Grappling with the meaning of energy reminds me of a famous quote from the 1960s. When writing an opinion on a Supreme Court case, Justice Potter Stewart was stumped. He couldn’t define pornography, “but,” he wrote, “I know it when I see it.” The problem, from a practical and legal standpoint, is that where one person sees pornography, another person sees art.
In a sense, energy, too, is subject to interpretation. To you, it may mean having the vigor to get the kids off to school, maintain a frenetic pace during a long shift at work and still have a reserve at the end of the day. To a nutritionist, energy could be defined in caloric terms; then there’s the physicists’ formula (E=MC2) and the Eastern philosophy (life force). So just what do we mean when we talk about energy? Is it generated and depleted physically or emotionally? Is it a state of mind or a state of being?
Yes, yes and yes. There is physical energy, emotional energy and spiritual energy, and it’s impossible to tease out where one ends and the other begins because they are intertwined down to a cellular level. You nourish the body, mind and soul, and your brain will reward you with energy to spare.
To that end, we present the five R’s—recharge, relate, refocus, reflect and relax—filled with energy chargers and warnings about energy drainers. Focus on the areas that need the most attention so you can be at the top of your game as a nurse, parent, partner and friend.
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