Energy

As much as we would like to think that our mental and physical energy is infinite, it is definitely not. This is a lesson that I have learned over many years. It’s human nature to want to keep going and keep giving, but if we do not recharge and take time for ourselves, we will eventually have no energy left to give to the people and the world around us.

Like all things that require energy to function, the source of the energy must be recharged, replaced, and replenished, in order to keep going and keep working. A cell phone needs its battery charged when it runs low, a car needs its battery changed every few years, or it eventually dies and the car won’t work, a lightbulb needs to be replaced when it burns out after so many hours of shining brightly. People are no different, we need to regroup and recharge in order to function at our highest potential.

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As human beings, we are always giving our energy, our time, and our attention to everyone and everything around us. We are using energy when we don’t even realize it, this can lead to a burnout especially if we do not recognize the signs that we need to stop and recharge before it’s too late. Our jobs, relationships, responsibilities, they all require so much from us. We also must be careful of certain people and situations that drain us of energy. People go through things and no one is positive all the time, but try to limit time with those that are constantly bringing you down and draining your energy, it’s very important to set boundaries. Same goes for staying in situations that do more harm than good. We have this instinct to keep giving our all and keep pushing, but if we do not know when to stop, we are hurting ourselves when we really can no longer even help any else because we are depleted.

I am the kind of person that always likes to help others, always devoting time to lift people up and listen to them, I will do anything in my power to be there for someone that I love and because of this, I have had many moments where I have hit a wall and shut down. I could no longer give, I could no longer even keep myself afloat. I was burned out and could no longer help anyone, including myself. This is why it is so important to recognize when you are over-expending your energy, so that you can prevent burnouts.

There are many ways to recharge. Enjoy your favorite hobbies, watch movies, be with nature, read a book, take a hot bath, journal, just spend time alone and regroup. Remember if you don’t look out for yourself, you can’t possibly give your all to others in your life. Do something nice for yourself, your mind and body will thank you!

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Left Unsaid

Communication is the basis of all human relationships and human interactions in general. When we communicate with others, we do so verbally and non-verbally. Sometimes it’s the non-verbal cues that give more meaning than what is actually being said. We have the choice to say as much, or as little as we want to, but sometimes leaving the important things left unsaid has the potential to create many problems.

Some things are better left unsaid, this includes anything that someone might take offense to, anything unkind, or hurtful should not be said. There are other instances where speaking up and saying what is on your mind and in your heart is vital and could make or break relationships that you have with other people.

I have gotten better with time, but I am guilty of not always sharing what I should be. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely stand up for myself, maybe a little too much sometimes, but I do struggle with sharing what’s on my mind with others and I have ended up in some bad situations because of it. Communication really is key and is highly valuable and important. Every situation where we feel like we have not done all that we could have, or we feel that we could have approached the issue in a better way, helps us grow and learn.

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We may be afraid to say certain things to others for many reasons. We might be afraid of judgement, rejection, hurting people’s feelings, we may fear losing someone, when in actuality we may lose them to not communicating our needs and wants effectively. Not speaking from your heart and trying to cover up, or ignore issues only leads to resentment and relationships can quickly spiral down from there.

When we say what is bothering us, or what is on our minds, we free ourselves. It is a heavy weight to carry something unsaid around with you, it weighs on your mind and heart. So many of life’s issues and situations can be solved with effective communication.

Like I mentioned before, some things are better left unsaid, but others are not. If there is something weighing on you, something you can’t get out of your mind, something that has put distance between you and a loved one, it’s never too late to try to mend, or make a relationship better. Don’t leave anything important to you left…unsaid.

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Ways to Be There for a Friend

One of life’s greatest treasures is that of a true and loyal friend. They are few and far between, we are truly blessed when we do come across genuine friendship. These true friendships are rare and priceless and we should do whatever is in our power to grow and maintain them.

Friendships, like any relationship, take a lot of work to keep them going. Life throws many things at us and when a friend of ours is in need, that is where we can step in and help. There are many ways to be there for a friend, or any loved one for that matter:

Communicate – Reach out to your friend and ask them questions to let them know that you are interested in knowing how they are doing and what they are going through. A simple “Hello, how are you?,” or “I am thinking of you,” can mean the world to someone.

Listen – The act of just being there for someone and listening to what they have to say makes others feel valued and cared for. Let them do most of the talking unless they ask for advice etc. Just providing a listening ear works wonders in helping someone talk out their feelings.

Humor – Depending on the situation, using your sense of humor may, or may not be appropriate. If it is, bring up some old funny memories, send some funny memes, or jokes, keep your friend smiling and laughing. It’s a mood booster for everyone!

Explore – Get out in nature, or go explore the town with your friend. Being in a new environment and having distractions can be very helpful, also being in the sun and fresh air are definite mood boosters. Grab lunch, or coffee and just take a stroll and admire nature’s beauty.

Gifts – This doesn’t have to be anything big, a simple card, flowers, box of chocolate, something that the other person enjoys is bound to bring a smile to their face. Just the act of giving and surprising someone can make them feel valued and loved. It is the small things in life that have the biggest meaning.

Touch – Human touch is unbelievably powerful and can truly counteract some very devastating emotions. Some people don’t like others in their personal space, so be mindful of this, but if they are comfortable with you, reach out and give them a warm hug, hold their hand, put your arm around them. Touch is very comforting.

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As you get to know your friend more and more, you will be able to judge what is the best plan of action to take should they need a pick-me-up. It is important to remember that people cope with emotions and life in different ways and different stages, sometimes someone may need to have time alone before they are accepting of help and love from others. I have learned that the hard way a few times, it’s hard not to take it personally when you are trying to be there for someone and they are not very accepting of it. Feel out the other person’s mood and use that as a guide.

As you can see, there are many ways to be there for a friend. When friendship is balanced, they will also in turn be there for you! The beauty of true friendship is knowing that you both will always be there for each other.

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Going with the Flow

I have a little pocket calendar that I use to keep track of important dates, events, appointments, etc.  I look at it often to see what is going on for the week, I don’t typically rely on a calendar so much, but during these times with so many changes and things going on, I can’t keep my mind straight!  What has surprised me, especially in the last few months, is how many changes I have made to my calendar…this led me to write about an important topic.

Over the last few months ever since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, I have found myself erasing many plans out of my pocket calendar, not only that, I have found myself needing to add unexpected events to my calendar as well.  This happens of course in general, because life is ever-changing, however even more so in the last several months.  I think we all realize how much life changes, but having the “proof” right there in front of you is very eye-opening.

I have always been the kind of person that loves to have a routine and to have things planned out.  I know that some people are very go with the flow and they like adventure and spontaneity, and while I enjoy these things occasionally, if I don’t have a stable routine and plans laid out, I become very unsettled and anxious.

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One thing that I have learned is that we can plan all we want, but life is going to unfold as it should regardless of the plans that we make.  Life can change for us in a matter of seconds, hours, days, it is always evolving and although we have control over many aspects of our lives, we don’t for others.  I suppose this constant change makes life interesting, keeps us on our toes, and helps us grow as a human being.

One thing for sure, one good and very helpful quality to have is being able to just take it easy and go with the flow.  When things don’t work out as planned, I still tend to get anxious and disappointed by it, but I am learning to be more patient and to remind myself that if something does, or does not happen, that it was just meant to be that way.  It’s not easy, but try just going with the flow and see how that can bring peace to your life.

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In the Night

Outside gets darker, the world gets quieter, and I seem to take on a different form. I’ve never been just a morning person, or just a night owl, I have always been a mix of both. I love mornings because I wake up feeling refreshed, motivated, energized, and hopeful of the day ahead. I love nights for the peace, relaxation, slower pace, and reflection that it brings.

There is something about the still of the night that shifts me mentally. I have always been a deep thinker and reflective person, the night is the perfect time for pondering and reflecting on life. At night, we become tired, our minds and bodies slow down in preparation for sleep and a new beginning ahead the next day. After all of the hustle and bustle during the day, the night allows us to sit with our thoughts, reflect, and just be.

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I know not everyone is like this, but I find great joy in sitting in silence with my thoughts and reflections. If I do not allow myself enough time to process my day, or how I am feeling, it creates great anxiety for me. Sitting in silence can no doubt be scary and uncomfortable, but I feel it is a necessary part of processing life. I can and often do get lost in my head, I have heard so many times that I “am lost in my own world.”

As I write out this blog post, I can’t help but mention the importance of reflection, self-awareness, and mindfulness. The night allows me to do all three with its stillness, peace, and quiet. I understand that for some people the night might bring about feelings of sadness, loneliness, or fear, but sometimes the still of the night is just what we need to work through our inner struggles. Without much time for reflection and self-awareness, we can’t go about making great change. Processing one’s life requires great energy and it is of the utmost importance to allow time to dedicate towards fueling your soul. Mindfulness is the act of focusing and being aware of the present moment. It is about tuning out all distractions and worries and focusing on what is right in front of you at that given moment.

Whether it is day or night, I hope that you find time for just you. Become in tune with yourself, take the time to take care of you, just like you take care of others, you completely deserve it.

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