Heading Off Depletion

sand dunes
Photo by Keith Hardy on Unsplash
I wrote before about some of the signs that tell me I'm in a depleted state.  It got me thinking about how there must be some intermediate steps in there - in between an easy state and a depleted state.

It's not like bam my kitchen is suddenly a mess and I haven't worked out for a week.  Before that, there are signs and markers that I might be headed down that road.

Hmmm. What might they be?
- The first time I want to skip yoga or a workout I could pause and ask myself why.  If the reason is that I have too much work to do or want to finish something up, then I know that is a sign I'm going down the depletion path.  I know from past experience when I want to skip a workout for the sole purpose of doing some work I'm pushing too hard and actually need a break.  If I want to skip yoga or a workout because I'm tired or because I want to go see friends, then those reasons are okay.

- Noticing when I don't feel like putting my plate in the dishwasher and just toss it on the counter - I can pause to ask myself why. Sometimes, for me, there is an element of procrastination there, which signals to me that something bigger is going on.

- Noticing when I want to take a nap but ignoring it to get something else done instead.  Past experience tells me needing to nap means I'm not getting enough sleep in general. So, I should take a nap (even just 30 min) if circumstances permit (e.g. I'm at home).  If I'm at work, past experience also tells me even if I turn away from my computer and close my eyes for 5 minutes I'll feel better.  I should do this.

- If I look ahead to my calendar for the next couple weeks or month and see that it is heavily scheduled with outside events and deadlines - I need to PREEMPTIVELY think about ways to manage my stress and carve out downtime.

- When I run out of breakfast food - it is a SURE SIGN that I am heading down the depletion road and might even have one foot in the depletion state. I literally live within an 8 minute walk to THREE stores that sell cereal and milk (even faster if I drive). When I run out of an ingredient and don't feel like replacing it, I know I need to take that as a sign to pause and figure out what's going on.

-  If I don't feel like taking a bubble bath on Sunday evening to relax before the start of my week because it feels like "too much effort", that's a sign I'm headed down the path, too.