Early this month, scientists at Livermore Lab made history by achieving fusion ignition. Teams at the  National Ignition Facility(NIF) conducted the first controlled fusion experiment in history to reach this milestone, also known as scientific energy breakeven, meaning it produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it.

In other words, there was a greater energy output than was used to create it. This achievement is enormous. I am not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination. But I do understand this. It is tough to have an output greater than the input of energy, especially regarding my mental wellness.

If you look at your calendar, the pace of your life during the holiday season can be more packed than usual. Parties, dinners, half-days of school, gift buying, get-togethers, and all sorts of things place high demands on our capacity. I don’t think I have ever heard someone say, “I feel so refreshed, rested, and full of energy!” this time of year. I can find myself with lower energy reserves. The “extra” can put a drain on us physically. And there is extra going on with us emotionally as well.  For many of us, this time of year can heighten our feelings of shame and isolation. 

So I Can Say Yes

One thing I do is make time on my calendar to spend time taking care of my soul. For me, I make sure I have time each day connecting with my Source.  I am a Jesus guy. So I am intentional about spending time with Him. I make time worshiping a priority. I pray and read my Bible. I  listen to worship music. Sometimes, I go outside and take a walk. If you have been around here very long, you know I enjoy smoking meat-check out my YouTube page for some of my most favorite recipes! Connecting with the Father allows me to refill and recharge in a way that I can’t do on my own. Spending time taking care of my soul is my first priority so that I can say yes during this season.

Grab your calendar or your to-do list. Write down something you are going to do today to take care of your soul.

It’s Ok to Say No

Here’s a secret…you don’t have to say yes to everything. When I am struggling with my mental wellness, I can over-exert myself as a way to try and hide how I am doing. I will just say yes to everything thinking people won’t notice. It took some time for me to realize but now, I can  recognize the pattern and make a better decision for myself. Saying no is not always negative. Being wise about the things we say no to will actually help us have better yes’s. It’s ok to say no from time to time. 

Think back to the last thing you said no to. What was your motivation to say no? How do you think your mental wellness was impacted by that decision?

Something about energy that I find ironic is that I can be super busy and feel filled up at the end of the day or I can do nothing all day and feel drained. It takes discipline and self-awareness to understand the motivation behind our choices.  We only have so much energy.  Yes, scientists are working to figure out all sorts of ways to create new energy. New lasers and diamonds and all kinds of other resources are at their disposal ready for the next breakthrough. As for you and me, we need to handle our energy as the precious resource that it is. Let’s be wise when it comes to saying yes and thoughtful when it comes to saying no.