This post is part of the April A to Z Blog Challenge. For more on my 2016 theme of Private Revolution, see A Is for Ambition. Click here to read all posts in the Private Revolution A to Z Challenge blog series.

EE Is for Energy

People who get migraines are encouraged to keep a migraine diary. The idea is to write down what we eat and drink, our sleep habits and daily activities, so that it is easier to pinpoint specific migraine triggers and patterns.

The older I get, the more I value personal energy, and I wonder if a similar technique could work to know what promotes and what inhibits our energy levels. I’m not thinking here of physical energy related to diet and health (although a diary would probably be helpful for that, too) but rather mental, emotional, and creative energy. It is similar to knowing what we like and don’t like (Gretchen Rubin writes about this well in “Do You Like Identifying Your ‘Favorite’? I Don’t“).

For example, I get a lot of personal energy from being immersed in a creative project of some kind, especially one that involves a combination of writing, design and research. Right now I am in the midst of such a project, and I find myself almost bursting with energy these days. Even as I struggle to get everything done, I know that I always can go back to this project (which I will write more about in a future post), and all is well with the world.

On the other hand, my energy plummets when I don’t feel in control of my time or I have too many deadlines stacked one on top of another without a creative outlet. I thrive with a greater amount of time alone at home than many other people and, like many other introverts, am overstimulated, leading to loss of energy, when I need to socialize for long periods of time (even people with whom I love spending time).

What gives (or saps) your personal energy?