The tide has been turning for a while now. After the turmoil and (ongoing) uncertainty of the last couple of years, it seems we’re fully over girlbossery, hustle culture, overworking, burning out, and being reminded we have the same 24 hours as privileged influencers. Flooding our feeds instead are defiant messages of quiet quitting, girlfailing, slow living, and generally just doing what we need to do to care for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves in ways that we are defining and redefining for ourselves. In other words: protecting your peace (a search that has 54.1 million views on TikTok).
“Learning how to protect your peace is truly the best thing you can do for yourself this year,” says Hattie Macandrews, a confidence and mindset coach. “It’s giving yourself the time to focus on what truly makes you happy, and not get[ting] lost in the chaos of modern life. This might look like creating and enforcing boundaries, blocking out time in your diary for ‘me time,’ or removing yourself from relationships/friendships/situations that feel draining or exhausting.
“These acts of self-love and preservation will enhance your life immeasurably, and you’ll feel a slow but steady increase in happiness as a result. Once you’re really able to adopt this way of thinking, it becomes second nature and you’re left with that warm, fuzzy sense of peace.
“However, this is not to be confused with being flaky, selfish, or guarded. Saying no in advance is different [from] bailing last minute. This is not an excuse to behave badly as a partner, be unreliable as a friend, or be inconsistent with people in your life under the guise of ‘protecting your peace.'”
Refinery29 spoke to several women about what they’re doing this year to protect their peace.