I have memories of stumbling around in the dark with my brother to determine which fuse was blown in our summer cottage. Lately, it feels like many of us are stumbling around in the dark to manage our circuits, fuses and surge protectors.
If you think about it, a pandemic and electrical systems have similarities.
- We have circuit boards- this is our capacity to manage all the energy going in and out of our systems. This includes news, work, politics, family, friends and other universal noises.
- Some of us have symptoms that our circuits are overwhelmed such as: emotional fatigue from the many unknowns of this pandemic.
- We’ve done our best to manage our circuit and surge protectors to prevent feeling overwhelmed. Rest, healthy eating, exercise, family, friends, and spiritual practices are good circuit protectors.
- Yet, some of us our noticing our surge protectors are depleted.
Tara Haelle recently published a compelling article on surge capacity during the pandemic. She writes that “Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems — mental and physical — that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters.”
Haelle shared the depletion she has felt during the pandemic. A friend responded to her concerns with this…“why do you think you should be used to this by now? We’re all beginners at this…this is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s expecting a lot to think we’d be managing this really well.”
We need to give our brains a break and not overwhelm our circuits.
Michael Maddaus, MD, a professor of thoracic surgery at the University of Minnesota promotes managing our circuits through the idea of a “resilience bank account”. Haelle’s article summarizes his ideas on how to build up your resilience bank account. She also notes that for many the usual “self care” strategies are just not in our reach, such as: yoga class, massage, and restaurants.
Haelle suggests we build up our resilience bank account slowly after surge protection depletion. Which one of her suggestions would be best for you?
- Embrace both and thinking
- Play Animal Crossing
- Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors
- Help others
- Focus on good sleep, nutrition, and exercise
- Practice meditation, self-compassion, and gratitude.
- Go ahead and say no. Recognize your capacity and don’t overwhelm your circuits just when you are building up that resiliency bank.
How are you filling up your resiliency bank?