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.
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.