Finish the year strong

Okay so first off, forgive yourself for all the Christmas cookies you inevitably ate today and stop talking about how you “need” to start a diet.

Be gentle with yourself and let your mind and body readjust from the holiday festivities back to normal life.

Don’t be in a rush to make New Years Eve plans.

Let yourself breath a little.

If you don’t have some swanky party to go to for New Years that doesn’t mean your 2019 isn’t about to be insanely successful.

Finish out 2018 strong by prioritizing yourself.

Think about it, you just spent the past couple weeks brainstorming the best way to make the holidays a special time for your loved ones, purchasing gifts, making time for family parties, and finishing those work projects before their respective deadlines.

Now it’s time to focus on YOU.

If you’re introverted, you might find yourself needing more time at home with a good book to recharge. Or, as an extrovert, you might want to spend time with close friends to feel inspired.

Remove any added stressors in your life.

Has scrolling through Instagram got you feeling down or overwhelmed lately? Delete the app.

You can always re-download social media once you’ve centered yourself.

This also goes for certain people, and places that bring about unwanted feelings or simply don’t produce joy in your life–you can do without them.

Your time and mental energy are best spent on activities that bring you the most fulfillment.

Once you rid yourself of mental clutter, move on to your physical space.

Throw away, give away, or re-purpose the things that have been cluttering up your house, car, and office.

Get a new calendar and start marking down important dates, doctors appointments, pre-determined self-care days, and make it pretty!

It’s fun to plan and it helps to reduce stress.

Remember, you don’t have to prove that you’ve evolved in 2018 and that 2019 is going to be the year you pay off all your debt, start that business you’ve been dreaming of, become the political figure head of a small country etc.

You’ve accomplished so many great things these past 12 months, and no doubt you will in the preceding 12 months. But don’t feel like you need everything to happen for you all at once.

And don’t think that it won’t all happen eventually, because it will!

In good time, all good things take time.

Be well xx.

What A Gratitude Practice Is And Why You Need One

What is a Gratitude Practice and Why You Need One

It seems that the word “gratitude” is a big buzz word these days, especially within the health conscious community. It is nearly tied for first with “mindfulness” on this century’s holistic health hot topics list.

And not without good reason! Gratitude is such an important emotion to feel, and state of mind to cultivate.

When we feel grateful for what we have it releases endorphins and serotonin within our brains that help to strengthen our immune systems and stave of mental health calamities.

But you don’t just have to take my word for it. There are numerous studies and articles that detail the immense physical and mental benefits of gratitude. Psychology Today published a great break down of the key ways that gratitude helps us cope.

Just as people put the philosophical and physical components of yoga into practice, a gratitude practice can be developed.

It’s simple to start with these three easy steps.

1. Set a goal for yourself — something realistic, maybe once or twice a week to start. Give yourself a specific amount of time and set a timer on your watch or phone.

2. Sit down with yourself on the time you’ve set aside and think about all the ways you feel blessed, or all the people in your life that you love and that love you.

Think about all the support you have and all the compassion you plan to continue treating yourself with as you face life’s peaks and valleys.

3. Consider creating a gratitude journal where you record these thoughts and feelings. This will come in handy on those rough days where you go to sit down only to feel frustrated because you’re not feeling particularly grateful. Instead of loosing patience and giving up, you can crack open that beautiful gratitude journal you’ve been keeping and review previous accounts of what you were grateful for.

Maybe one week it was that small favor a stranger went out of their way to do for you. Or maybe it was something big you wanted to sit with, and feel, like the fact that your cardiovascular system makes it possible to breathe the soothing breaths of fresh air you need when you feel overwhelmed.

It’s your journal. There are no rules, all of the intricate thoughts you have or just plain silly ones come in handy in moments where you need to reconnect with yourself.

Stay consistent with your gratitude practice.

Set reminders in your phone or write it in your planner.

Gratitude creates a strong foundation of abundance that doesn’t allow for the erosive cracks of lack to destroy all that you’ve already built within your life.

Be kind, be good, be grateful 🙏🏼!

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to dearfitkris, your go to place for all things wellness!

A little bit about me: 

I am 23 years-old and from Connecticut. I have a degree in English, with a specialization in creative writing. I am a NASM-CPT (National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer), an all natural bodybuilder, a holistic health coach, blogger, poet, healthy living journalist, and public health activist.

Mission statement:

I intend for dearfitkris to be a space where myself and others can cultivate knowledge by participating in important conversations regarding what it means to be in good-health. My definition of healthy encompasses physical fitness, mental health, and well-being on a soul level.

What does health mean to me?

To me, health means to be kind to oneself. Health is patience and self-acceptance. Health isn’t something you have one day and then lose the next. ‘Healthy’ is not something you can’t be if you aren’t physically well. It also shouldn’t be assumed that those who aren’t inherently ill are healthy by these same standards.

Wellness is a state of mind and a way of being. Health is something that you have to cultivate and tend to. It is a way of being with yourself that requires the secure establishment of relationships with your body, the outside world, and how you choose to intermingle the two through what you feed yourself nutritionally, and what you consume through your consciousness.

Healthy is not something that you are magically marked based on your lack of physical, mental, or emotional ailments. Being deemed “healthy” is often defined as the absence of illness. But it is so, so very much more, than that.

Frankly, defining health is a very personal thing. Not everyone’s picture of health is going to look the same. I hope to guide you on your journey to discovering what being healthy looks like for YOU!

Thank you for visiting my site. You can find a collection of my writing linked here!

Seriously, it means the world to me that out of all the fitness-blog joints in this town you wandered into my personal spot.

I can’t wait to learn, share, and grow with you.

Until next time–

Be well.

Join the conversation by commenting below and let me know what health means to YOU...

Favorite recent reads and listens

This month I’ve been on a super tight schedule, but posting is still very much a priority of mine :)!

Expect 1 new post every week.

Today, as promised, I’m giving an overview of my favorite reads and listens aka books, articles, websites, and podcasts of this month so far.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying and learning a lot from the TED Radio Hour sponsored by NPR on Spotify podcasts.

My recommendations:

Circular

Where Joy Hides

Quiet

The Food We Eat

What Makes Us… Us

All of these can be found on the Spotify App.

As for reading, I recommend:

My most recent article for The Record Journal on American Heart Health Month

Hike safe

It’s Official: 2018 Was The Fourth Warmest Year on Record

The 100 Dollar Start-Up (the book)

Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell edition

Enjoy!

Be well xx.

My relationship with social media

Hello loyal readers,

Did you miss me this past Tuesday?

I missed you!

But, with Spring semester in session I’ve allowed myself a bit more flexibility in my posting schedule. I will keep you posted with any changes (pun intended).

I’ve decided to reserve one of my two posting day per week (Tues/Thurs) to keep you updated on my favorite articles/books/podcasts that I’ve been reading or listening to.

Stay tuned for that!

Now, let’s get to discussing my relationship with social media.

Since Autumn I’ve been making a conscious effort to wean myself off social media. Not because I saw my usage of it as a problem, but simply because I found myself habitually using it in ways that don’t serve me.

I felt like social media had began to drain both my time and energy (see my energy vampire post for more info).

Yesterday, I went on a walk through a wooded trail & found myself moved to skip and twirl to the music I was listening to. And so, I did. Without thinking twice about my skips and twirls looking silly, I let the music move me.

I spun around and around jamming out until I became dizzy. Then, laughingly, spinning in the opposite direction in an attempt to undo all the spins that initiated my dizziness. Knowing full well it would only exacerbate the feeling of being off- balance.

I let myself be. Wishing that my niece were with me because surely she’d want to race through the woods, examining all the flora and fauna we passed by, with the keen scientist eye that only children have.

With no one behind me and only my dancing shadow ahead, I spun and spun until the song I was listening to slowly faded into another one.

Afterwards, I beamed in appreciate of this special moment with myself where I paid homage to my inner child, not feeling compelled to share it on my Instagram or in any snapshot.

I did make a mental note to tell my niece, because I knew she would find the same joy in my incessant twirling. This time just spent being me, for me alone, is so precious.

I decided to share this experience here today because I want to remind you all to do something fun and allow yourself to find joy in small things.

I learned years ago that my life is honestly all around better the less time I spend mindlessly scrolling through social media apps. I do enjoy researching and reading about topics I’m interested in through social media. I’m also very grateful for the relationships I’ve built through social media.

I’ve learned how to use it properly, through trial and error. Like for instance, I don’t use Facebook. I have a few accounts I’ve made over the years but they remain inactive (I don’t even know how to use the app). I discovered years ago, that my relationship with Facebook would never resemble a healthy one because of the FOMO (fear of missing out) it gave me. So, I haven’t really used it since.

My Twitter account is used to post updates about my blog posts, but it used to be one of the major ways that I got my news. Always being bombarded with shocking new stories that had yet to even by verified made for an emotional rollercoaster. I began to find this way of using social media burdensome, so I adjusted.

It’s all about defining boundaries in my relationship with social media apps. I feel as though I’ve gotten pretty good at that.

Instagram has been my primary social media outlet for years.

But recently I’ve discovered, the less I use my phone the more connected to my actual real life I feel. This inadvertently includes social media.

I have very sacred nighttime and morning rituals that don’t involve my phone.

During the day if I do happen to open the Instagram app a reminder pops up “You’ve spent 5 minutes on Instagram today” based on the setting I’ve chosen.

My weekly screen time has gone down considerably in the past weeks, and so have my stress levels.

I alluded to a less active Instagram account in my post about my goals for the new year. Not because anything is less interesting or “Instagram worthy” in my life, but simply because I’m living to experience it and not to document it.

One of my goals for 2019 was to take less superfluous pictures, I’m crushing that goal. And I plan to keep it up!

So, if you don’t see me as much on your feed don’t take it personally. I’m supporting you from afar. I have no plans to forego social media completely.

Social media has its place in my life, just not a very big one.

Thanks for reading.

Be well xx.

Community: Women’s Health 4 of 4

Communities of women have been the cornerstone of society since the beginning of time.

Sometimes, the overlooked or neglected cornerstone, but still an integral part of the fabric of humanity nonetheless.

It’s so important that there be places where women can go where they feel safe and supported in discussing all of their struggles and ambitions.

This goes beyond family and friend groups.

Organizations whose primary missions are to empower women need to be given regular recognition.

For more information on these check out this article on Mental Floss.

I was disappointed to discover that the first two articles I came across when researching for this post completely negated talking about WHY communities dedicated to furthering the involvement of women in positions of leadership are so essential.

One article was disguised as a “tips for creating a women empowerment group” but was actually a chocolate candy advertisement!

The other, completely dismissed the societal disparities that make it more difficult for women to succeed in business than men by claiming fundamental human fears like “failing” were exclusive to women and explicitly stated that “family life” and low esteem hold women back in the work place.

Whether or not it was intended by the authors, these articles completely dismissed the concerns of women in modern society.

I would even venture to say that these articles are complicit in furthering a culturally homogenized and offensively stereotypical view of women’s needs.

No, we don’t need to be more fearless.

No, we don’t need to be told that we can’t both be caregivers in our home life and successful entrepreneurs.

And no, we definitely don’t need to be subjected to anymore repressive marketing schemes.

Thank u, business mogul for your insight and small town blogger for all things Dove– next.

But for every misguided attempt to draw attention to women in business, and supportive communities where women can thrive, there are many more that drive the point home.

If you’re reading this blog and wondering, what can I do? How can I contribute?

I want you to know that girl squads don’t have to by synonymous with pop singers.

You can get your female friends and colleagues together to discuss your current academic or professional pursuits (for many of you both) and find local women’s groups in your area that also support a dialogue between women and their communities.

In my hometown of Wallingford, CT our local recreation center has an active women’s group. My college campus also has many support groups, clubs, and opportunists for students to talk about social justice and empowerment.

Remember that your voice matters. And know that your gender doesn’t (or shouldn’t) define the parameters of your success.

Women, women of color especially, and transgender women specifically, are massively underrepresented in politics, business, research, and positions of leadership.

Even though women make up more than half the U.S. workforce, earn more than 60% of the bachelors and master’s degrees awarded in the country each year– we make up only 8.1% of top earners in the country.

Women make up more than 80% of consumer spending in the U.S., yet only 3% are creative directors of advertising.

Jaw = floor.

Check out the link I provide here for more of these jarring stats.

If you don’t know where to start when forming a community of likeminded individuals committed to social justice, start by opening a dialogue.

Simple discussion is enough to turn the mind’s wheels, creating inspired thoughts, thoughts that lead to action, and that action insights change.

Share this blog post with a woman who inspires you.

Be well xx.

Mental disorders: Women’s health 3 of 4

Discussing mental health seems to make people uncomfortable. Albeit, we’ve come a very long way since the start of the century where people were made to feel morally corrupt or impaired for having mental health issues.

There is still plenty of stigma around mental illnesses; ranging from addiction, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, –just to name a few. Not to mention the many sub-types of the various psychological disorders found in the DSM-IV.

Aside for explicit diagnosed mental health issues there is always the major factor of excessive STRESS that can wreak absolute havoc in the otherwise mentally healthy person’s life.

Continuing to discuss stress and how it exacerbates mental illness is a top agenda for the world’s leading health professionals.

Making sure this topic garners the attention it deserves is one of my main goals for dearfitkris.

It’s estimated that more than 1 in 5 women have experienced some lapse of mental well-being within the past year.

That’s a ton of women.

My mind immediately goes to myself, my two sisters, my mother, and my grandmothers.

That’s over five women just right there.

An article in Psychology Today states that women are 40% more likely to develop depression than men and 2x as likely to develop PTSD.

Luckily, there are so many precious and valuable resources available to people who are struggling.

There are also many efforts within online forums and communities to END THE STIGMA ON MENTAL ILLNESS which is so incredible.

I believe one of the most beneficial actions we can take to end the stigma for those who suffer from psychological disorders is to simply talk about them.

Just as a person with diabetes might divulge information and facts about their condition, how they treat it, as to normalize the checking of blood glucose level and administering of insulin, someone with a psychological illness might wish to do the same. And if they do, they should feel comfortable and safe in disclosing their personal health information.

Tips for self-care, mindfulness, and effective practice of meditation should be traded enthusiastically and regularly.

People with mental health disorders shouldn’t be made to feel like they did this to themselves or that they have failed in someway.

For instance, an individual who has depression should feel comfortable discussing how–just as a person with diabetes, they don’t choose to have this condition, how they treat it, and their triumph in managing their symptoms.

They should revel in the fact that they have been brave enough to see a medical professional, and had their condition diagnosed.

Seeking medical help is the most important part of recognizing when something isn’t right.

Leaning on friends and family for emotional support is helpful, but it can only get you so far.

Mental health is not something that should be brushed aside because people think it’s incidental, or worse, because people are ashamed.

No one should be made to feel like a bad person for their mental health condition.

We cannot choose what happens chemically in our brains, but we can choose how we decide to deal with a perceived malfunction going forward.

It’s important to make the choice to talk to a trained medical professional when you notice things are off or when your stress load is getting to be too much and you’re having trouble winding down.

Think about your deteriorating mental health like any other physical illness. You cut your finger. You notice the cut on your finger hasn’t gone away, you assure yourself it’s nothing and it will subside on it’s own (think of the cut as the panic you feel daily when driving and your finger as your mental health). You let weeks go by and now your finger looks worse– like it might be infected (your panicked thoughts seeped into other areas of your life now and are affecting just more than your driving) before you know it you can lift your finger (you don’t want to leave the house).

But how could this be, it was just a little cut?

How could this be, it was just a little anxiety?

Don’t set yourself up for bewilderment that your symptoms have completely taken over your life. Take these signs of imbalance seriously.

I implore anybody who has recognized symptoms of waning mental wellness seek the help of a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker.

Ask your primary care physician for recommendations for mental health professionals and explore the wealth of resources online that are available to you.

If you are in college, your school should have a wellness center with trained psychologists to assist you in times of need. These services are usually of no cost to you.

See if a trusted friend or family member would be willing to accompany you to your appointments and do something fun with you afterwards.

Now with the Spring semester beginning, it’s important to recognize when we feel overwhelmed, then take time for ourselves, and get the support that we both need and deserve!

Let this post serve as a reminder that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your struggles.

You are vibrant, resilient, and there are people out there who want to help you manage your stress.

If you or someone you know is struggling check out the resources available at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Be well xx.

Weight loss, hormones, and self acceptance: Women’s health 2 of 4

Many of the questions I received via my Instagram account @dearfitkris when I reached out for topic ideas for this series pertained to weight loss. 

I’m not an expert, or even an authority in the fields of weight loss, nutrition, or metabolic processes as I have stated many times throughout my site. But, I have gleaned a fair amount of knowledge about these subjects through my own personal research. 

Fat loss in particular is a topic that a lot of women are interested in. 

It’s very important to distinguish fat loss from weight loss in general.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Building muscle, incorporating cardio, and proper NUTRITION NUTRITION NUTRITION, are all what is going to help give you the lean look you’re probably striving for when you say you want to look “toned.” 

I said nutrition 3 times, in case you didn’t notice, because whenever you are looking to lose fat you need to make sure you are getting enough nutrients.

It’s widely recommended to get 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of LEAN body mass per day. This is optimal if you’re looking to build muscle, burn fat, and stay satiated. 

However, this isn’t universal and depending on your goals that number could vary. It’s important to talk to you doctor, in addition to a nutritionist or health coach whenever you are going to be making changes in your diet.

Changes in your diet have a domino affect. 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

They influence your hormone levels, your mental health, and most obviously your gut flora. That being said, I especially advise you to discuss any issues you may be having with your healthcare provider before you go ahead and make changes blindly. 

If you’re struggling with indigestion, bloating, or general symptoms of IBS and think cutting out a certain food group might help, you should hold off before you have all the facts. 

If you eliminate something from your diet completely many allergy tests won’t be able to pick up whether or not you have a sensitivity to that specific food. 

Make sure you get the advice of a doctor or dietician who specializes in digestive health. Not all allergy tests are created equal. It also doesn’t hurt to get a blood panel of your hormones and metabolic levels. 

Women tend to lose weight at a slower pace than men become of their differing hormone levels. In general, men have faster metabolisms due to their body compositions and their ability to retain muscle more easily than women.

For more information about weight loss for women, and how it differs from weight loss for men, check out the sites I’ve linked below.

But, before you do, stick around to dig a little bit deeper into WHY you want to change your body.

You know those women who have perfectly beautiful and healthy bodies but are always talking about some new diet fad or how they’re trying to get “back in shape?”

Take a step back and ask yourself: Am I one of these women?

Sometimes we get into a habit of constantly trying to change our bodies, whether that be through dieting or exercising, because we think that’s what we should be doing. When in reality, we’re doing more harm than good.

It’s been shown that yo-yo dieting (meaning losing weight, then regaining weight repeatedly) and excessive exercising that goes beyond hitting the gym a couple times a week (I’m talking the kind that gives you hypothalamic amenorrhea) have serious health implications. 

That’s not to say you shouldn’t go the gym regularly, prepare more nutrient dense food, or strive to drink more water. Because you absolutely should!

But where weight loss is concerned, ask yourself these few questions before you embark on another potentially treacherous weight loss journey:

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Why do I want to lose weight?

Am I in a healthy BMI range? 

Are there other things I could do to feel more balanced and healthy that don’t involve the number on the scale? What are they?

Is my consumption of health magazines, pictures of women on the internet, or depictions of women in my favorite TV shows influencing what I believe I should look like?

How do I feel when I look in the mirror?

How do I feel when someone compliments me?

Meditate on these answers and make sure you’re not practicing self-deprecating behaviors by constantly comparing yourself to others and tearing yourself down.

If you do make the decision to change your body, make sure you’re doing it for YOU and not for anyone else.

Don’t forget that when you make the decision to FEEL better, love yourself at any weight, and practice self acceptance daily, weight-loss can be an unintended byproduct of these things. 

Check-in with yourself regularly. Be aware of how you’re talking to yourself. Take mental notes on the beliefs you have about your body, who you are, and how these things affect your habits.

Information about weight loss for women:
Yes, Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women
Men vs Women: The Weight-Loss Battle
Weight loss and women

Thanks for reading!

Be well xx.

Let’s talk women’s health: 1 of 4

This post is the beginning of a series on women’s health!

Women’s health isn’t synonymous with health in general. It needs to be recognized as intricate and essential in its own right. Topics in women’s health are generally relatable to broader health topics.

But, being that the female reproductive system is what makes females, female, there are many wellness topics that are unique to women. So, although this series isn’t specifically on women’s reproductive health many issues naturally overlap.

Now, you may be thinking: she’s about to tell me if I am male feel free to click away now.

However, if you were thinking that you would be wrong.

In fact, to the contrary. I HIGHLY encourage male readers to tune in even more closely because this is a conversation that involves you too!

The goals of this series, and this blog in general, is to empower women to take control of their health and encourage men and women alike to engage in insightful conversation about women’s health specifically and the issues that the modern woman faces.

An article published on World Health Organization website (WHO) lists the top ten issues for women’s health and among them are maternal health, mental health, and violence against women. These are all very serious issues. Each of which hold implications for a woman’s health beyond a specific incident, or series of incidences.

We’ve all heard of the ripple affect. You throw a stone into a pool of still water and watch the ringed waves around the stones imprint upon the water expand tenfold.

Now imagine that in terms of a woman’s health.

For instance, did you know that a woman who has experienced sexual violence is more likely than the average woman to give birth to an underweight baby?

Or, did you know that medication dosage standards are primarily adapted for the male body?

Or that women of color are more likely to die during child birth?

These are just a few of the many startling facts about women’s health that need to be addressed.

We need to feel comfortable talking about these issues before there can even begin to be a valiant effort at resolving them. Many times women simply don’t feel comfortable coming forth with the concerns that they have (I can relate) in fear that their questions will seem trivial or like a waste of healthcare workers’ precious time.

Often times, we forget that our healthcare providers work for us and want to put our minds at ease while taking care of our bodies the best they can.

Living in the USA means that we have some hefty kinks to work out where healthcare is concerned. But, our bureaucratic issues pale in comparison to some parts of the world where a woman’s husband has to sign a permission slip in order for her to be treated by a doctor.

That’s not to say the issues that the American woman faces in the minefield of our healthcare system aren’t, dire; because they are so incredibly urgent. However, it is equally important to shed light on the issues that women face globally.

In one of my Public Health courses the class came to the realization that the United States health care system acted more as a disease treatment system.

That is why public health promotion, prevention, and journalism couldn’t have picked a more pertinent time to become exceedingly burgeoning fields.

When defining positions that a person with a Masters in Public Health might assume, I remember raising my hand and asking: Could there be a way I could combine my passion for writing and public wellbeing?

My very astute professor, who had begun his career years ago in the trenches of door-to-door Epidemiology, paused for a moment and replied, “I don’t know of one specifically off-hand, but I don’t see why you can’t create one.”

I remember being so excited by the idea that I could create a space for health writing that was both meaningful to me, personally, and the public.

It has taken time for that seed to germinate and bloom in the form of the renaissance of my blog, my personal training career, and not least of all, my aspiration of drawing attention to global health issues. And also, inspiring others to join the conversation while equipping them with actionable information.

Please, leave me topics that you would like to see addressed/discussed in this series. You can comment below, or find me on Instagram @dearfitkris .

Thank you to all those who read, share, and comment on my posts, on WordPress or on my Instagram account.

Be well xx.

How to avoid energy vampires

An energy vampire can be defined as a person, activity, or thing that drains you of your vital life-energy and leaves you feeling depleted, frustrated, or completely bewildered with emotions that aren’t your own, or at least weren’t yours to begin with but have been imprinted on you.

I learned this term from a dear friend of mine, Veda, in Hawaii– @laveda.ayurveda on Instagram. Being the innately spiritually attuned soul that she is, Veda informed me that the feeling I got after encountering someone particularly negative was due to energy vampirism.

A lot of the time, people don’t even realize what they’re doing when they’re being energy vampires. I know I’ve caught myself plenty of times in the midsts of ‘venting’ and realized I had to take a step back and turn to my journal instead.

But some people know very well what they’re doing and just simply don’t care.

While being compassionate is always recommended, sometimes it’s not optimal for your health to emotionally invest in other peoples’ problems–especially those you don’t even know!

The most obvious cases of energy vampirism have happened to me by complete and utter strangers. You know, those people who scan a room and approach anyone who happens to look even remotely in their direction– zero in on them, and immediately talk at them.

If this has happened to you then you know that in these types of situations the vampire has no interest in what you could possibly contribute to the conversation, even if they feign it for a moment or two, the conversation always shifts backs to them and their needs.

Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels.com

Social media can also be an energy-sucker. So can certain activities that simply don’t serve you, your goals, or add any value to your life and even worse– steal away your time, energy, or money.

Recently I was listening to a From the Heart podcast (@yoga_girl) where Rachel Brathen was explaining how after one of her spiritual awakenings earlier in her life she used to absolutely refuse to take part in any small talk that didn’t serve her and would simply tell the person who was trying to engage with her, “This really isn’t resonating with me. I have to go.” And she would walk away abruptly.

She pokes fun at herself and admits that she wishes she wasn’t so abrasive. While Rachel’s method is certainly one way to avoid energy-sucking activities and people, there are other, more subtle methods to releasing yourself from the bondage of these vitality guzzlers.

  1. Fill your time and space with things that DO add value to your life.
  2. Set boundaries. Decide for yourself how long you’re going to give your time and energy to something whether that be Instagram, the stranger on the street who is telling you his life story, or a work project. Once the timer in your head is up– kindly move on.
  3. Allow yourself to say NO. And don’t feel obliged to give any explanation whatsoever. Your time is your own– you don’t have to justify how you spend it to anyone.
  4. Smile and walk away. This one is my favorite. If you feel frustrated and can’t find the words to express yourself– don’t fumble over and over in your head with an appropriate exit strategy. Just keep it simple and remove yourself from the discomfort, giving yourself time to recenter and then return to the project, conversation, or activity when you’re good and ready–or don’t.
  5. Recognize when you are the energy vampire. Often times we steal away our own energy by not setting proper boundaries– or we suck the energy of others by venting feverishly to no avail simply because we aren’t aware and haven’t devised a proper outlet for our feelings.

In our society it’s hard to recognize these things, so be gentle with yourself.

I mean, it’s not like we are taught in school, or university even, how to sit with our feelings and manage them properly (aside from the occasional liberal arts elective). So don’t be harsh with yourself , or others for that matter.

And when it doubt– smile and walk away :).

Be well xx.