We all make decisions about what we will or won’t do. We decide when we will do them, and what we will do before or afterwards. We prioritise and schedule, even if our style is more reactionary than planned.
In the past, when I have made these kind of decisions, I have generally taken into account two sets of resources. Time and physical energy. However, I am learning to also take a third resource into account. My emotional resources. (Although there are other lessons I have learned about the first two too. That may be another post at some point!)
Everything we do has an emotional component. There are things which lift us emotionally: maybe a walk in the sunshine, a good meal or hanging out with a good friend. It could be achieving something or simply a good night’s sleep. But there are also things that take an emotional toll. These differ for each of us. An introvert will find extended time with people emotionally draining, whereas an extrovert will probably come away recharged. One person may find a meeting exciting and invigorating, whilst I might find it stretches me intellectually and emotionally. Even good things, which in small doses are good for us emotionally, can become draining in large doses. Or when we are physically tired they can shift from one category to another.
I am learning to think about the emotional impact which tasks and activities will have on me. I am learning to be honest about my emotional resources. As a result I am learning to make healthy decisions about what I do each day or week. My emotional resources are still fairly limited, so healthy looks different than at other points in my life. There are days when I am able to do more challenging things, and others when it is wiser to do less challenging things. And that’s OK. I can only use the resources I actually have.