Battery life

Jun 02, 2020
Is your battery full on Monday, depleted by Wednesday, and empty by Friday? Dr Eddie Murphy considers why we take care to charge our phones, but not ourselves.

We have all been there – when you think your phone has been charging all night only to find that you did not flick the switch. You immediately accept that it will not function, or you will have limited usage until your next charging opportunity. Yet, when it comes to our bodies, we push on, potentially until we are stressed, exhausted, or burnt out.
I am convinced that people who are continually in stress/overwork mode by choice or by necessity will eventually succumb. Illness will always catch up and then the person is forced to reprioritise. What if it did not have to be this way? What if we could manage our energy levels so that we can thrive rather than survive?

As we all try to stay safe and healthy, here are my top five tips to help you keep your body’s battery in the green.

1 Sleep

Sleep is the quickest way to emotional health and a fully charged battery. Ireland is a sleep-deprived nation. In general, we do not go to bed early enough or get enough good-quality sleep. Too often, the mobile phone is brought into the bedroom – invest in an old-fashioned alarm clock.   

2 Exercise

As paradoxical as it sounds, the more you exercise the more energy you self-generate. The issue is often motivation or planning the right time for physical activity. For me, I know that I am a poor trainer on my own but when I get out with the athletic club, the chat and social element keep me going. While social distancing makes that more challenging, you can always look into virtual ways to train as part of a group.

3 Savour moments

Be mindful. Each morning when you wake up (before you check your phone), notice your breath and take two or three long deep breaths in and out. Throughout your day, do this whenever you think of it. It calms down the fight or flight stress response and allows the adrenaline to drain from the body. Your body will be less depleted as a result.

4 Write a real  to-do list

Making an unrealistic list of everything you have to get done in one day and then attempting to accomplish everything will lead to immense frustration and a feeling of failure. This also wears down the body’s battery. Make a realistic list and you will, therefore, feel that you have set and reached some – if not all – of your goals in that day as best you can. This will not only conserve your battery life, but it will also give you some energy.

5 Call in help

If you are struggling, admit it. It is okay; we all struggle. If you feel overwhelmed, share it with family, a colleague, or a friend. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel when you face the problem and how much energy you will save by merely addressing the issue. When asked for help, I know very few people who say no – and if they do, are they a true friend?

Conclusion

Remember, your battery life is your life, and you only have one of those. We are what we do daily, so check-in with yourself right now. What do you do? Do you need to add or subtract from it? If so, that could make all the difference in keeping your battery life a little healthier than usual.

We all want to do a lot in our lives, yet our bodies and brains have finite daily resources. So, as you stick your phone on charge for the night (ideally not right under your pillow), just remember to keep an eye on your own battery life too.
 
Members and students can contact CA Support on 01 637 7342 or 086 024 3294, by email at casupport@charteredaccountants.ie or online at www.charteredaccountants.ie/ca-support.

Dr Eddie Murphy is a clinical psychologist, mental health expert and author.