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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kennesaw chapter.

I think that I can speak for everyone when I say that last year was terrible. But, more than that, I think that it taught us all vaulable lessons about ourselves. One of those lessons, at least for me, was that I need to get better at protecting my energy — in every sense of the phrase. In 2020, I let in a lot of negativity, toxicity, and doubt that I usually shield (or distract) myself from. And because I feel as though some of you may also benefit from this, I have found some ways that we can protect our energies in 2021. I think that it’s important to protect ourselves from negativity, but also from things that may drain or deplete our energy. The most important thing to learn is that you shouldn’t share your energy with everyone. Some people are not meant to stay in our lives long. Our energies make up some of the more important parts of oursleves and choosing to put it in those that may not deserve it hurts in more ways than I can count. With that being said, other people’s energies do affect us, as well. Hopefully, some of these things will help you protect your energy this year. 


Stop Feeding the Negativity

This may be the biggest one. There is so much negativity out in the world that it may seem impossible to stay away from it all. And it probably is. But, you can at least try. A lot of negativity these days is on social media. Don’t spend so much time on it. And definitely don’t spend what time you do focusing on negative press or hate comments. Don’t follow an insane amount of influencers either! Comparing yourself to others is not something that you should be doing. It’s just not healthy. Oh! And please, do not respond to mean comments, tweets, or messages! Don’t feed into it. It’ll just deplete your energy and bring down your mood. You won’t be ruining the other person’s day or “talking any sense” into them — you’ll just be ruining yours. A good practice for this is to set timers in your social media apps so that you don’t spend countless hours scrolling and reading things. We can also experience and feel negativity in face-to-face interactions. Though, these are and should be limited now, a good practice for those instances is to physically distance yourself from those people. It’s okay to “cut people off,” or distance yourself from them. Not everyone is meant to stay for a long time. 

It’s Okay to Say “No”

This one is a powerful one. The word “no” holds so much power! A lot of times we don’t like to say it because it feels cold and definite. But, sometimes that’s exactly what we need. You can’t say “yes” to everyone and everything. At that point, you’re giving too much time and energy to other people and not holding onto enough for yourself. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. And I’m still struggling with it. But, it really is okay to say “no” sometimes. Some people that I know would probably argue that it’s okay to say “no” most times. There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to spend doing things and expending your energy for other people and yourself. It’s just not possible. Try to limit the things/people that you say “yes” to expending your energy for or on. It will save you from depleting your energy in the long run. Saying “no” does not make you a bad friend or person.

Find and Use a Mantra

I think that using a mantra is a good way to center yourself and clear your mind of all of the negativity that you may be feeling. I actually don’t have a “mantra,” exactly — what centers me is a couple of lyrics from a song. Yours can be from a song, as well. Or, you can go the traditional route and choose a mantra that you repeat to yourself whenever you need it. Mine reminds me to think and feel positively because “I’m unstoppable” — and no one can take that from me. Your mantra should be something that you desperately need to hear or remind yourself of on a consistent basis. It should be something short and easy to remember, as well. (There are a lot of websites that suggest mantras to use for different situations. However, it may mean more to you if you find one that you connect to already and use that.) Take a few minutes out of your day to talk to yourself and make yourself feel good. It helps, I promise! 

Distance Yourself from Toxicity and Negative Energy

This one ties in to all of them, a little bit. However, this time I mean to distance yourself physically and literally. Toxic and Negative energies are very easy to recognize once you are in their presence. Whenever you feel that one or both of those energies is affecting you, distance yourself from them. This may mean ending a conversation prematurely, walking away from a friend, or taking some steps back and creating some physical distance. Either one works and allows you to breathe and center yourself again. Another way to distance yourself is to put up mental walls or blocks by using those mantras that I mentioned earlier. Remind yourself of who you are, think about things that inspire you and make you happy. Sometimes we need a few minutes to clear out and recharge our energies — others we may need hours or days. It depends on the situation and the person, however, I can assure you that you will move past it and feel better.

Try Visualization

Visualize the things that you want and the things that you would like to distance/protect yourself from. These things could be people, objects, events, feelings, or anything else. Once you have those things clearly envisioned in your mind, pull the things that you want closer and cast the things that you don’t farther away. Picture those negative or bad things floating so far away that they can’t ever reach you again — so far away that you can’t see them. If you’re Christian, another way to do this is to give all of the things that worry you or represent negativity (or anything of the sort) to God. You can picture yourself casting all of those things onto the altar, trusting that He will protect you from them. No matter if you are Christian or not, visualization is a great way to release things while you focus and welcome others. I highly suggest that you try it.

These are just things to keep in mind, but I hope that you try some and they help! These are all of the strategies/ways that help me the most. Remember that your mental health and overall health are very important. They should be cared for and looked after — especially after last year! Hopefully this year is a better one for all of us. 

Hi, I’m Jazmine! I am an English Education major at Kennesaw State University. I am also a writer for HC at KSU. Follow me on Instagram! (@jazminenxcole)
A collegiette's guide to life from the KSU chapter of Her Campus!