What are you letting go of this year?

10 January, 2021 | Lifestyle, Wellbeing

Traditionally, we all tend to make New Years Resolutions or new plans at this time of year. I really hope we can all be happy, healthy and safe in 2021 and as we adjust to this new life, not to be too hard on ourselves..

This is the first in a series of blogs focusing on using this crazy time during Lockdown to do just that.. This year more than ever, I firmly believe we need to remove “stuff” from our plate that doesn’t serve us, before we start adding more things on. Therefore, giving us more head space and less stress to concentrate on the things that bring us true joy.

In this first blog, I’m asking “what are you letting go of in 2021?” We all talk about being kind to one another and ourselves but when you dial in deeper, what does that really mean?

What does that look like in your day to day life?

I’d love you to grab your journal or notebook, a drink and set a few of moments aside to consider these two questions:

What are you willing to do to ensure you really do look after yourself wholeheartedly this year and beyond?

What are you planning on letting go of this year to make sure that happens?

Don’t worry.. at first you might look at these questions blankly and wonder how to answer. That’s totally OK, it doesn’t have to make sense, you don’t have to know how to get there right now. However by opening the mind, spending a few moments in the quiet, letting your thoughts run free, write the things that first come into your head… Forget punctuation, spelling etc – let that pen run freely across the page.

Then ask yourself the questions again.

The first question, about looking after yourself in a kinder way, might be easier to respond to…

The second question I suspect maybe a little trickier.

One of the emotions I work with in my role as lifestyle and wellbeing coach is resentment. Resentment, along with feeling hurt, especially in relation to letting go of toxic friendships that have built up over time. They are a huge self-limiter on our general feelings of happiness and contentment.

Letting go isn’t just a case of ‘giving it time.’ It can be one of the hardest things ever, because it can often feel protective in the sense of constantly reminding you never to put yourself in a position to be so hurt again.

The Power of Letting go is so therapeutic. It’s not easy, it takes practise. You’ll begin to release emotions and stresses that you have got used to holding onto, maybe as you didn’t know how to let go OR were too worried about about the consequences of doing so. Trust me, you will start to feel so much lighter and more in control as you work on this.

With the second question in mind, yesterday I asked on my Instagram ” Has the pandemic affected your friendships? If so, how?”

These were just some of the responses:

“I’ve realised I don’t like a couple of my friends, constantly sending conspiracy links..”

“There are less frequent trips to the pub, but other than that, my friendships haven’t changed hugely. They’ll still be there when the world gets back to normal”

“Some friends just disappeared now that I can’t drive them around or babysit their kids. So sad how some people form friendships for their own interests, but have also found new lovely friends who are just amazing”

“Yes….I feel connected more to some and others who, looking back, were toxic I have let go …feels good x”

“Life is always so busy that we rarely have time to meet so chatting on the phone has become the norm, in fact FaceTime video has been the norm over the past few years for me.”

“Friendships have grown stronger during the Pandemic, I speak to my best friend everyday x”

“Some friendships have grown stronger. I have realised the friends who are actually really there during the tough times”

“My friends have always been really important to me, but they’ve become even more so during these times”

“Yes! I’m much more in contact with those who matter digitally”

“In short yes. I have become much closer with my good friends and, with a couple, we have really reconnected. I feel like my friendship groups have re-centred too. Before, I spent most of my time with school mums because we saw each other daily. Over lockdown it was my ‘lifelong’ friends I spent most time with (virtually speaking). Some of my wider friendship groups have waned to the point where we don’t even really say hello anymore. xxx”

“Yes! When friendship fall below our expectations it is always hard. I have suffered from those over the years. I try to view those experiences as areas of self growth ( even if painful) I now do not prioritise friendships over family, before I would juggle the family to fit in friends and I believe that this is right ( unless an emergency) and I also realise the value of my friendship, I am very loyal and true and my kindness has been exploited by others in the past. I am now more wary of whom deserves my time.”

Fascinating isn’t it? I haven’t shared all the responses, but the general feeling was that

1) The friendships that were important and mattered, had become much stronger.

2) Those friendships that were causing frustration before or during the pandemic had become weaker or non-existent.

My granny always said to me from a very young age “treat others how you wish to be treated and all will be well!” Sadly as we all know this isn’t always the case. Yes, I’ve been hurt too and remember a time last year, when someone I considered a friend was going through a really tough time. I shared empathy and kindness, checking in from time to time to ensure they were OK and that I was thinking of them. Yet this was greeted as if my actions were being the opposite, in turn, she has decided she no longer wished to have my friendship and has erased me from her life. It was just horrid, has made me very sad, affecting my self-worth. I questioned my beliefs, moral compass and true values. Life isn’t always easy huh?

I wonder if any of this resonates with you? If you feel that you can relate to any one of the comments above or my experience, know that you are not on your own..

Having reflected lots and moved on, I feel SO much happier.. Sad that it happened at all, but again, wise words from my granny “it’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.” Yes, I faltered, I questioned myself but on reflection, it’s okay to be ME! Not everyone is the same or shares the same values and you know what? That’s okay.

I truly value my friendships, being immensely loyal, I’ll always have your back. If you choose to confide in me, you can be sure it won’t go anywhere, I’ll always be true (once a nurse, always a nurse!) I love these quotes by Sylvester McNutt and Brene brown, they have certainly helped me during this time:

May you attract the type of friends who are going to hold you to a higher standard.

May you create the space for others who love you, but who won’t allow you to settle for less than you deserve”

Sylvester McNutt

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. Only when we believe, deep down, that we are enough can we say “Enough!” 

Brene Brown.

So how DO we create boundaries around our friendships or find the Power to Let Go of things in our lives that no longer serve us or make us happy?

Here are my thoughts:

Setting Boundaries around what is acceptable and what isn’t..

Have an open and transparent conversation if you can. Come to the conversation with good heart, good intention and empathy.

Journal – openly and honestly. Please don’t keep your feelings caught up inside.

Practice – saying no! It doesn’t have to be no, full stop. Try ” thank you for thinking of me, I’m unable to help this time but do consider mew in the future”

Don’t wait for ‘time’ to heal. Be proactive in letting it go, be kind to yourself. You are worthy and enough.

Surround yourself with positive people who bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart.

It’s not possible to go back in time and fix a bad childhood, but with love, trust and understanding, it IS possible to fix a failing friendship, IF and only IF that’s what both want. “Your past does not equal your future.” Tony Robbins.

It’s important to remember that YOUR boundaries are important with all relationships: at work, at home and with your friendships and I believe certainly even more so during the last 12 months, going into 2021 and beyond.

Healthy relationships are based on mutuality and require boundaries and trust. 

Toxic relationships are the ones where we feel as though we have just been run over or drained.

These relationships often leave us feeling undermined or devalued. Our job is to uphold our boundaries.”

Brene Brown.

It is also key to remember that this is a crazy time! We are all out of sorts..

We can be distracted, certainly in our own little bubbles, simply trying to do the best we can on a day by day basis. We all know many friends and family members that have lots going on behind the scenes, be very busy just trying to juggle life, work, home schooling etc. It doesn’t always mean that person is rejecting you as a person or doesn’t want to spend time with you anymore…

If you are no longer hearing from a friend, consider why? Maybe they are having a really bad time and just need someone to reach out to them, as they are struggling to pick up the phone and call you. Perhaps they misread or misinterpreted something you’ve said or texted. It’s okay to reach out and ask.. You’re friends after all right?

Let me remind you of those two questions again:

What are you willing to do to ensure you really do look after yourself wholeheartedly this year and beyond?

What are you planning on letting go of this year to make sure that happens?

Go back to your initial thoughts you wrote down. How do you feel? Has anything changed?

Every day is a new day, a chance to make new choices. Learning how to move on from experiences and situations of the past, means you’ll have so much more energy to focus on the things that truly make you happy and not the negative energy that brings you down. You can’t take back an unhealthy relationship, but you can learn from it.

I really hope this has helped you, I’d love to know your biggest take home / lightbulb moment in the comments below, together with how you’ll take action this week.

So that you don’t miss next weeks blog, sign up to receive it straight to your emails, it’s quick and so simple to do, simply follow the link

Wishing you a very happy and healthy week ahead,


PS If you are struggling with the January Blues, check out the blog I wrote last year which might help you -> CLICK HERE

Hi, I'm Claire


  1. Bracken Jelier

    A great blog Claire and a real reminder to value our friendships during these difficult times and beyond. Thank you for an enjoyable read.

    • Claire

      Thanks you darling, so kind of you to take the time to say. I truly value our friendship and do hope I see more of you soon! x x

  2. Karen

    Absolutely love this blog and definitely can relate. I always think talking but more importantly listening is one of the greatest things we can do. I love the line – Come to the conversation with good heart, good intention and empathy – so important.
    I also think it’s best not to assume the worst, our view can be very different to what is actually happening.

    Thank you for such a reflective blog, its definitely got me thinking xxx

    • Claire

      So kind Karen, thank you. I’m thrilled it’s provoked thought..
      I much prefer the conversation to be verbal as opposed to written.. The person reading the message, can take it many ways depending on where their head is at when they read it. Does that make sense? A good heart, good intention and empathy – always x x

  3. Rebecca

    Love this idea. Thanks for providing the space and inspiration to think about it. On NYE I lit a fire pit, wrote down 3 important things I felt I needed to say goodbye to (most were created by the COVID circumstances and as they aren’t going away just yet…) threw them on the fire and watched them go up in flames!

    • Claire

      Thank you Rebecca. Love the idea of you saying goodbye to things that no longer serving you and popping on the fire pit. So therapeutic isn’t it? Really hoping 2021 is a positive, healthy and happy year for you. xx

  4. Alice Blount

    Thanks Claire
    This is really inspiring- I am finding it really useful- making plans for this year.
    Thank you!


    • Claire

      My absolute pleasure Alice. I’m super excited for your year ahead. Keep me posted xx

  5. Nicola

    Putting in to words exactly what I was thinking but couldn’t write down. Getting rid of toxic friendships, things that do not bring me joy and that create negativity in my life. These words in your post are perfect , thank you

    • Claire

      Thank you Nicola for taking the time to comment. Sometimes, It’s not until we reflect, that we truly understand these things hinder us more than we realise. So pleased it’s helped. x


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