It’s that time of year again – resolutions are being made left and right as we promise to start the new year off fresh – and happy. It really is the perfect time to get around to doing those things you’ve been meaning to do in 2018… like, end a relationship that has grown toxic or stale.

Look, people grow apart and passion fades. Letting go can be hard, but relationships that bring you down, make you feel unworthy, and drain your energy are just not worth it. Relationships should enhance your life and elevate the happiness you already feel by yourself. They should never make you afraid, uncomfortable or degraded.

Here are some effective ways to get yourself out of any unhealthy relationships in 2019.

  1. You Time. Parks and Rec said it best: “Treat ‘yo Self.” All that time you normally spend with your significant other? Try swapping that out for some much-needed solo R&R. You’ll thank yourself, as it will give you a chance to reevaluate what you want and need from a partner while also taking away any stress you have.
  2. Openly communicate your worries. Your partner is not going to know they are hurting you or burdening you unless you tell them. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have open dialogue in order to even think about fixing an outstanding issue. It will take some weight off your shoulders, and uncover what’s really going on. All that stress you’ve been building up from holding in all the toxicity? You’ll feel the release immediately, trust me.
  3. Find a hobby. Put time and effort into a hobby. Like reading? Join a book club. Been meaning to revisit your soccer days? Join an intramural team. Need to fuel your artistic side? Try ceramics classes! Finding new ways to spend your time away from a toxic partner or relationship will give you an understanding of how you can better channel your amazing energy.
  4. Talk it out with someone. This can be a friend, family member, colleague or therapist — but find someone who can take a look at your relationship, and how it’s affecting you, from the outside. Remember to give them the full picture – it’s always easier to focus on the bad parts of a relationship, but in order to get the necessary unbiased advice, the person needs to know the good as well.
  5. Cut yourself some slack. Remember that relationships are complex and that even if you aren’t your best self with that person, no one party is necessarily to blame. At the end of the day, take time to reflect on what you need in all of your relationships, romantic and familial, to be your best self.
  6. Exercise. New Year, New You is a cliché – so is the packed gym come January. However, as cliché as it is, exercising will give you the endorphins to jumpstart your transformation. You’ll sweat out stress, and who doesn’t also love a little confidence boost? It’s a triple win.
  7. Focus on work. Find the energy you use for your relationship and put it into rocking it at work. Raise your hand more, go out of your way to help colleagues and show your company why they hired you in the first place… and why you deserve that promotion.

At the end of the day, only you truly know what’s best for you and how to deal with your relationship. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. These tips are the first steps to having a happy and healthy new year and are simply guidelines on how to create the life you want in 2019.

Make 2019 the year of clichés. Drop the toxic partner, or friend, that makes you feel anything less than exactly who you are. No matter where your relationship status stands at the end of this, make sure to keep in mind what’s most important: you!

Happy New Year!