One of the things that I encourage everyone I’m helping to do, is to add at least one moment of joy to each day. It’s so easy to get so caught up with our fatigue rescue journeys, and our helpful daily protocols, that we forget to save some energy for the ‘nice to do’s!
Of course, depending on your current situation these moments of joy might have to be fairly short and simple for now. Perhaps listening to your favourite song, or using that expensive bath oil that you save for special pampering occasions.
For those of you who have a decent level of baseline energy, your moments of joy might include activities such as a coffee at your favourite café, or perhaps inviting a friend over for a catch-up. And it’s these social moments of joy that I want to talk a bit about today.
I remember when I was on my own fatigue rescue journey, one of the things that I missed most was meeting up with my friends and keeping up with the busy social life I’d enjoyed before. I was surprised to discover how much energy the things that I’d previously taken for granted required! And socialising was one of them.
But I was very keen to find a way to make it work. Even back then, I looked at Pacing as a way to figure out how I could still do the things I enjoyed – just in a different/smarter way than before. And I decided to apply this to socialising too.
I quickly realised that some of my friends required more energy than others, and once I’d cottoned on to that I started to ‘size’ them. I listed the people that I tended to interact with most and decided how much energy each of them required. I knew that some of my friends were very easy to spend time with: low-key relaxing conversation, about everyday gentle topics. Whereas others were much more energy demanding: perhaps they talked faster and louder, or usually wanted to discuss much more in-depth/detailed things that required a lot more concentration on my part!
I then used this knowledge to rank them based on their ‘energy size’. I knew that most days, it was probably best to stick to the smaller/lower energy friends – and that it was smart to save more energy for the days that I’d diarised an activity with one of my more energetic friends!
And it really started to help. I didn’t just apply this theory to face to face interactions, I used it for phone calls and text exchanges too. If I got a message from one of my higher energy friends on a day that I was feeling particularly depleted, I’d decide to wait a day or two before replying.
And the great thing is, none of my friends were any the wiser. I didn’t have to completely block anyone out or ignore them. I just planned our interactions a little more wisely than before. (That said, I made sure none of them saw my ‘sizing’ list!! That could have been a little awkward!)
Have a think about how you’re currently tackling your social interactions. Perhaps you’ve already figured this out, and put in place a similar way of deciding who you’re going to spend time with? But if you haven’t, it might just help you add those lovely social moments of joy, but in a smarter way. You can also use this approach for work colleagues! Basically, anyone you spend regular amounts of time with.
If you’ve found other useful ways to successfully maintain your social life while tackling your fatigue rescue, I’d love to hear them. And if you want to find out more about how you can successfully tackle a demanding and busy life, while still pacing smartly, please check out my Fatigue Reset course.
Bye for now,
Helping you cope with extreme fatigue to regain a life worth living again