Women learn that they are missing from their own “to do list” which actually depletes their energy. Lauren Martin wrote in her The Book of Moods How I Turned My Worst Emotions Into My Best Life that, “The more we suppress the stuff we want and do the stuff we don’t want to do, the less self control we have later.” This is quite important and profound when we think about this from our life goals and self care standpoint. Researchers have noted that if we try not to think about something, the pure process of doing that alone takes away energy from other tasks and thoughts. 

The To Do List

Often I hear a woman say, “I will do that when my to do list is done.” The that can be things such as learn a new recipe, play with their children, take a nap, or enjoy reading a book for pleasure. By the end of a day or week, the list is still incomplete. Additional items have been added. Many  of the tasks  the woman doesn’t really want to do, but is doing either because she has to or feels she is supposed to for others. 


With the depletion in mental and now sometimes physical energy, there is now a frustration that can arise.  The the women is not getting to the things she would like to do. She is feeling tired and self control has a lower amount of fuel in the tank to be making decisions. A dinner choice needs to be made later in the day. She now may be more likely to opt for something that chemically will not optimize her body and sole. This is because it’s an easier option to chose when depleted. These repeated easy grabs can add to the cycle of self loathing. Weight may be gained and energy not attended to.

What To Put Into the List

Meanwhile, the same woman gets frustrated with her male counterpart.  He appears to be able to get to the things that he wants to do. What then becomes the solution to this dilemma? One way to address this is to write the things she wants to do into the same list as the regular to do list.  It is not a separate list of self care items to chose from someday when she has time. It needs to be done just like the other things.

For example a list might look like bring the dog to the groomer, prep meal items for tonight, read a fun book, empty the dish washer, buy the teacher present, play a game with the kids, restock the tp before Wednesday, complete the power point for the customer presentation on Friday etc….. When it’s on the list it feels more like something that she has to do.  This is funs because she wanted to do thing thing. These types of to dos actually energize her..  

How to Get to the Things on the List

Try not to get caught up things needing to be done in the perfect place or with the perfect timing. Grab them on the go. Game play with the kids can be for 15 mins after they get home from school or right after breakfast on a weekend. It doesn’t have to happen only on game night Fridays.  Reading for pleasure can happen in the parked car for 10 mins. Sit  before the task of  going into the grocery store. 

What Happens Next

If a woman puts more of herself into the to do list as sometimes her husband does on his (yes husband’s have lists that sometimes women don’t always see written down), she may begin to see that she actually can have an elevated mood and more energy and appreciation for all those other pesky tasks that are perpetually on the to do list.  This in turn may also help her to look at her spouse or partner in a different light. He built his wants into his day.  Emotions may erupt from thinking about this. A loss of energy can happen when the wants are actively being pushed away. How might you want to replenish your energy?