Stop putting your time and effort into things that aren’t benefiting you.

No truer words have come into my life lately. It’s hard! I know first hand how we can get attached to things and people that aren’t benefiting us. Whether it’s a friend or partner or a job you hate, it can be unreal how draining they can make you knowing full well they aren’t benefiting you. This year has really only begun, we’re still in Q1 and already there has been some major shifts in not only my life in general, but my energy, my mental state, my finances, my passions, my friendships and the relationship I have with myself.

For a long time I dumped every spare bit of energy I had into something that didn’t benefit me. It wasn’t benefiting me even if I was convinced that it was at the time. Looking back I could have progressed myself a lot farther in life had I listened to my gut and listened to my brain. But looking back in hindsight isn’t helpful in the present, so I’m happy I’ve made some realizations and am able to refocus my energy on things that matter.

There’s no point in trying to give and give and give from an empty cup. It just doesn’t work. It’s the same when we look at ourselves! We can’t give our energy to people and things when we have no good energy to give. And good energy starts right in our own lap. Happiness is a choice but it’s not always the easiest choice to make. It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort. I’ve been spending the good part of the last 3 months trying to really hone in on things that I know brings me joy, and when those pesky energy sucking thoughts creep back into my head, it takes work to squash them but that’s what I’ve been doing!

Ever since I gave up what was weighing me down, the amount of extra time I’ve had has been enough to bring my stress levels down a few notches. When I sit back and think about it, I’m not scrambling to get my school work done (although a lot of the time it costs me writing this blog… d’oh), I have time to see my friends and spend actual quality time with them, and I have time to really focus on myself and hit the gym as a sort of “therapy” for me. While teaching a spin class is fun, it’s not “me time”, I’m there to serve the members a fantastic workout… so getting to the gym and listening to a podcast and doing my own thing is relatively new for me and it’s been amazing. AND READING! Oh my god I almost forgot I have actual time to read for pleasure, it’s so fun!

When I say “give up what was weighing me down”, I’m not going to go into detail, but emotionally it was hard for me and still is. There was a lot that went along with giving it up and it’s been quite a process. There are some things I’ve been doing to help get through this initial grieving phase (yes, you’re allowed to go through a grieving phase when you lose something or someone that was special to you).

I started writing in a gratitude journal. Yep – studies show you can literally rewire your brain to default into happiness and gratitude by practicing gratitude each day, so I gave it a shot! I will admit some mornings I don’t get around to doing it, but I do look forward to it when I do. I think of things I’m grateful for, things that could make today a GREAT day and write myself a little mantra to help me get through the day. Then at night time I recap 3 great things that happened to me that day and 1 thing that could have made today just a little better. It’s so helpful to focus on the things that make you happy and bring you joy!

I started making more me-time and having no shame about it. I used to feel bad when I wanted to be alone or do things myself, but not anymore. If I want to be alone, that’s what I’m going to do. If I want to see a movie, that’s where I’m going to go. If I want to go out for a nice dinner and all my friends are busy – that’s no problem, I can bring an e-book and read while I dine by myself! Lifting weights has been a great source of me-time recently and because I’m starting to love it so much, I put more effort into making time for it… and increased fitness is never a bad thing :).

I’ve grown my friendships with my handful of close friends. Quality over quantity. I’ve always thought to have a thousand friends was what was most important, but it’s not at all. I have less than 10 people I would say are my close friends and I like it that way. I’ve definitely started putting a lot more of my positive energy into growing those relationships because they are amazing people and I’m lucky to have them in my life at all. <3 ya’ll know who you are.

I’ve started following my gut with what I want in life right now. Have you ever gone after something knowing full well you aren’t in a spot for it at this point in your life? Yeah, me too. Our intuition knows exactly what’s up and it’s up to us to listen to it. So I’ve started doing just that. When there is one focus in your life, something you can put your heart and soul into (and WANT to put your heart and soul into) it really helps increase your happiness, especially if you find your life a little bit chaotic like me.

All this is to say that LIFE IS GOOD! Sure, I’m working through some things, but I’m loving how far I’m coming with shaping the kind of life that I want for myself. I’m going to keep doing all of these things and just go with the flow of life and see what it brings to me. I’m done with trying to force things that aren’t meant to be and draining myself for things that are out of my control! It’s so freeing :).

How do you deal with letting go of special, yet not beneficial, things in order to create space for the things that matter more?

Talk soon,
S xx