Protecting your energy

So, over this crazy period, I have encountered some very tough times and feelings. I know I am not the only one who has been feeling this, but I heard on the news the other day that the rates of divorce have soared through out lock down which is really sad to hear. As well as divorces, 3 of my friends have felt the strain on their relationships (all different reasons) but they are all right now in a different head spaces and seeking love, affection and self-care but seems not knowing where to put that energy.

When I say self-care, I do not mean putting on a bubble bath, reading a good book, painting your nails or having some delicious food. As much as they are great ‘self-care’ ideas I am wanting to talk more about actual self-care and what you do with the feelings you are feeling and what to do with them. The kind of self-love I am talking about is taking it back to square one- valuing yourself based on how you view your outer shell, as well as inner. While making myself up is fun and does bring me joy, it is only a temporary fix, once you take the ‘clothes’ and makeup off, how do you feel / see yourself? It is an instant short-term validation. It’s a distraction. When you learn to sit with your feelings you will get to know yourself again.

I have not learnt to genuinely love and accept myself through spa treatments. Oh no, in fact the journey started when I was 23 (before that I was the most anxious, quiet, self-comparison person out there!) – it seems old to have a realisation but to be 100% raw with myself and my feelings was very challenging but so worth it!

As a society we have such a way of feeling sorry for women who are not yet in relationships by the time they are 26+ and are deemed ‘un dateable’ or that there is something wrong with you. I am only 28 and been asked the question ‘so why are you still single?’ so many times! I always used to freak out and feel like I needed a valid answer but to be honest I have been in a long term relationship and once I stepped back I realized the wrong things that were going on and now know what I want from a partner. I am not going to just settle for the average joe and neither should you, I know that no one is perfect, and I am not looking for perfection. I am looking for someone who has the same values, interests and will bring me up and a person and not be little me, think I belong at home / bring up a family or does not support me in my own work life. Some may say picky, I say I’m being myself and if a man can’t get on with that then they can walk away (bye, bye). Why would I settle for someone who I do not see a (potential) long future with?

My looks may fade to some, but I know I am a good person and want to share that with everyone. I love helping people and bringing them up and realizing what they are capable of. What is stopping you from doing the same? Is it the thought of hurting someone? Thinking you will make a mistake? If you have that true gut feeling you know its right, your gut knows everything, and your mind will thank you one day! Trust me on that.

First and for most, your time and energy should be preserved above all for yourself. Anyone who wants to be a part of your life must be an addition to your wholeness. You do not want to be subconsciously seeking someone to ‘make you whole’, if you are then you are not ready for a relationship. You can’t be stepping into something new if you are ‘broken’ or have a certain hole in your life that you are trying to fill with different things or people. You may learn that people who focus on everyone but themselves tend to neglect their own needs in the process. Do not be tempted to buy into the lie that women need men to be accepted in society or to be seen in a relationship and for women to exist for everyone but themselves – there is nothing nobel about self-sacrifice.

To protect your own energy (feelings, emotions, self-awareness etc) and practice self-love, you need to start implementing boundaries with people you surround yourself with. This includes friends, family, work colleagues etc. Remember – those who don’t have respect for themselves or others do not deserve to know you. Cut then out, they will only drain you of your feelings.

Be smart with your feelings – treat them like money. Check in with yourself and others regularly to encourage the preservation of energy in your friendship groups. Help each other to prioritize and preserve your resources. Resources can be anything from time or energy, to money. Whatever it is, whatever form it takes, big or small – put yourself first!

Simple boundaries to start with:

1.    Speaking up when someone makes you feel uncomfortable

2.    Don’t feel guilty of needing alone time and not having to justify it

3.    Saying ‘No’

4.    Saying yes to people offering you help – don’t be proud

5.    Don’t apologize for someone correcting you. Just say ‘thankyou’.

Questions to ask yourself daily:

1.    Do I follow the advice I give others?

2.    Do I feel comfortable in this moment?

3.    Have an honestly allowing myself to feel my feelings lately, or have I pushed them down?

4.    Are people respecting my identity?

5.    Where are those negative thoughts coming from?

This may take time and a lot of practice, but just catching yourself in the moment and reminding yourself to ‘get some self-worth’ you are better than these people who are trying to put you down. Whether they are meaning to or not, it is important to pull people up on it. They may have no idea they are doing it and may thank you for telling them what they are doing.

Take the time to find the real you and what you truly want. Be honest with yourself.

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