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Men’s Health Week - How charged are your batteries?

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in Mental health on 16th June, 2021

This Men’s Health Week, TALKWORKS Trainee High Intensity Therapist Fran Mobbs writes about the importance of ‘charging our batteries’ in order to manage the stresses of daily life.

When our batteries are well charged we are able to manage the important but draining activities we face in day to day life. If we don’t take the time to recharge, we can burn out leaving us unable to manage the things we have to do. 
To maintain good wellbeing we need a balance of activities that charge and drain our batteries. Both are equally important and just because something drains your batteries does not mean it is unpleasant or something you don’t want to do. For example, maybe your child asks for help with their homework or you are supporting a friend through a tough break up. You love this person and you really want to help them but it is also important to recognise that despite these feelings, helping them may be draining for you. Does that mean you shouldn’t do it? Or you should feel guilty about finding it draining? Of course not! But it might be worth thinking about what else you could do to help you recharge.
Step 1: Write down a list of everything you are doing this week under two columns, ‘Draining’ and ‘Charging’. Which side was harder to complete?
You may be thinking ‘but I have no time for recharging, the necessary (but draining) activities are far more important!’ For one moment stop and think about what will happen to your batteries eventually if you don’t recharge? Or what advice you would give to a loved one if their list was all draining and no recharging activities?
Step 2: Consider what you could do to start charging you batteries. This isn’t about what others say you should do but what YOU think would help you recharge. Here are some examples:
Exercise outside –doesn’t have to be a lot, a 10 minute walk is a great start and doing this outside has been shown to be especially beneficial for our wellbeing. 
Achieve something – nothing big, just a little win can really boost your energy, like ticking something small off of your ‘to do list’. Maybe it’s time to go back to that project or hobby you just never seem to have time for…
Learn something YOU’RE interested in– taking time to read or listen to an audiobook/podcast on a subject you enjoy is a great way to recharge… it doesn’t have to be politics or astrophysics!
Re-connect – plan in some quality time with friends or your partner, maybe a day out, a walk, or cooking a nice meal together… not another night in front of whatever happens to be on TV…
Treat yourself – buy your favourite food and watch your favourite TV show/movie, sit in the garden with a drink and some good music to listen to or have a bath!
Step 3: Actually set aside some time in your week to recharge your batteries, don’t expect to just ‘find time’. Write the plan down!
Make a plan and commit to taking this time for yourself it doesn’t have to be much, start with 10 minutes two times in the week and see if you can build up from there. Sometimes sharing your plan with the people around you about can help, maybe they can make their own plan too?!
What if it didn’t work?
If you try to do this and it’s just too hard, if the guilt and pressures in your life felt like too much, or you did this for a couple of weeks but you still feel stressed or low, that’s ok. 
TALKWORKS can give you more specific advice and strategies for managing stress, it is free and open to anyone over 18 in Devon.  
You can call on 0300 55 33 44 or visit the website to refer yourself to the service. They will talk though what’s happening for you and if there is anything we can do to support you. 
Alternatively TALKWORKS is running free online Stress Less courses; anyone over 18 with a GP in Devon can register and attend.