New year, new us: better energy

Opinion

Hello everyone! I hope your break was awesome and that you feel recharged and ready to go for 2019.

So I’m not usually one to be all “New Year New Me”, but today I want to share with you all a new frame of mind that I’ve adopted over the past few months that has worked really well for me and I think would be helpful for all of us this year. Now without further ado, let’s get into this round of getting lit in the opinions section with Janvi!

So basically, here’s the official mood for 2019: Energy reciprocation. What that means is that you need to match the energy being sent to you from any particular person or task in the universe, and send it right back. Confused? Don’t worry, I’ve gotchu.

This is the year that we’re going to protect ourselves from burnout by working hard on the things that actually matter, while bidding a gracious “thank u, next” to things that just don’t. This helps us make the most out of all of our relationships and experiences, which is exactly what we want, right?

For example, a lot of us probably have a New Year’s resolution that involves being more focused at school or getting a certain grade up.

The reason we may not have achieved as much as we wanted to in the last semester is because we weren’t allotting each assignment the amount of our energy that it called for.

So now what we can do is recognize how much importance each task holds – I need to be ready for this test, start outlining this paper, and definitely pay attention to those homework problems because without them I won’t be ready for next class – and address them as such.

Maybe this means that you complete the study guide and ask questions ahead of time, or meet with your teacher to ensure your thesis is solid, or sit down with a couple classmates during a free period to put your heads together on the problems.

If it’s important to you, then you should and in fact must make the time and space to get it done – no excuses!

If it’s a lack of energy that’s holding you back from getting what you want, then you need to redirect it there. And of course, I understand that for various reasons it can be incredibly difficult and heavy to refocus on school, I’ve absolutely been there and it felt awful.

The difference between me back then and you now, though, is that whereas I was a miserable mess who resigned myself to unhappy failure without ever trying to change my situation, you can turn your energy towards making a plan with your advisor and teachers to be as productive as you possibly can be.

On the other hand, keeping on the same topic of schoolwork, some assignments just don’t need the amount of energy that you may be throwing at them.

That’s actually a problem I personally faced this last semester and am working on changing in the new year. I would obsess over minor tasks, needing to get them “just right” and never fully getting there, and more often than not, turning them in at the last minute or even late and then getting points off for absolutely no reason other than my own indiscretion!

Knowing what I know now, I would much rather have saved myself the headache of frantically completing little assignments and having my grade go down by degrees and just given them a tiny bit of my energy to get them out of the way.

So now, let’s move on to the really juicy part of this article: how to reciprocate energy when it comes to other people. Interpersonal relationships are super tricky, but I believe that we all deserve honest, straightforward, and fun communication with others. Alright, let’s talk about it!

I think we all know what it feels like to be ignored by a friend or crush, either outright or because they just aren’t showing the same enthusiasm towards you that you are to them. Even if you don’t consciously recognize it, you can feel it wearing you down, and yet for some inexplicable reason, you continue to always start the conversation, make the plans, etc. It’s tough to address, but if this describes you in any way, I need you to take a hard look at yourself and say: do I deserve to be treated this way? NO!

I know that personally, being ignored or snubbed or feeling unimportant is one of the worst feelings out there, and it can really get you down and prevent you from living your own life. So what do we do?

Yep, you guessed it – we reciprocate that energy. This doesn’t mean that we begin being rude and catty, because that in itself is as much if not more of an energy drain than we began with. Instead, pull back a little while still maintaining whatever level of contact they’re sending your way.

This way we don’t have to worry about doing the wrong thing by them (after all, you’re only doing the exact same thing they’re doing to you), nor are we concerned about overstepping any boundaries.

By the way, I know I say “we” a lot when it’s really just me talking at you, but I like to believe that as a certain Troy Bolton once said, “we’re all in this together,” and that even a tiny bit of this advice comes in handy. Anyways!

Obviously, it’s not like everyone you’re friends with hates you and wishes you would disappear. Many people are just used to having others make the first move all the time, and don’t see a reason to reciprocate that energy if they (correctly) anticipate you doing it for them.

That’s another reason why this method works so well: if they’re suddenly missing your presence and want you in their lives, they WILL seek you out!

They’ll text you, ask what’s up, find you at lunch, help make plans, and whatever else.

So quit reaching out first every time and see how many dead plants you’ve been watering, my friends.

And now, for the finale, I’m about to offer you my ALL-TIME ULTIMATE piece of advice. I know, I’m so generous, right? Oprah WHO! This is a mantra that honestly encapsulates everything I’ve explained in this article and has truly gotten me through the last year and a half of high school… and here it is: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Basically, if there’s an issue of any sort, whether it be work, home, school, friends, or anything, just ask: Are these my people to worry about? Is this a problem that I need to worry about? The answers to these questions will guide what you do next.

For example, if two of your friends are fighting, then it IS your monkeys – you’re invested in both these people – but it is NOT your circus, i.e. their personal issue should stay between them. Once you’ve identified this, you can figure out the best way to support them, but you can make a conscious choice not to become an arbitrator or offer your own personal take on events, which could backfire and drag you into the mess.

If you have a group project, you can get your part done by realizing that the project and how you personally do on it is your circus, but your project partners are not your monkeys and you’re not responsible for micromanaging their actions.

Seriously, this saying works EVERYWHERE; try it out for yourself! And don’t worry, you don’t become a supine robot by not getting emotionally invested in drama that doesn’t involve you; you’re simply being emotionally conservative. (Conservative? Me? Now THAT’S something you won’t hear too often.)

I promise, it’s so freeing to detach yourself from all the secondhand stress you invite into your life just by not prioritizing your energy.

“Wow, Janvi,” you say, “I’m absolutely overwhelmed by all the spare energy and time I have now that I’ve quit watering all these dead plants! Now what do I do with all of this??” Amazing question! Now that you’ve reclaimed all that energy, you can invest it in yourself.

Use that time to get ahead on some homework (or studying for standardized tests… ugh). Figure out summer jobs and internships and plans and set yourself up to thrive in the future. Spend your emotional labor by taking a little more time connecting with siblings and family.

Take your newfound energy and put it into hobbies (i.e. me, myself, and I activities) that you’ve neglected lately or have been wanting to try out.

For example, I recently pulled out my giant basket of crochet supplies for the first time in a long while and ended up with a string of purple flowers which, albeit looking like a five year old made them, I’m really proud of!

Or enjoy that new chunk of space you’ve cleared in your energy field for what it is: space. Take a long, deep breath – do you smell that? That’s the smell of peace, or something.

It can get tough, I know. But you’re worth it. And THAT is the energy we’re bringing into 2019. Until next time, stay woke!