Depletion Begets More Depletion

I heard this phrase recently on a podcast. The guest was Aparna Khanolkar, an Ayurvedic expert, and when she uttered that sentence, it stopped me in my tracks: “Depletion begets more depletion.”

Think about yourself when you’re depleted. Is it your natural inclination to rest, slow down and practice self-kindness…or are you more likely to keep going, continue pushing and get more things done?

The latter is definitely my tendency. Let’s face it, when you’re used to doing, going and achieving, you might not even realize when you’re depleted. Tired in the afternoon but have an evening event? Grab a BIG coffee on the way and power through. Need to meet a deadline/grow a business/launch a product/write some employee reviews? Better sacrifice an hour or 2 of sleep to get more things done.

But what’s the cost?

This endless cycle of depletion, as Aparna Khanolkar so eloquently stated, begets more depletion. Often, you don’t even realize how depleted you are. It’s easy to justify snapping at your partner or getting snippy with a friend – after all, you’re just stressed and it’s probably not that big a deal…until it is.

The cost of depletion is joy. 

Depletion is a cultural epidemic and it’s costing us our joy.

If you ask yourself when was the last time you felt truly joyful, what would your answer be?

If you’ve got a hard time coming up with an example, I have an invitation for you.

This week, instead of punishing yourself by expecting perfection, what if you committed to finding joy 1 time? This doesn’t have to mean skipping work and taking a vacation. Finding joy can become a part of your self-kindness practice. When you look up from the deadlines, expectations and pressures that are depleting you, it’s not as hard to find as it seems. It can be found in animals, little kids, funny shows, the office jokester or a random sidewalk dancer (true story – I recently saw a dude break dancing outside a Panera and it was amazing!)

The point is, when you look for it, you’ll be surprised how much joy you’ve been missing. Depletion strips us of joy and I invite you to start to bring it back into focus.

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