What have you been focusing your energy on?
Through this life-changing, radically different period in our lives, the theme over and over is that people have had the chance to slow down. To use their time in a different way than previously.
Have you used this time to stop and think about what you want to spend your energy on moving forward? Have you thought about what you have typically focused your energy on in the past? Was it on time-consuming scrolling of social media or binge-watching series on tv? What about spending time with people you knew was draining your energy because they were toxic. I could go on and on…because I have done all of those things.
For me, I’m moving forward with becoming more aware of what’s really worth my energy. I now know what I want to spend my energy on and that is making me a better person, a better mother, a better daughter, a better friend, and a better employee.
So, what is worth my energy? I had to stop and ask myself this. It wasn’t something that I did in one night, no this has been several months in the making. It takes real self-reflection and asking the hard questions.
Here are some of the guidelines that I used in determining what I wanted to focus my energy on:
- Stop with the people-pleasing. Some of us have been people-pleasers our whole life and man that is draining. Being labeled a “helper”, I have this exact problem. I also came to the realization that people-pleasing is unhealthy and also led to co-dependency issues. Looking inward and becoming more self-aware of what goals I wanted for my life is when I saw that I was pleasing more people than I was my own self. Which brings me to my next point.
- Learn self-acceptance. This was/is a hard one for me. I have been torn down and torn myself down for way too long. I second guess all my decisions and don’t think I’m truly capable of doing what everyone else thinks I can do. This is definitely something that is a continual work in progress but so empowering when you start to see that shift of you becoming your best self.
- Start blocking your time. Did you know this is a real thing? As I was researching how to become more focused at work, I discovered the tried and true method of time blocking and fell in love. Time blocking is a time management strategy where you plan out your entire day into set pieces of time. No more to do lists and just getting things done when you can, you have intentional time blocks for focusing on certain items. It has helped me so much with not becoming overwhelmed and distracted at work and lets me focus my attention on the most important items.
- Getting back to the basics. This sounds so simple but I know I wasn’t living this way before. Getting back to the basics can mean so many things for so many people but for me it meant getting back to eating healthier, decluttering material items from my life, and spending time with my circle of people.
- Making time for yourself. This was a hard one for me to learn but necessary. I am a single mom so the time that I do have by myself is sacred. It has taken me years to get to the point where I don’t feel like I need to be busy all the time so I don’t “feel”. I now spend my empty nights doing things that I love. Gardening for one is so relaxing to me, I love to be able to get my hands dirty and create something that was a blank space before. I love home projects! I also love cooking, watching movies, taking long baths, getting out in nature, and riding the backroads with the windows down and the music up. I’m learning more about myself and what I love to do in my down time through this process as well.
My hope for you is that you use this time when we are all paused to start thinking about where you want to focus your energy on. If you need to make choices to bring different results where you spend your energy then I hope you have those brave moments. We all deserve to be living our best life.
By Janelle Reed