In my world, mid-October kicks off weeks—really, months—of seemingly endless activities, responsibilities, obligations, tasks, and busy work. I won’t come up for air until the end of January. Because this has been my story for years, I have been able to figure out some strategies to help me stay on top of my creative desires so that they do not get sideswiped in the chaos.
But, boy, do I get tired. Not physically tired. Emotionally tired. When I sit down to work on my fiction, it takes some work to not surrender to the tempting thoughts of taking a nap or relaxing with a book instead. I don’t really see a choice, though, because I know if I don’t pull myself out of that low-vibe state I’ll be in serious trouble, creatively speaking.
It’s nice to know that we have the power in our own hands (and hearts) to move from low-vibe to high-vibe, and it really doesn’t take much time at all.
We just have to pay attention.
The trick with low mental energy is that we have to figure out what in our lives is draining us. When we think about low physical energy, we might be able to easily point out that we skipped lunch, or we ingested too many carbs, or we didn’t sleep the night before, or we’re fighting a cold.
But when it comes to recognizing what drains us mentally, it’s not always so easy.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What generates my mental energy?
- What drains my mental energy?
- What refuels my mental energy?
Some of your answers may include fear, good news, hope, insecurity, weather, financial worries, physical health, or relationships with others.
Take some time to journal your answers and elaborate as you see fit. You may find that your mental energy increases or decreases in specific situations, or you may find that it’s dependent on factors you never considered before.
Assess your mental energy today, and give it a rating between 1 and 10 (one being low; 10 being high) and process this rating based on your experiences throughout the day. What external factors affected your mental energy? How about internal factors? Did you notice that you were a nine most of the day until your kid came home from school complaining about his teacher, and suddenly you dropped to a five?
Highlight the experiences, events, moments, ideas, hobbies, etc. that seem to make you feel good, feel energized, feel impassioned. List them out and then find ways to incorporate one or more into your life every day.
These types of positive forces, what gets us moving in a forward direction with joy, excitement, inspiration, and empowerment, are vital to high mental energy—and therefore, consistent creativity.
Negative forces, those that drain us, make us feel badly about ourselves, ruin our day, depress or anger or irritate us, need to be released from our thoughts. The problem we run into is that we become habituated to allowing the negative forces run the show because they are more prevalent in our lives than the positive forces.
Negative forces are fear-based
What comes to mind when you think about a two-star review on your book? A rejection from a literary agent? Writer’s block? Everyone else around you seems to be getting published, but not you?
If your immediate response is one of not feeling good enough, guilt, that you don’t measure up, that your writing sucks, why do you bother—then you are neck-deep in the breeding ground for negative forces.
Instead of looking at the above experiences as disasters, try looking at them in a positive light.
When we allow our fears, worries, frustrations, lack of confidence/belief run the show, then we ultimately allow more of that stuff to flow into our lives.
I’m not saying you can totally oust the negative forces. But you absolutely CAN keep them to a bare minimum ONCE you focus on the positive forces in your life and build from there.
How can you increase your mental energy?
First, give yourself permission to feel good! Feel good about yourself and feel good about your creations. Feel good about the plans you have for the day, about your home, your family, your friends, your ideas.
Second, practice eliminating the negative forces from your life. Granted, this probably will never be an absolute deal. You’ll have good days, bad days, mediocre days. But the more you practice eliminating the crummy forces, your good days will outweigh the bad days.
Third, pay close attention to those moments where you feel good and try to go for a bit more. Share your happiness and excitement with fellow creators or your support system. Journal about it so that you can always refer back to it when you need a pick-me-up. Celebrate good days with something that can further increase your mental energy. Help someone else feel good by pointing out their creative gifts.
Fourth, focus on what is working. Look at more than your creative life here. Examine your family life, your relationships in your community, your “other” job, your health, your finances. Where are things going well? Tune into how what is working makes you feel—likely it makes you feel good or peaceful or relieved. Use those positive emotions as a kick-off point for feeling good about your creative life. What can you do in your creative life that will make you feel as good as you feel in your relationships with your family? Do it today.
Fifth, try to create at the times in your day when your mental energy is high. For me, that’s first thing in the morning. I do NOT look at my phone or any social media alerts, or turn on my emails before I write. This was a bit difficult to do at first, but I noticed that if I reach for my phone first, inevitably I saw a notification that I felt compelled to follow up on right away. That was detrimental to my writing progress. You might have a different time of day where your mental energy is high. Do your best to align your creative sessions with your boosted mental energy. You will be less likely to hit writer’s block and inspiration will more likely flow.
Feeling good about your creative self will, without a doubt, lead you to high mental energy—and high mental energy will lead you to increased writing productivity and fulfillment. It all starts with you and how you treat yourself. Be good to yourself, be kind to your Muse, and you will soon find that creativity and mental energy flow with pizzazz.
How is your mental energy? What kinds of things do you do to elevate it?
Have a writerly day!