A New Year tends to bring a vibrant burst of new energy. All of a sudden, you’re saying “yes!” to all of those social plans, goal-setting like a boss, and making space in your mental closet of life for all the opportunities that could come your way.

Yep. At the start of anything new, we often feel pumped, optimistic, and hyper-motivated.

But what happens when something disrupts all those good vibes you’ve been cultivating?

I’ll never forget my #EnergyGate crisis a few years ago—when I realized that I couldn’t just be on the offense with protecting my energy; I had to play defense, too.

I trudged up the stairs to my apartment, kicked off my shoes and flopped onto the couch. “Ugh why do I feel so drained?” I wondered.

“Energy is your most precious human resource.” - Susannah Seton

I reflected on the fact that my work days were long and stressful, my friends were often eager to hang out when I wanted to be alone, my family was asking a lot of me, and I wasn’t even excited for yoga anymore when I love yoga.

I felt like someone had come and sucked all the life out of me and I was just going through the motions of my daily routine, but not enjoying anything.

I knew I had to take back the reins to manifest and protect positive energy in my life.

Knowing Your Energy

So what’s energy? I’m not talking about food and water—but the energy that makes me me.

I’m someone who talks too loud and whose laugh sounds more like a cackle. I’m generally a bubbly person who enjoys doing all the things, but how did it all slip away? How do I get it back?

“Energy is your most precious human resource," Susannah Seton writes in her book Everyday Energy Boosters: 365 Tips and Tricks to Help You Feel Like a Million Bucks.

Seton mentions in her book that you’ll have different energy levels throughout the day. What’s important to remember is that other things that happen throughout your day, as well as other people, can affect your energy levels.

Along with your physical energy, there’s your emotional, mental, and spiritual energy.

When you’re lacking in energy, it’s when you don’t feel like you have enough of something in you to continue a task. When you’ve got too much energy, you may feel hyper or like you can’t quite calm down.

It’s not just about having or not having energy, it’s about figuring out how to access energy and letting it flow through your body.

6 Steps to Protecting Your Energy This Year

There’s positive energy and negative energy, like good vibes and bad vibes. It’s easy to overlook when negative energy affects us and takes over. With the start of a new year, keep these tips in mind when you’re feeling your energy levels depleting to help protect yourself from negative energy that may be creeping around the corner.

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1. Steer Clear of Energy Vamps

Energy vampires do one thing: Suck the energy out of you. Sometimes it’s tough to spot one, but you’ll know the feeling if you feel drained after hanging out with this vampire for a while. It could be a friend, family member, co-worker, or anyone. Be aware of who the energy vamps are in your life and steer clear.

2. Set Healthy Boundaries

Have you heard of reclaiming your time? It’s something you should invest in all the time. Set boundaries in all aspects of your life. Just think of yourself as a mama bear, protecting your energy cub. If you’re not protective, someone or something could come and hurt your baby energy cub. Setting boundaries will let others know where the line is. This is important because everyone has different energy levels.

3. Speak Up

After you’ve identified your energy vamps or your boundaries, you should probably communicate that to someone. Yes, confrontation sucks, but I’ve found out that staying quiet won’t solve anything.

When you turn inward, you can tell when there’s an energy shift and why.

I’ve got some friends who love hanging out after work to relax. I prefer to unwind at home by myself to collect my thoughts. It always made me anxious when they’d ask me for drinks after work because I hated saying, “No.” But saying, “Yes” kept me stressed because I didn’t actually get to unwind from my day.

I realized that instead of feeling obligated to go, I should just speak up. Your friends, family and co-workers will understand if you speak your thoughts. You won’t be able to function when your energy is all wonky.

4. See the Signs

Do you know when your energy is under attack? Some empaths (people who sense and absorb others’ energies into their own body) can be like emotional sponges.

When you turn inward and get more in tune with your energy levels, you may be able to tell when there’s a shift and why. Learn to know your low-energy triggers. Is it when you’re with a person? At a specific place? Doing something in particular? Once you make note of these signs, you may be able to prevent your energy from being attacked.

5. Release What You Cannot Control

I’m so guilty of trying to control what I can’t. There are some things you just don’t have any control over, and that’s OK. Life happens, but what matters is how you react, because that’s what you can control. Life’s frustrations will always get in the way, but you don’t have to stress out about it.

6. Find The Good

Surround yourself with good vibes. This can be your friends who just get you, people or places with great energy, or just doing things that make you feel good.

There will always be too much to do and so little time, but the more you protect your energy this year, the more you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Read next: A Note From Our Founders: 2019 Is Your Year to Hustle With Heart

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