The past three weeks have been a swirl of celebratory events with family and friends, deeply loving conversations with adult children late into the night, sifting and sorting the plethora of gifts that made their way into my home, and eating tons of beautifully decorated sugar.
No matter where you are stuck or overwhelmed, how does keeping your bucket full, most of the time, support your optimal health?
And, it has also been three weeks of heightened expectations that may or may not have been met, snacking constantly on foods that I would normally never eat, less sleep than I know I need, increased exertion on things I don't particularly love, no regular exercise, stress x 3, and zero time on the meditation cushion.
Instead of starting the new year invigorated, I felt drained. And I bet I'm not the only one.
Then I remembered that energy ebbs and flows. It is like water in a bucket. Whether water splashes out abruptly or drips out over time, it must be replaced or the bucket will run dry.
The energy bucket can tip over in a whoosh with acute events like the birth of a child, the break-up of a relationship, or even with an unexpected conversation with a family member or coworker that sets our nerves on high alert.
Or it can leak out of thin cracks over a long period of time, as it does when we care for an ill partner, a child with a disability, or we face a longer-term issue like a career that no longer fits.
My bucket did some splashing and some dripping over the past three weeks but I will fill it right back up with limited screen time, limited political discussion, some alone time to recharge, 8-9 hours of sleep a night, running outside for 30 minutes most mornings, 15 minutes on the meditation cushion daily, and enough time with good friends and with a sister who makes me laugh. But that's just what fills my bucket.
Does it take discipline to keep my bucket full so that I have what I need, most of the time? Yes. But when I do, it feels super healthy.
Make discovering what keeps your bucket full and then disciplining yourself to do those things, on a regular basis, a healthy habit.