For those of you who are avid readers of our articles, you will undoubtedly have come over the concept of energy economy. In the article below we will explore how energy economy applies to depression. But first, for those first-time readers here is a quick explanation of The Economy of Energy.
Likening your energy levels to an economy can be useful, not only in regards to organising your life but also in times of depression. In order to properly understand the concept of Economy of Energy, let’s quickly revisit the definition of the word; economy. The Oxford Dictionary defines the term as the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money. Depending on what state their in, economies operate on a plus, minus or break-even point. In the Economy of Energy we apply this concept to our energy levels. Our output, in terms of our actions, are weighed in comparison to our input, The Return On Invested Energy. But before we go into details and discuss terminology, let’s explore the concept as it relates to day-to-day operations.
The best way to explain the Economy of Energy as it applies to day-to-day operations is by assigning ourselves and our actions, numerical values. If we set our operation costs on any given day at 100 points, wherein if we reach 100 points we will have to rest or sleep in order to recuperate those costs, our activities throughout the day can be assigned a numerical value in relation to the energy they take away from us. On any given weekday, the biggest consumer of our energy would be our work. For the sake of this example we may assign our work-related tasks 40 energy points. This will of course differ depending on what type of person we are, what type of work it is and how much effort we put into it. On our way back from work, we may go grocery shopping and that might cost 5 energy points. We may also stop by the gym, costing us an additional 15 energy points. Once at home, 25 energy points might go towards time with the family and child rearing and 10 points might go to chores such as ironing, vacuuming and the like, and your last 5 energy points might be spent watching TV.
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When our 100 energy points are spent, we have to sleep in order to recuperate them. Without proper sleep we won’t be able to invest 100 points in the next day’s activities. That is not to say that sleep is the only way of replenishing our energy reserves. We have the ability to reclaim some of our energy during the day as well, although not as effectively as through sleep. The first and perhaps most obvious example of positive energy input during the day is through the nourishment of our food intake. A good breakfast or lunch may provide us with 5-10 energy points. Another example is through participating in relaxing activities such as meditation or yoga. This may give us 15 energy points. Finally, energy can be derived from some of the activities that consume our energy. Time with the family may be one example of this. It may cost us 10 energy points and give us 5 in return. This again will differ depending on what type of person we are and how taxing the activity is. This is where the concept of Return On Invested Energy comes in.
The Economy of Energy and Depression
So, finally we’ve come to the part of this article that applies to depression.
The first thing you need to know is that during a depression your energy reserves will be depleted. So instead of having 100 energy points at the beginning of any given day, you may only have 80 or 60 depending on how bad you depression is. If you are currently suffering from depression and are interested in finding out how severe it is, just complete the CPRS Depression Test available on our website and get the results mailed back to you. Another thing to keep in mind is that energy prices will be inflated during a depression. There we have yet another term that applies to the Economy of Energy. Energy inflation relates to how a certain activity can have an increased energy price depending on your mood. The work that previously cost 40 energy points may now cost 60, the grocery shopping that once cost 5 energy points now costs 10 or 15 and so on.
Most people who are suffering from depression don’t realize this. They go about their day expecting to be able to do the exact same things that they used to and get disappointed with themselves when they aren’t able to. This in turn leads to even lower self-esteem and a worsening of depressive symptoms. Understanding the Economy of Energy as it relates to depression, the lowering of energy reserves and the inflation of energy prices, will allow you to manage your energy levels in such a way that the depression dissipates over time.
Cross Culture Therapy
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Philip Andersson – Life Coach
Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.