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Want More Zest in Your Life?

Let go of your energy vampires By Jennifer “Taz” Vazquez

Winter is a great time to reassess your energy (zest) levels. Are you feeling stressed, drained or overwhelmed? Do you have trouble finding time to manage your “to dos,” let alone relax? Maybe you feel emotionally exhausted or are constantly reacting to people and events in your life.

What if there was a way to give yourself a quick energy boost to feel more present and engaged? You can. Simply ask yourself, "How can I minimize or release the energy vampires in my life?"

Energy vampires are people, places, things, and even our own habits and negative thoughts, that drain our emotional energy. They leave us feeling annoyed, apathetic, exhausted, fatigued, overstimulated, overwhelmed, reactive and/or stressed. This continuous drain on our energy can have a negative impact on our well-being. Over time, excess stress can lead to anxiety, depression, heart disease, and other health and relationship issues.

Ready to boost your energy? Here is a simple and effective three-step exercise:

1. Make two columns on a piece of paper (or electronically). In the first column, list what revitalizes and motivates you (personally, professionally, socially, spiritually, etc.). Focus on:

- What brings you joy, peace, calm, fun, satisfaction, fulfillment, and gratitude? - What is serving and helping you? - What is most important to you now? - What is helping you achieve your goals, intentions and purpose? - What is helping you be present and healthy?

2. In the second column, list what drains you. Think about:

- What are you tolerating? - What uncomfortable conversations are you ignoring? - Who or what are you resenting and/or avoiding? - Where do you have a fixed mindset ("can't," "won't," "must," "should")? - What are you doing to please others? - Who or what are you reacting to (internally or externally)? - What are you procrastinating on? - What are you doing that someone else could be doing? - What is out of alignment or balance (personally, professionally, socially, etc.)? - What is impacting your fundamental habits (sleeping, eating, meditating, moving, mindfulness)?

3. Lastly, get curious and creative! How can you turn those energy vampires into energizers, reduce or eliminate them? Focus on the things you can change, what is most important to you now, health and well-being, setting boundaries, and saying no. Identifying and eliminating energy vampires from your life can boost your energy and protect you from chronic stress. Take intentional action to renew your energy and do more of what fills you up. Remember, your energy flows where your focus goes. Happy hunting, y’all!

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