Positive Energy

I don’t know about you, but one of the hardest things about aging is my lack of energy.

At the end of the day, I wonder where the time has gone. I’m too tired to keep going, but I’ve done so little. There’s much more I planned on, yet I really don’t have the energy to keep going.

Here are some thoughts on how to maintain a sense of positive energy after 60.

Strategies that Failed

I’ve tried numerous approaches to preserving my scarce and precious supply of energy. I have tried sleeping in the afternoon, going to bed early, drinking lots of coffee and caffeinated drinks. Alas, I’m still wilted long before I’m ready to call it a day.

Energy on a Budget

The other commodity that’s in short supply after retirement is money. I know how to preserve my cash flow. I have a bank account and I think carefully about how I spend available finances. There are necessary expenses and there are optional expenses. Some of those optional items give us a solid sense of well-being. Others don’t. Personally, deciding which is which shapes my spending habits. I need to get bang for my buck.

Deposits and Withdrawals

What if we thought of our energy in the same way we consider money in our retirement? We could ask ourselves which outputs of energy are necessary and which are frills. For example, maybe it’s mandatory that we keep our living space clean and that we shop for groceries to feed ourselves. Once that’s done, what’s left is discretionary energy. The art is to decide how best to spend it.

Friends Can Be a Source of Positive or Negative Energy

To assess the value of relationships, take a list of friends and acquaintances. Divide your list into those who represent deposits and those who represent withdrawals of energy. Write down the names of people with whom you spend time. Consider each one.

How do you feel after spending time with them? Are you left with a warm glow? Do you feel loved and respected? Or do you always come away tired and dissatisfied with your lot in life?

It’s important to spend your energy with those who contribute to your well-being fund. Now that we’re older, we can’t afford to run negative balances. There won’t be any newly generated wealth. The energy level we have now is what, with good conservation, we can expect in the future.

How to Spend Your Energy

Some activities make deposits to your energy account. Some make withdrawals. Draw up a second list. What activities are you involved in during a typical week?

Just as you did with friendships and acquaintances, evaluate each event. Are there other activities you’d like to enjoy? Whatever makes you happy is like money in the energy bank. You don’t want to drain the account. It’s important to avoid bad investments.

Exceptions to the Budget Choices

Sometimes we are faced with life’s inevitable demands. Maybe this comes in the form of aged parents whom we need to look after. I wouldn’t presume to tell an older person in this position how to budget. We all have to deal with our consciences, our love and our sense of duty to those whom we love.

The best budget is the one that allows as many deposits. These are heartwarming experiences, moments of joy, when a sense of being loved as possible. Avoiding excessive withdrawals is important. Sometimes this means finding others to share the expenses of energy involved in caring for our loved ones.

Pay off Your Debts

Most of us carry a few major issues and a bunch of little ones. Take care of any that can be eliminated with some thought and effort. Who do you need to reconcile with? Would an apology on your part ease the stress you’re feeling in a certain relationship? Get rid of these debts. They’re costing you a lot in tension and stress.

Do you share my experience of low energy? How do you conserve your energy? Do you have ways of increasing your energy? How would you advise others who long for more energy? Please join the conversation.