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4 Things You Can Do To Stay Replenished

“There are two types of wells: one is empty, and whenever some water goes into it, it’s directly emptied again. The other is full…

Dominik Nitsch
3 min read
4 Things You Can Do To Stay Replenished
Photo by Maxime Bouffard on Unsplash

“There are two types of wells: one is empty, and whenever some water goes into it, it’s directly emptied again. The other is full, overflowing with water, giving the people all the excess water that it has.”

I don’t quite recall where I read this, but it stuck for me for a long time. Because in the metaphor, you are the well, and the water is your energy.

The question is: which well are you?

Many people, particularly leaders, tend to give everything they have to give — until there’s nothing left. Then, their performance declines, their happiness declines, life starts to take a bad turn. They miss deadlines. They’re not nearly doing your job as well as before. They don’t have the energy to attend social activities.

Happened to me before, too. I always stuck to my schedule, always put in the work, always tried to make everybody around me happy. Until I realized that I could do much better if I first focused on refilling my well.

For me, it’s usually catching up on sleep, getting to spend some time alone and at home, journaling. But when I’ve had that (even if it’s just for one day), all of life gets much better.

You owe it to yourself — and to everybody around you — to be the best version of yourself.

Why be an exhausted employee / partner / teammate when you could also be a replenished one?

Here are a few things that I’ve done before and found very helpful:

1: Sleep in if you can, especially after a rough night!

Sometimes, your sleep just sucks. It happens. When it happens, consider heading to work an hour later to catch up on it (if you can, of course). Even if I had several days of sleep deficit, sleeping in once makes a huge difference for me.

As many studies have shown, being sleep-deprived is the equivalent to being drunk. You wouldn’t go to work drunk either — and I’d much rather have a mentally fresh colleague there for 6 hours as opposed to an exhausted one for 8 hours.

Note that I don’t allow myself to do this if the damage is self-inflicted (e.g. I simply stayed up too late / had a drink too many / …). Then I need to suffer through the pain.

2: If you have a nagging injury / illness, give your body some rest.

This one took me a long time to learn. There’s a time and place to push and play through injuries or illnesses, but not always. Usually, you’re better off taking care of the nagging injury by recovering for a week or two than simply pushing through — which will come back to haunt you later, and sideline you again.

The same was true when I had COVID. I went back to working (from home, of course) way too early, and it took me forever to recover. I should’ve taken 2–3 more days of complete rest instead and then I (assumably) would’ve been back in shape much sooner.

3: Prioritize yourself in the morning.

Sounds egoistic, right? Well — it’s not. You can only be the best version of yourself if you put yourself first. A good way to do this is to spend 1–2 hours on yourself every morning. I have a morning routine that (ideally) includes sunlight exposure, hydration, meditation, yoga, journaling, a healthy breakfast, reading, and some light cardio (in that order). It does take a while, but when I finally arrive at the office, I’ve already won the day for myself. I took care of mental & physical health, and even if the rest of the day goes to shit, I made sure I was in a place to perform.

By getting up and starting work straight away, you signal your brain that work is the most important thing in your life. It’s not. The most important thing in life is your physical and mental health. If that’s in place, the other things will also fall into place.

4: Actively plan anti-social time.

This is a piece of advice I should take more often myself. I rarely get to spend a day or evening on my own, even though that’s sometimes 100% necessary. I’m a big believer in sticking to your commitments, but if you commit to social events every evening of the week, that’s too much.

Instead of canceling last minute (which I don’t endorse), actively plan time for yourself. I do this by blocking out an evening or two every week in my calendar, so I’m not even tempted to put anything in there.

Ensure your well is full, and use whatever flows over to make others happy. When it’s not full, make sure you refill it — with whichever method works best for you.

Or, as the frequent flyers among us know: put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.

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