I turned 21 in March and although I feel like I haven’t changed since I was 16 years old, when I look back I can really see the difference. If this post helps even just one person to make a change or look at life differently, I’ll be happy!
1. Take a day to care for your mental health
Dedicate time to your own mental health. A lot of people don’t think twice about their mental health, and much rather focus on their physical health. It’s equally important to take care of yourself mentally as it is physically so take a day, couple of hours or even just a few minutes to relax and de-stress. Watch that movie you’ve been hoping to catch, go for a bubble bath, walk the dog. Whatever it is that helps you refresh, do it more often.
2. DO. NOT. Look up your symptoms online!
The amount of times I should have died by now because of the symptoms google has warned me about is crazy! Google also doesn’t catch everything – 8 weeks ago I was hospitalised with pneumonia, something that google told me was just a general cold! If something’s worrying you, go to the doctors. It’s their job – chances are they have a much less scary answer than google!
3. Be careful who you tell things too
Some people just want the gossip and don’t really care about you personally or the consequences. Don’t be one of those people that puts all of your trust in people that never normally make an effort – your business will soon be out in the open and everyone will have a say in your life.
4. You cannot physically control everything in your life
Life is crazy. You cannot control everything that happens, the sooner you accept this the easier life becomes.
5. Animals are kinder than people
I’ve grown up with cats and dogs, so I can 100% vouch for animals being the best friends. My pets have always known when I’ve needed a cuddle and cheering up – sadly I can’t say the same about people.
6. People are different – and that’s okay
If you’re the type of person that does all of your assigned work as soon as you get it – that’s great! But I have never been that person. Nor have I ever been the person that wakes up early and is ready for the day. It’s not that I’m not a morning person – I’m just not a waking up person. Everyone is different and that’s absolutely okay. Be yourself and don’t worry if other people do things differently. That’s their choice!
7. People get old
Love your parents and grandparents unconditionally. People get old, that’s a cruel fact of life. Spend as much time as you can with your loved ones, if you can’t visit them – call them, facetime them, skype them. Listen to their advice, their life stories, get their beloved recipes! They won’t be here forever so show them how much you love them while you can.
8. It’s okay to not have your life figured out yet
For some reason, as soon as you’re in your last year of secondary education (normally age 16 ish) you have to start making big decisions. One minute you have to ask permission to go to the toilet, next you’re expected to know what you want to do with your life. It’s okay to not know – I’ve finished school, gone to college and got a diploma and finished uni with a degree and I still don’t know! Life is extremely short, but life experience will help you figure out what you want to do in the long run.
9. Treat yourself
It’s okay to treat yourself to something nice every now and again. Buy expensive clothes, go to a 5 star restaurant, book a spa day. Dammit, eat a whole cake if you want to! Treating yourself is showing yourself love, which links back to number 1 – taking time for your mental health. If that cake will make you happy, go for it. Overindulge every now and again!
10. People will try to hold you back
This one can be difficult because there’s more than one reason people will hold you back. Firstly, if you’re doing well for yourself some people can grow to resent that and want to hold you back purposely. The second reason is a bit more complicated, some people will unconsciously hold you back because they care for you. They don’t want you to get knocked down and hurt in the process of building yourself up and achieving your dreams. Learn to recognise the difference in the two, and you’ll be okay.
11. Pinky promises are a legitimate form of trust
Seriously. Don’t break them. Ever.
12. Parents always know best
I promise, mum and dad always know best. As much as I wish this wasn’t true because my dad gets incredibly smug when he’s right about something – trust them. My mum is fabulous with life advice, boys, friends, health and general bits. My dad’s excellent with finances, education and more serious stuff. They have the life experience and 9 times out of 10 they will know what the right thing to do is.
Whilst talking about parents – this links back to number 7. Your relationship with them will get better the older you get. Don’t get me wrong, we still argue sometimes, but the days where I got mad at them for wanting me home for tea time are gone. I love having family meals and spending time with them now.
13. Don’t compare yourself to others
Realistically, when you compare yourself to someone else what you’re really doing is comparing your inside to their outside. You’re comparing how you feel about yourself to how someone else portrays their life to be. The other person will always win because they can pick and choose what they show of themselves. You’re the best version of yourself, so don’t try to be a mediocre version of someone else.
14. Don’t rely on other people for happiness
You are the source of your own happiness. By all means, find happiness in other people as well – but other people can always let you down. Knowing how to be your own happiness will make your life much better!
15. Not everyone is going to like you
And that is okay! Don’t focus on those people. Even at your absolute best you won’t win everyone over – that’s just the way it is. Accept this, move on and keep doing what you’re doing. If people don’t like you, you’re doing something right.
16. Trust your gut
I always get ‘gut feelings’ and for long enough I ignored them and did the opposite, only for this to end up the wrong decision. Gut feelings are your bodies way of letting you know something isn’t quite right. Listen to your body, you’re stuck with it and it knows you best!
17. Never stop learning
Even after education, never stop learning. Read and watch the news, stay educated on the world. Read a book or newspaper. Learn a new language. Study another course. Keep your brain active and healthy! Your knowledge will get your through life and give you more life experience. It’s 2016 and although there are still struggles with equality, we have so many more opportunities now. Education is the most wonderful gift you can have, so grab it with both hands and run with it!
18. Don’t define yourself by numbers
Your bank account, social media following or likes, numbers on the scales – they all mean nothing in the long run (unless you’re baking a cake in which case the numbers are key!). When you’re 80 years old in a rocking chair with a cat sat on your knee, nice warm cuppa tea in hand and newspaper to the side of you, none of that is going to matter. Don’t work yourself up about the numbers because your self worth is not something numbers can count. You determine that yourself.
19. Surround yourself with humour
Laughing helps every situation. Find people that make you laugh. Not just a little chuckle, but ‘I’m about to pee my pants’ or ‘I literally cannot breathe’ laughing. Belly laughs. Cackles. They are the best types of laughing and it 100% makes things a lot better and instantly lightens any mood, any time, any day. Live to laugh!
20. Post that selfie
If you take a bomb ass selfie and you want to post it – go for it! If you like how your hair looks, your eyes sparkle, your boobs look good – giiiirl just post it! If anyone has anything negative to say – screw them! If the photo makes you feel good, other peoples opinions aren’t important.
21. You are your own priority
Your happiness, your health and everything in between. Everyone is always first to someone if everyone puts themselves first. You are you – your body, your mind, your education, your life. You’re not anyone else, so don’t prioritise them over you. They can prioritise themselves.
Obviously in my 21 years I have had a lot of life lessons, and I’ll have a whole load more by the time I’m 30 (crazy scary that that’s the my next “big” birthday!).
Leave a comment and let me know a life lesson you’ve learnt!