When you read "surge capacity", did you think the term had something to do with the electricity in your home? It's understandable because it does sound like that, but surge capacity also refers to a mental state many have been experiencing for a while.
Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems—mental and physical—that humans draw on for short term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters. Our surge capacity is designed for temporary disasters. Last year as the pandemic developed, as stressful situations arose people's surge capacities were exercised. However, now that it is beyond clear that Covid-19 will likely not be temporary (how long term is unknown at this point), the emergency phase is now chronic, leaving people feeling run down and not feeling like themselves, which indicates a person's surge capacity has been depleted.
How do we restore our surge capacity?
1. Acceptance. Accept that life is now different. That doesn't mean giving up. It means that rather than focusing your energy towards restoring the parts of your life that have changed radically that it's time to focus your energy towards the things that are constructive that can thrive in this new normal.
2. Lower Expectations. Most people are not at their best these days. You are not alone if you feel this way. Lower your expectation for yourself and others.
3. Grieve. Grief isn't limited to mourning a life that has passed on. Letting go of a goal, losing a job, the closing of a social club....these are all things that can be grieved.
4. Do What Fulfills You. Do the things that you enjoy, and try the activities you've always wanted to do but never got around to doing them.
5. Strengthen Important Relationships. Frequently connect to those close to you to strengthen your support system.
6. Take Care Of Yourself. Your surge capacity needs a nutritious diet, sleep, exercise and stress management techniques such as meditation.
7. Get Acupuncture. Acupuncture can help decrease the effects of stress, which may make restoring your surge capacity easier.