What fills you up and what depletes you?


Everything that we encounter has the potential to lift us up or bring us down and it’s easy to live day-to-day unaware that this is happening. Every single thing; the food that we eat, our job, our social life, our finances, the daily tasks we do, our beliefs, and so on, have an impact on how we feel. They can either contribute to giving us a boost or a gain, OR our energy can go down, leaving us feeling drained. This is what I refer to as Energy Gains and Drains.

It’s simple to remember ~ A gain fills you while a drain depletes you.

Every day I strive to fill myself up. Or as I like to think of it, fill my well. This ensures that I’m always able to live and give from my full self rather than my depleted self. I intentionally go through each day doing things that I know are energy gains for me. When I know that I will need to do something that's an energy drain, I make sure I’ve invested some extra time that day filling myself up beforehand. If I’ve encountered an energy drain unexpectedly, I make sure I give myself an energy gain afterwards.

I'm responsible for how I feel – always!

If I allow a situation to drain me and blame how bad I’m feeling on the drain, I’ve become a victim of the circumstance. Being a victim keeps me stuck and powerless; two things I would rather not be.

An energy gain feels good and helps to uplift us. These are the things that can help us grow and become more of who we're meant to be. Gains can leave us feeling inspired, empowered, motivated, restored, or renewed. A drain, on the other hand, can potentially keep us stuck in old (and often comfortable) patterns that don't really serve us. They can leave us feeling down or low, tired, blah, powerless, and unmotivated.

Once you become acutely aware of what your energy gains and drains are, you can choose how to manage them. How do you identify them? Make a list. Divide a piece of paper into 2 columns, one titled Gains and other Drains. Then list at least 6 things in each column.

What uplifts me and fills me up?
Makes me feel good, renewed, inspired,
empowered, and motivated.
What leaves me feeling drained,
down or low? Feeling blah, powerless,
and unmotivated.


When making your list, it’s imperative that you be as specific as you can with the details of each. Dissect what makes each one a gain or a drain. For example, to simply put ‘eating healthy’ on the gain side would be too vague. What specifically about 'eating healthy' makes it a gain for you? For me, it means eating unprocessed (preferably organic) foods and drinking plenty of filtered water throughout the day. Enjoying one cup of caffeinated green tea in the morning, knowing that more than that doesn’t feel good for my body. These are some of the specifics about eating healthy that I know suit me best. The more specifics you can list, the better.

On the drain side you may list your current job or position at work. Perhaps you need to stay in this particular job or role for the time being in order to meet your financial needs. It's fantastic that you recognize this as a drain for you, yet what specifically is draining? By identifying the specifics, you help yourself to not end up in the same situation with a future job or role. Knowing exactly what the drains are will help ensure you don’t have the same drains in a different work place or with a different job title.

There are some universal things in life that either help fill us up or leave us feeling empty, such as sleep. We all require sleep to function at our best, this is a universal gain. However, the amount of sleep that each one of us requires is slightly different. For instance, I know that I require 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to put it onto the gain side. I also know that practicing my Evening Ritual before going to bed, ensures I fall asleep with ease and have the deep sleep throughout the night that I require to make sleep a gain. Knowing these things, I can set myself up for success to rise in the morning feeling good and ensure that sleep remains a gain for me.

This formula applies to the people in your life as well. There are those who uplift you, enhance your life, motivate, and inspire you, or help you to heal and grow.  There are also those who leave you feeling low, blah, tired, unmotivated, and stuck in old patterns. We all have to encounter people that might not be our first choice to invest our time with, such as co-workers or perhaps even family members. Ignoring or avoiding them doesn’t work because often these are the people that bring our greatest lessons.

Remember you always have choice in how a drain will impact you; you can choose to learn from each draining experience or person. This is what makes drains so brilliant! They also have the potential to help you to heal and grow, just as a gain can.

Acknowledging everything in your life as either an energy gain or drain, changes the way you go through your day. Learning what your gains and drains are, helps you to better know yourself. Creating an Energy Gain and Drain list is a thought-provoking exercise. It allows you to learn more about what can fill you up or leave you feeling empty. It's one that can serve as a beneficial and empowering learning tool.


Are you feeling inspired to create an Energy Gain and Drain list? Leave a comment and let me know.

If you've enjoyed this blog, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it so that others can benefit from reading it as well. Thank you.

Looking for more tips to help you live well? Check out Your Live Well Journey - The Podcast, every episode offers ways to help you improve your self-care.

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