Feeling tired lately? Worn out and not knowing why? Check your bandwidth. Your emotional bandwidth that is.
Working from home and virtual learning taxed our internet bandwidth at the end of spring so much so that internet companies were temporarily increasing data plans at no cost. There are six of us in our home that enjoy using the bandwidth, sometimes on multiple devices at the same time. Our internet was still slow and our bill was still inflated with the temporary gift. When we went on to manage the devices there were seventeen devices on it! ALL ON! We were streaming multiple movies at the same time, zooming up the wazoo and carrying our friends around in the palm of our hand. We were taxing our internet bandwidth.
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data transmitted over an internet connection in a given amount of time. We were pulling in A LOT of information, even on devices were weren’t aware were connected.
The same thing happens to us. Each of us has an emotional bandwidth. It’s the maximum amount of emotional energy we can expend in a given time.
Has your routine been upset? Are you navigating new expectations from your boss? Are you worried about catching the corona virus and spreading to your family? Have you lost the little private time you had because everyone is always home? Are you concerned about losing your job? Does your heart hurt for the loss of a loved one or the continued injustices extended our friends and neighbors. Do you want to visit a friend but can’t? Still out of toilet paper? Why is it always raining? Are you worried what school and routine will look like in the fall? Are you hoping to never have a swab shoved up your nose? Upset about how the government is handling the pandemic, unemployment, rioting? Can’t stop scrolling social media? Feel like you are watching the news on repeat?
Just getting through that paragraph was hard. Am I right! We might think we are handling the emotional strain well, but everything has changed. Not much feels the same. We are bombarded with negative information, even drawn to it and, it wears us down. It taxes our emotional bandwidth. Even when we say we are scrolling past negative social media posts, our brain has seen it and processed parts of it. We take in a lot of information and energy on the daily, but it is more than those things we consciously process.
It’s like our skin, the largest organ of our body and the first defense against environmental toxins. It is a barrier to the outside but it is also a sponge. Things get into our system that we aren’t aware of.
Things, people, and many issues are taxing our emotional bandwidth that we aren’t aware of too. That post you scrolled past, that comment from your brother, not being able to gather with your faith community, four zoom calls in a row, constant searching for ways you “give back” because it doesn’t feel like you are doing your part the way our healthcare workers are. Getting frustrated because others are not doing and sacrificing as much as you? Saddened because people don’t understand or respect your choices?
Hopefully, these questions help you see quickly our emotions are strained. Let’s care for and protect our emotional bandwidth and realize each of us has a different emotional capacity.
Have you reached your capacity? Check in with your feelings. Determine how saturated your bandwidth is. Only you will know that for sure.
Are you recognizing signs of emotional strain in yourself? In your loved ones? Tired? Change in appetite? Moody and irritable? Board but not interested in your hobbies? Drinking more wine?
Talk with your spouse, family or a close friend about feeling emotionally strained. Ask them if they have checked in on their emotional bandwidth. Consider talking to a counselor or therapist. No shame there! I benefit from it.
Take some action steps to reduce the saturation of your emotional bandwidth. Need ideas?
- Reduce your time on social media
- Go through and clean the negativity out of your feed
- Call a friend instead of text
- Drink lots of water
- Limit your time watching the news.
- Engage in activities that feed your soul even if/when you don’t want to.
- Take a bath with your lavender epson salt soak
- Spend time outside
- Plan intentional family time
Looking for one specific thing to do? CLAIM JOY WITH US!
My sisters and I believe that recognizing collective moments of joy leads to happiness. We are working on taking time each day to notice those small moments that bring smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts. Together we can create a collaborative digital journal for JOY and inspire each other! Claim your joys with us on Facebook at Joy By Oils.
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.
~ Oprah Winfrey
P.S. Take care of your skin to people:)