I admit it, I’m all about the #hashtag life. I get a kick out of what is trending on social media. Every Monday comes the flurry of #mondaymotivation on Twitter (61k and counting as of 9am this morning). There is a lot of “go-go-go” and “slay” and “can’t stop/ won’t stop”–and it is GREAT! Except that by Wednesday at 2pm our “SLAY” turns into “S-L-O-W.”
My Monday Motivation to you is #PYE: Protect Your Energy. It is a precious commodity! Here are some ways to do that every day of the week:
Put up your force field. Knowing your boundaries (and, with that, saying “no”) is the single most effective way to preserve your physical and emotional energy. It’s okay to cancel that commitment, change your mind, choose to spend time alone, or step back from engaging in something that feels draining. That might sound like letting others down (guilt is STRONG on this one, folks!) But consider this: in research conducted by Brene Brown, she found that the most compassionate people also happened to be the most boundaried people. Boundaries help us protect and build up our reserves not only of compassion, but energy and resilience.
Listen to your body and be good to it! I am an extrovert; I get energy from being around people. Last week, I had dinner with a friend with whom I rarely get to socialize. She and I were enjoying our girl-talk so much we even skipped the event we were planning to see and lingered over our meal instead. After we said our goodbyes and I was heading back to my car, my phone lit up with a text from two other friends who had just left the event I had missed: “Join us for a night cap?” The extrovert in me said, “YAY! Let’s do all the people-ing!” even though my body was whispering, “Psst…it’s a work night and you’ve had a long day already.” I’ll give you a guess at who I listened to. Yep. Extrovert Renee. And while I didn’t stay out much longer, it was enough that the next day I felt drained and not my best. I didn’t listen to my body. Listening to our bodies can be tricky when what feels at first like a treat become a drain. For me, even though being around people gives me energy, there IS a point of diminishing return. For you, it might mean getting more sleep, dialing back on screen time, eating healthier, or getting more exercise. Know yourself and heed your body’s advice!
Avoid toxic interactions and negativity. Engaging in water-cooler gossip or getting sucked into situations that truly are not about you is like eating a bag of Doritos or that third bowl of ice cream. It feels pleasurable and fills you up, but then soon after leaves you feeling bloated and gross. My mother’s favorite line to remember not to get pulled into someone’s drama is “Not my circus. Not my monkeys.” To stretch that metaphor as far as it will go, ask yourself, “How will I benefit from being a juggler in someone else’s circus? And if it truly is a three-ring circus of chaos, do they really need another clown in the mix?” More often than not, the answer is “No” and “Probably not.” Negativity breeds negativity, and it can be a sticky substance. Toxic and negative interactions change our lens, color the rest of the day, and impact how we see ourselves in the world. This is a perfect time to practice our boundaries and step back.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Is your Monday Motivation about chasing someone else’s trophy or building your own treasure? Comparison (which is really just jealousy) is yet another drain on our energy. It gets in the way of managing our own healthy expectations and imposes the unrealistic “shoulds” of life: “I should have gotten a raise by now/ purchased a home/ lost more weight…” If you have read my other posts, you know how I feel about the word “should.” It’s a trigger for shame and nothing good from a place of shame. Comparing efforts and achievements to someone else steals our own agency and leaves us feeling powerless. Finding ways to honor and have gratitude for the journey that we are on can be a powerful way to protect your joy and energy.
So, YES—go out there and #Slay. Protecting your energy will keep your motivation all the way through the week.