Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we can all look back and think ‘what if’. However, I wouldn’t want to change the past as it may have led me to where I am now. Although, I wouldn’t want to change anything I thought this post would not only be cathartic but helpful to people who are younger that are struggling with these things.
When I was growing up I didn’t even realise blogging was a thing and I only really spent time on MSN and Bebo – oh they were the days! This is where I think the development of the internet and social media is a positive. There is so much help, support and personal stories online to stop people feeling alone. After I had been told I was suffering with anxiety I thought I was the only one. But had I read one of my blog posts or a mental health blog, I definitely would have felt less isolated. This is why I started my blog.
This is why I am sharing 10 things that I would tell my younger self, in the hope that it can enable young people to either feel less alone or give them clarity on certain topics.
10 Things I would tell my younger self:
1. Learn about the importance of mental health
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It is vital that you learn about what you can do to protect your wellbeing. As like your physical health, if you don’t have good mental, it is something you need to work on. So learn about how you can look after your mental health, what support is available and how it can impact your physical health.
Read: 9 Powerful mental health habits to try
2. Don’t be afraid to drop toxic friends
I remember being at secondary school, I would make excuses for ‘a friend’ whose behaviour was toxic and carry on. I was worried I would be on my own I guess. But, the fact is I wouldn’t have been and I could always make new friends.
I only learned this in my 20s, but it felt scary at first but actually it was really empowering. I knew my worth and realised I deserved friends who support and champion me.
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash
3. Don’t be scared to try new opportunities
You cannot grow and discover new things if you stay inside your comfort zone. I was always scared of trying new things whether it was due to my anxiety or not, but I have learned just challenging myself can give me experiences I didn’t even think of. You should say yes to new opportunities because life is too short not to.
4. Wear sun cream everyday
When I was younger I always (well nearly always!) wore sun cream in the Summer. But, now I have learned about why it is important to wear SPF everyday even if it is not Summer.
5. Life is good
There will always be bumps in the road, I found my work accident and it causing Fibromyalgia more like a mountain in the road. However, I am determined for it to not to ruin my life. If you go through a rough patch just know it will get better.
6. Stand up for yourself
As a teenager or even when I was in my early 20s I hated confrontation and would rather stay quiet than stand up for myself. However, I have learned that it is vital for me to have boundaries and be prepared to stand up for myself and what I deserve.
7. Be kinder to yourself
We are all our worst critics, we are always so focused on what we would like to change about ourselves, what we are doing wrong or what we should have done better. But, learning to give yourself grace and be kind to yourself cannot only be empowering but can boost your self-esteem. When you are showing others you are kind to yourself, people are more likely to be kind to you also.
Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash
8. Don’t be in a rush to have your life figured out
I was always wanting to have everything planned out, know what job I wanted, what age I would have things planned by. On the other hand, life happens and things don’t always go to plan. As my accident has completely up in the air. Do not rush yourself, life will happen for you.
9. Enjoy each moment, because you’ll never get it back
You don’t really think about living in the moment as a teenager. But, I was luckily growing up when I did, as there wasn’t a lot of social media. I had MSN and Bebo. So, I lived very much in the moment, but looking back I would have told myself to enjoy it even more.
If you are reading this as a teenager or young person, put the phone down and start living more in the moment. You can never get these moments and time back!
10. You are good enough
I would have loved to eradicate any self-doubt I felt about my exams and about my own abilities. Just having a greater self-worth would have made me a more confident person.
These are just some things that I would tell my younger self to change some of my perspective and mindset. Here are other things I would tell other young people:
- Accept yourself – all of you!
- School popularity truly doesn’t matter
- Learn about managing finances
- Learn how to use a credit card to boost your credit
- Trust your gut
- You don’t succeed by being like anyone else
- Always know your worth
- Stop obsessing over timelines
- It is never too late to make a change
- Create boundaries
- Learn to stop caring about what other people think about you
Reflection is such a wonderful practice as it allows you to gain clarity and even reminisce. I hope that this blog post is read by young people and they learn about things I would have liked to know.
What is one things you would tell your younger self if you could? I’d love to hear in the comments.
Fransic verso says
Well, I learn early to drop the toxic friends because they were making my life worse. These are interesting we need to know in our early age.
That is great you did that. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I'm All Booked Up YA says
We’d give similar advice to our younger selves! Mental health is so important so is surrounding yourself with people who make you happier.
I am glad you can relate. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog today! Some great points, especially about dropping those toxic friends xoxo
I am so glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Elements of Happy says
You’ve said so many eye-opening and thought provoking things here. I think the “do not rush yourself, life will happen for you” will stay with me for a while longer. This was beautiful to read.
I am glad that resonated with you and you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I absolutely love this post so much! I think the toxic friends one is very relatable to me, it can be so scary and difficult leaving but it needs to be done. I love the idea of being kinder to yourself too! Thank you so much for sharing this x
I am so glad you enjoyed this post and able to relate. Definitely ridding toxic people from your life can be so beneficial. Thank you for reading and commenting. X
Life is too precious to live it in regrets. We just have to be content with ourselves and know our worth. This post is so inspiring.
It is great to be able to reflect and I hope this post helps other young people. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Plenty of great advice here and much of it I would also tell my younger self if I had the chance. I think the most important one, and the number one thing I would tell my younger self, is dropping toxic people, not just friends but family as well, as doing so will make such a huge improvement in ones life that you will always wish you had done it sooner. Not rushing is another great one. I always felt pushed towards figuring everything out as quickly as possible that it made me miss out on a lot of things, forcing me to go back and do them later or simply abandon my idea of doing that thing completely
I am glad you could relate to this post and enjoyed reading it. Toxic relationships can definitely include family. Thank you for reading and commenting your thoughts. X
Mummy Conquering Anxiety says
These are such great tips. Ditching toxic friends and caring for my mental health are both things my younger self really needed to know.
Thank you for reading and commenting. I am so glad you enjoyed this post and could relate.
Andrea Hunt Transformational Life Coach & EFT Practitioner says
Wonderful post Lauren! Absolutely love these observations, especially 1 & 2 took me a long time to learn unfortunately. Thank you for sharing these!
I am so glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading and commenting Andrea.
Awesome post 🙌. Boundaries are so important to protect ourselves ❤️
They are, it is something I have learned recently and definitely on a journey. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Fadima Mooneira says
Good post! These are also the things I would like to tell my younger self. Especially no.10. And I also would like to tell my younger self that being awesome has no limits.
That’s a great thing to tell yourself. Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you could relate to this post.
Victoria Austin says
So many great points here, being yourself and trusting your own trajectory in life is so important. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking your not good enough, especially when it feels like you need to have *everything* figured out in 2.5 and life just isn’t like that.
Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you could relate to the post.
I agree with all of these, especially don’t rush. I was in such a rush after high school to go to college even though I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and I ended up wasting money and dropping out.
I guess one of mine would be, (most of time) listen to your mom because she suggested I take a year off before going to college and I still wish I had done that 🙂
Mums definitely know best. I listen to my mum as she has the best advice. Thank you for reading and commenting. X
Molly | Transatlantic Notes says
This was so great to read as I found myself nodding away as I read through it; it’s got me thinking about what I would tell my younger self and all the important lessons I’ve learned. Thanks so much for sharing this!
I am glad you enjoyed the post and could relate. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I would love to go back in time and teach my younger self some of these things, particularly about my mental health x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Thank you for reading and commenting. X
Renee Speaking says
Great post! I especially like when you said “After I had been told I was suffering with anxiety I thought I was the only one. But had I read one of my blog posts or a mental health blog, I definitely would have felt less isolated.” Love that!
Thank you. I am glad you found the post enjoyable!
Brilliant and very informative. Theres no doubt that this information is going to help your audience. Hats off to you
Thank you for reading and commenting. Your blog has no links.
What links are you referring to? Sorry I’m still finding my feet, I’m new to all this
I couldn’t find any of your blog posts.
I’ve sorted it, thanks for telling me 👍🏼
I’d say try to distance yourself from toxic family members too.
What I’d say to my younger self is make decisions for yourself, not to please others or because its what you’re expected to do.
That is a great thing to tell your younger self. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I’d also say try not to feel guilty for ditching toxic people – they are bad for mental health
Matt Two Tickets To says
This is all fantastic advice! So much of this comes down to being kind to yourself – and everything on the list will help you achieve that. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you enjoyed the blog post.
Billy Scaggs says
You have hit on so many things and shown truth in all of them. I believe you started your blog for the same reasons I, myself, did. Even though I am in a much older generation than you, the truth of these things still stands in every age. This is a wonderful post and I enjoyed reading it. I am going to follow you. Thank you for caring enough to write this for others to learn from.
I am so glad you enjoyed reading my blog post. I hope young people do learn from this. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Beautifully put, Lauren! I wrote one of these many years ago when I first started writing, and since then I’ve learned EVEN more that I wish I could relay to my younger self. Life would have been so different for me had I simply known a job is just a job, family doesn’t stop with blood and toxic friends are better off in my rear view mirror.
It is still great you have learned these things to take forward into the future. Thank you for reading and commenting. X
Queen Happy 👑 says
This post is kinda interesting coupled with beautiful points to adhere ourselves with
Jodie | That Happy Reader says
A wonderful post! My advice would be is to cherish each day by loving yourself and giving to others.
That is a great thing to tell your younger self. Thank you for sharing. Xxx
Katherine McLee ✨ (@Katherinemclee) says
Love this post. Amazing points. Even something as simple as “life is good” – it can be so easy to overlook the good while focused on the bad. Love it
I am glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading and commenting.
loved this post! i especially loved the point of “not needing to have everything figured out”. we all have our own time lines & that’s what makes us unique from each other. 🙂
Thank you for reading and commenting. X
According to Chren says
Not being afraid to try new opportunities is so important to us! We would definitely tell our younger selves to dream bigger and make things happen.
That is a great thing to tell people. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Basic With Life says
Spot on. Dropping toxic friends was a big one for me. We live and learn but blog posts are always super helpful and definitely worth remembering. Thank you so much for sharing
Thank you for reading and commenting.
Jade MumLifeandMe says
I could have written this myself Lauren. I’m going through a difficult time at the moment and I’m having to remind myself to have self belief and be kind to myself. It can be difficult when you have an anxiety disorder and have to put kids needs before your own. Great list – thanks for sharing. Jade MumLifeandMe
Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you are feeling much better now. X
Ohhhh, I have so SO much to tell my younger self.
I will make a blog post about it too now because you really inspired me to do so.
I do wish we could go back in time and encourage our insecure young selves…
Thank you for reading and commenting. Good luck writing your post.
Kevin Foodie says
Every teenager and young adult should read this post. you shared some very good pointers. I will add this to your list: Younger self, DO NOT take out any student loans.
Thank you! That is a really kind comment. I hope it can teach at least one young person to help them x
I have teenagers. There is ALOT to think about in terms of supporting youths as a parent. This was interesting to think about in terms of priorities – thanks
Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope this helps you.
Oh the number 2 and 3! I wish I could tell that to my younger self. I wished I told him that when he was just 18. But I’m telling myself that now, because in 20 years time, i would look back to now and realise that even now, am still young.
Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you were able to relate to this post.
Thank you for this post. Youngsters need to know these things. Growing up I have learnt that only I can truly take care of myself. So, I started guarding my mental health. Doing things that I want to do and ensuring that my happiness is guaranteed always.
I also started a blog today to tell my story because I believe it will help me heal.
Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you found this post helpful!
Liam | whatthedadsaid says
A great post, something ive thinking about myself recently and has helped me talk to my kids recently.
Thank you for reading and commenting.