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A Guide to Preserving Your Own Energy and Setting Healthy Boundaries

Like many others, throughout quarantine I learned a lot about myself. In addition to learning about hobbies I enjoyed and books I loved to read, I also learned about my own energy. Here are some things I have learned about myself in terms of my own energy and boundaries. 

Mean people. Even though we are all adults, we all, one way or another, will run into someone who is unpleasant. I learned that people who are unnecessarily rude are only reciprocating and projecting what they truly feel about themselves. When you think about it, it is incredibly easy to be nice, or if anything, to not say anything at all. People who are rude are most likely miserable people, who see you happy and want to bring you down to their level. I learned that instead of getting upset at what was said to me, I almost felt bad for the person who said the rude comment. This is in no way excusing their behavior, because it is important to realize that you should not ever be someone’s emotional punch bag. But, I think that realizing this puts many things into perspective for me. Instead of focusing on the negative comments that were said, I am able to recenter and reflect on why they were said. 

I also learned about my own energy, meaning that I am very cautious and reflective about who I let into my space. After hanging out with friends, when you go home and settle in, reflect. Reflect on how you feel. Do you feel energized? Drained? Upset? Those who bring down your energy, unfortunately, need to be out of your life. Although a couple of bad hangouts with a friend should not determine if they get cut off (people have bad days), think about it on a general scale. Are you generally energized or happy once you settle in at home? If yes, they are worth keeping. I realized that some people can generally suck the life out of me which is very unhealthy. It is important that your friends keep you energized and happy! 

In addition to reflecting on how you feel with your friends, it is also important to check in with others before you share negative experiences. My close friend once told me that a friend asked if she was able to take on an upsetting experience she had. I thought that this was incredibly important. I never really thought about this myself, but I will be sure to practice it. It is incredibly important to check in with your friends before you rant to them. Even though it is tempting to splurge, on some days, you might not be able to handle negative news. I think that this is a great way to preserve and protect your own boundaries, it is definitely something that I will use. 

In terms of boundaries: say no. If your friend asks you to take on a project you are unable to handle with school, say no. If you say yes to everything, not only will you be stretched thin, but you will also not put 100 percent of yourself into whatever it is you are doing. Protect yourself and stand strong with your boundaries. Do not give out every piece of yourself to things you do not care about or have time for! Put yourself first. 

Last but not least is solitude. Being alone. Whether it is meditating or eating in the dining hall alone, it is important. During this time, reflect on what you want and who you want to be. It is also just as important to sit in silence with yourself and think about nothing. I promise that you will learn more about yourself alone than you will with anyone else.

Take this time to think about your own energy. Who energizes it? What brings it down? Take some time today to reflect and recenter yourself.

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Niajah Hyppolite

U Mass Amherst '23

Niajah Hyppolite is currently a junior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Political Science. During her free time she enjoys watching comedies and spending time with her loved ones. She loves reading memoirs and always has a caffeinated beverage in her hand at all times. This is her second semester with HerCampus and she is very excited to write!
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