Battery Saver Mode

Some mornings I wake up with the energy and stamina to be proactive, engaging, and creative. I foster connections, take on a new project, keep up with my planned agenda for the day and stretch myself to be growth oriented and productive. I love those days and living intentionally has made more of them possible! 


Other mornings, however, I wake up depleted. My emotional and physical reserves are low and need to be conserved if I am to pace myself and continue moving forward one baby step at time. On those days, I go into Battery Saver Mode, adjusting my plans and expectations accordingly. 


Battery Saver Mode  is a form of self-care that protects me from harsh self-criticism, the stress of avoidance, and a full emotional shut down when I am feeling drained and exhausted. On those more trying days, I turn to these five energy-conserving practices for rest and perseverance:


Become an observer

Rather than socially engaging, I embrace the role of observer where I do far more listening than speaking, taking the pressure off of myself to lead interactions and becoming content instead with just being a warm and gentle presence.   


Cease striving

Rather than attempting to control or overcome my negative thoughts and emotions (an exhausting endeavor on the best of days), I descend into stillness and let them come and go without touching them, like clouds floating by. I don’t “try” to be brave or happy or loving but instead practice just  “being” or “existing” in the present moment without thinking or analyzing too much. To help with this, I repeat either the “Jesus Prayer” or a verse from Scripture that calms and quiets my soul. 


Guard my tongue

In Battery Saver Mode I set a guard over my mouth knowing the rawness of my emotions could easily become inflamed and burn my family members through irritableness and impatient reactions. I am careful to avoid all possible confrontations when my feelings are hot and fluid, removing myself physically if necessary to protect my loved ones from any impulsive outbursts or nit-picking. 


Focus on the essentials

When my emotional and physical reserves are on empty, I adjust my expectations for that day, removing from my agenda anything extra or optional and focusing instead on the absolute non-negotiables. That might look like forgoing my plans to declutter my pantry, or make that labor intensive Mediterranean dish, and concentrating instead on showing up for my scheduled appointments, meeting my work deadlines, etc. What I don’t remove is morning stillness, prayer, and my daily walk. These commitments to myself actually become even more essential when I am running on fumes.


Reduce consumption

I have to be especially careful about the content I consume when fatigue sets in and my passions are brewing like a storm. Knowing how susceptible I am in this state to anxiety, envy, jugmentalism, etc.,  I purposefully avoid exposing my weary mind to agitating content it will have to process and wrestle with. 



The crucial thing to remember is that this too will pass. The sun will shine again, my strength will be renewed and my mood will brighten. Bearing my weaknesses and trials with hope and patience is all part of my salvific journey.

Glory to God for all things!

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