Soul drain is a phrase that implies just as it sounds when read or spoken. A depletion of emotional and physical energy lost and or given to someone or something. Anything can be a personal depletion of your energy and resources that you allow in either consciously or unconsciously. Life can become easily unbalanced if someone or something zooms in and becomes an obsession or distraction taking you away from feeling and centered and balanced within your daily life. This soul-draining can be seasonal at a given time or ongoing. I feel that anything or person that I place the majority of my energy, resources, and emotions to whether positive or negative has potential to become draining chronic or acute.
5 common soul drains:
- People – These are not necessarily negative, mean, rude or dominating people but can be happy, upbeat fun to be around positive people who love to talk, visit, share and just be in your presence. Notice how you feel when around the obvious negative, toxic types and around happy, positive types. While it may be obvious that the toxic folks are draining to the core at times even positive, happy best friends become too much of a good thing, therefore, draining you of emotional energy.
- Toxic people – people who have nothing better to do than let you in on all the not good things going on in their world whether health, career, relationships, finances. Usually, they have a deep need for your presence to dominate time taking the best of you not being able to reciprocate back what they took because they simply can’t or do not care bc they need to be heard and validated or to share their crap to bring you down to their drain site.
- Busyness – Busy being busy all the time always on with little to no “down time” I’m tired just thinking about this. Career, life, family, relationship obligations taking depleting the finite care resources you have down to the core. The result of busyness is just that depletion. Yes, I agree I feel satisfied when I’m involved and get things done but when I’ve placed too much on my daily and weekly agenda I’m not energized at weeks end but soul drained which leads to classic burnout.
- Problems of life – Health and medical issues, financial issues, conflict in work, family and relationship issues. Each and every one of these has the power like no other to temporarily and permanently drain us to the core.
- Coveting – Never enough mentality. Always wanting to make the next goal be it professional, academic, social, material, life status. A feeling of chasing behind that what we want by choosing to place thought’s, feelings and emotions on what it is we feel we “need” to gain contentment and soul satisfaction. Depleting!
5 soul energizers to set you free
This is, of course, my favorite list because in this I have hope and direction to move away and notice that soul drains so I have now had a way to navigate in and through these areas draining to me. Energy returns with the mindful decision to let go and open up to different perspectives and thought patterns. Start by finding a quiet place to be still and silent. In this place with an attitude of compassion for your situation make a note of where you are and using the emotional and practical steps find one or more that resonate with where you currently reside. No judging. In yoga, the term beginner’s mind refers to seeing your situation openly with curiosity about possibilities. You have permission to look without judgment at what could be a good possible fit to meet you now!
- Sleep – Your body needs sleep, just as it needs food and oxygen to function at its best. During sleep, your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Your brain makes new connections helps memory retention. Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems won’t function properly. This can dramatically lower the quality of your daily life if ongoing. So give yourself the soul renewal of 6-8 hours quality sleep.
- Rest – Give your body and soul a literal rest and break from all that is needed to be done with career, family, life and everything else. Rest can feel like running, walking or hiking or sitting. Rest is giving you access to pause and renew by doing an activity considered by you to be restful and renewing. You do not need to schedule a full day or weekend off if you are time limited, shorter time periods… ( even a mid-day coffee/tea break is rest) are also great as long as you feel better off emotionally and or physically as a result of taking a break just for you.
- Reflection – Often we are so busy adding up and monitoring all that is and what could have gone better or what we need to do next we don’t stop to reflect on what has gone well in a season or short time period. Reflections ask you to spend attention on what has not been attended to in order to know and from this learn and grow. The act of practicing gratitude is a form of self-reflection that just feels good and gives wider access to creating a more positive and affirming story!
- Recreation – Whether planned or spontaneous doing something for the fun of it that makes you unwind and smile whether an outdoor adventure or family game night, coffee date or a road trip. This can be planned in advance or done at a moment’s notice. For myself, I’m taking a planned road trip in 2 weeks to one of my favorite places. Just thinking about this road trip makes me smile and feel relaxed.
- Time – If you feel behind at the beginning the week see this for what it is. You’ve planned far too much either out of necessity for career/ work travel or caregiving. Even amidst what seems out of your control you can pull the reigns in a build in a little self-time before your days kick in, maybe midday or at days end. I found myself crunched for time with 5 solid hours spoken for with teaching fitness classes, attending a virtual meeting, driving my son to soccer practice and then home needing to prepare a quick meal. I was emotionally spent and it was only Monday. With only a small amount of time, I knew what I needed was a time out from doing. Going for a walk in my neighborhood was my go to for renewal, calming and feeling less stressed by taking time out to simply be and process all that had taken place and for more work yet to be done. By honoring myself and need for a break using time off I moved from feeling scattered to calm.