42. Why Take An Energy Inventory As A School Counselor

In this episode of “Counselor Chat,” we delve into the transformative practice of conducting an Energy Inventory. Here’s what you’ll find in this insightful episode:

  • Understanding Energy Inventory: An introduction to the concept of an Energy Inventory, explaining its importance beyond just physical or home energy, focusing on personal energy management.
  • The Purpose of Energy Inventory: Insights into how an Energy Inventory serves as a reflective practice to identify what in our lives drains or energizes us.
  • Steps to Conduct an Energy Inventory: Detailed guidance on how to undertake an Energy Inventory, including assessing different life aspects such as work, relationships, hobbies, and self-care.
  • Identifying Energy Drainers and Boosters: Strategies to recognize activities, people, and situations that deplete or replenish your energy.
  • Practical Tips for Managing Energy: Advice on minimizing or eliminating energy drainers, setting boundaries, and the importance of saying no to overcommitments.
  • Prioritizing Joyful Activities: Emphasis on the significance of engaging in activities and relationships that are fulfilling and energizing.
  • Benefits of an Energy Inventory: Discussion on how conducting an Energy Inventory can lead to a more balanced, fulfilling life, and better self-care.

Don’t forget to check out the link for your own Energy Inventory template and share your journey with us. We’re excited to hear how this practice helps you find more balance and joy in your life.

Energy Inventory Link

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Carol: You're listening to the counselor chat podcast.

Carol: A show for school counselors looking for easy to implement strategies, how to tips, collaboration, and a little spark of joy. I'm Carol Miller, your host. I'm a full time school counselor and the face behind counseling essentials. I'm all about creating simplified systems, data driven practices, and using creative approaches to age students. If you're looking for a little inspiration to help you make a big impact on student growth and success, you're in the right place because we're better together. Ready to chat? Let's dive in.

Carol: Hi everyone, and welcome back to another episode of Counselor Chat. Thanks for joining me again this week. Today I thought we would just jump right into it and really dive into the topic of an energy inventory. If you didn't listen to last week's episode, I kind of hinted at the very end of the podcast about if you've never done an energy inventory, to go ahead and do one. Well, I know I never even heard of an energy inventory up until really just a couple of years ago. Actually, when I heard the words energy inventory, I thought like home energy and heating costs and energy savings and all that stuff. That was what was going through my mind. But really, an energy inventory is really a personal inventory to really help us understand what steals our energy and focus and really what fills our cup. And today we're really going to explore how conducting our own energy inventory can really help us learn more about ourselves and prioritize our self care. So really, let's really start by talking about what an energy inventory is. It's really a reflective practice that involves taking stock of our activities, the people around us, and the situations that we are part of that either drain or energize us. And by identifying these energy stealers and energy boosters, we can make intentional choices to protect our energy and prioritize activities that bring us joy and fulfillment. So you might be wondering, how do I conduct an energy inventory? And it's really simple. You just have to really reflect on your daily routine and the various aspects of your life. You need to consider your work, your relationships, your hobies, your self care practices. And you have to ask yourself, what activities or tasks drain my energy? What situations or people leave me feeling depleted? And on the other hand, what activities or tasks bring me joy and fulfillment? What situations or people energize and inspire me? In the show notes, I am actually going to leave a link for an energy inventory so that you can just ask yourself these questions. Has everything that you need to complete your own energy inventory. I really want you to take a few minutes and figure out the things that bring you joy and fill you up and the things that are totally sucking your energy and the life right from you. Because I think as we understand the things that are life suckers versus life givers, we can kind of figure out, maybe we're not going to change everything, but maybe we can find a little bit more of a balance. Because we don't want to have a life where most of our time is being sucked away by things that drain us and only moments of our day is spent with things that bring us joy. We really want to have a balance. Because not all of life is rainbows and sunshine, as my husband likes to say. It just isn't. I mean, there are lots of things that will drain us throughout the day and situations and events and topics and people. Things that sometimes we just can't avoid. But we also want to make sure that we find that balance of all the good and the things that, of course, aren't so good. So please, my friends, I hope that you go in and you download that energy inventory and you try it for yourself. But once you have your energy inventory, it's really time to take action. You really need to start by minimizing or eliminating the energy stealers from your life as much as possible. Now, I can remember when my son Cullen was about two, he was definitely an energy stealer because the kid cried all of the time. Now, I couldn't minimize or eliminate him, but I did find some other things, I think, in life that did bring a smile to myself. So some things you just can't totally eliminate, but hopefully you can minimize some of those things. Maybe, I don't know, pass that crying baby off to your partner or something for a while as you are looking at minimizing or eliminating these energy stealers. Sometimes this might also involve setting boundaries, such as saying no to certain commitments or finding ways to delegate tasks that drain your energy. It could also be saying no to maybe even friends that you find are just draining on your psyche. So I think sometimes that saying no and that minimizing or eliminating those energy stealers, we feel a lot of guilt in doing that. We have to also think, is this best for us? And if we're not feeling great by this, is that helping anybody else? So it's okay to say no. It's okay to say, I'm sorry, can't do this, but make sure that you say no. Or find ways to delegate out those tasks. And you also want to prioritize activities and relationships that definitely fill your cup. Make time for hobbies. Make time for things that make you feel good, and spending time with people who really uplift and inspire you. By conducting an energy inventory and by making intentional choices, you'll really be able to create a more balanced and fulfilling life. You'll have a clearer understanding of what drains your energy and what fills your cup, allowing you to prioritize yourself and protect your well being. As we wrap up today's episode, I really encourage you to please take some time and to conduct your own energy inventory. When I first did one a couple of years ago, it was really eye opening, and I realized that I was carrying a lot of guilt by doing things with people that really just drained me, and I didn't realize how much of an effort it was for me to go and do those things. And so then I started saying no to some of those activities and engagements, and I did other things that really filled my cup instead, and it made a huge difference. So I think if you do that, you'll really have a clear understanding because you do want to reflect on what steals your energy and focus and what fills your cup. Intentional choices and prioritizing yourself is really the best way to feel whole, to feel healthy, to feel like you can give of yourself to others in a meaningful way. And as school counselors, I think that's what we do. We really give of ourselves, so we give to others. So we have to be able to also give to ourselves what we need as well. I see so many counselors wanting to leave the profession. It's really sad. And I think it's because we don't do things like an energy inventory to look at what our needs are or to examine what things are stealing our energy or what things that are really draining us. And we need to do that. So, my friends, please take a few minutes and do this. And if this episode resonated with you, please send me a DM at counselor essentials or send me an email. Carol@counselingessentials.org and I look forward to hearing what you've learned. Anyway, until next time, have a great week.

Carol: Thanks for listening to today's episode of Counselor Chat. All of the links I talked about can be found in the show notes and@counselingessentials.org podcasts.

Carol: Be sure to hit, follow, or subscribe.

Carol: On your favorite podcast player. And if you would be so kind.

Carol: To leave a review, I'd really appreciate it. Want to connect?

Carol: Send me a DM on Facebook or Instagram. At counseling essentials until next time. Can't wait till we chat. Bye for now.