’s my new favorite trick for empaths, introverts, and anyone else who gets completely absorbed in other people’s stuff, and realizes they’ve overextended and depleted themselves only after it’s too late.
This is a great way to build the muscle of checking in with yourself, start tracking your energy patterns and defining what I call your “energy budget.”
All you need is the ability to pre-schedule and send texts or emails to yourself. (Gmail and most text services have this feature.)
The next time you’re heading into a situation where you’re likely to get totally engrossed, lose yourself, and get depleted – e.g. a team offsite, a family gathering, a party, a long afternoon with a friend…
Pre-schedule a series of texts or emails to be sent to yourself during the event. I like 30 minute intervals to start.
Set up the texts/emails to all say the same thing:
“Pretend you’re reading a very important message from someone else right now. As you’re reading, take a few deep breaths.
Shift your focus inward. Notice any tension, discomfort, or other sensations. Notice how energetic you’re feeling.
Reply to this message with a 1-5 rating of how you’re feeling. (5 = fantastic, energized, relaxed. 1 = tense, drained, uncomfortable.) Add a few quick adjectives if you can.”
The beauty of this is threefold:
Give it a try – I’m so curious to hear how this works for you!