Friday the 30th November, and that means it is my birthday today!!
I am not someone who gets crazy hyped or excited about my birthday, usually it just a standard day for me and i don’t feel the need to celebrate or make a big deal out of my birthday. And i am not someone who expects or wants gifts either… though if i get the chance, i do want to bake and eat cake – but it is more fun to do that when i can share the cake with others. I.e if i was home in my own apartment i wouldn’t be making a cake just for myself, hahaha!
One thing about my birthday and getting older – if i set aside the fear and anxiety i get about getting older and feeling the need to “have my life together and have everything sorted and in control” – it is also a time where i think alot about my past. I think about the years i was ill and all the times i thought, i wouldn’t make it past the age of 16. Then after i was 16 i thought, i wouldn’t make it to 18. But of course, i made it to 18, and since then life has had it’s up’s and downs. But alot of up’s and positives – which of course makes me love life and want to live life!
My birthday is always a time of self reflection and it does bring alot of memories, alot of past bad memories where birthdays were just filled with anxiety and negativity.
But now i see my birthday as, me getting older and wiser. Learning and growing. And of course i look forward to living life, more opportunities and being able to create memories and live life and focusing on the positives that life brings!
I thought i would share 23 things i have learnt this past year (or life in general), yes they may seem silly but i wanted to share them anyway!
- Isolating myself will not make me feel better. Talking to family and friends and surrounding myself with people i enjoy will make me feel better 90% of the time.
- I don’t need to keep my problems to myself – there is nothing shameful about saying that you are struggling or asking for advice or help from someone. Strength isn’t always doing everything alone – but being able to see your weaknesses and being able to ask for help.
- The comfort zone is not a place of growth. Sure, it is comfortable… it is normal and what i am used to. But if i want to grow and keep learning, then stepping outside of my comfort zone in different areas in life is what i need to do. (Which i have done alot of this year!) -> also dared to meet a lot of new people and make new friends.
- Self reflection and questioning your own thoughts and habits is part of growth.
- Don’t bring yourself down or critisize yourself… instead, stand tall and boost yourself. Talk about your successes, talk about your goals, be confident in yourself. For some reason i think it is embarrassing to talk about my goals or to say that i am smart or that i study hard or i work hard, instead i downplay my successes or my goals. Not wanting it to seem like i work hard or have goals and dreams… but i am learning that there is nothing shameful in being confident in yourself and your talents – if you’re good at something, admit it and don’t be scared to say it.
- Skin care is important. I may have had ok skin once, but i was just lucky, and a good skin care routine is important!
- I can be the girl who doesn’t care about her appearance, but also the girl who wants to dress up, wear heels and wear make up. I don’t have to choose. I.e one day i can walk around in gym clothes and messy hair and the next day show up in heels, fancy clothes and make up.
- Clean the dishes the night before so you wake up to a clean kitchen/no dishes the next day – or clean them before you go to school so you don’t have to do them when you get home. (Note, i pretty much always wash the dishes straight after i have used them… but somedays it piles up, and i realise just how good it feels to wash them at once and not leave them standing so that i have to do them when i get home from school).
- Evening workouts aren’t as bad as i once thought they were. The key is to fuel up right during the day! I.e don’t expect to have a good workout in the evening if i don’t eat a snack after lunch!
- Having a set workplace – and not working for a staffing company(?) makes such a difference to my mental health. Of course some people enjoy working for a staffing/employment company, and that is fine…. but for me… it caused me so much anxiety and affected my mental health negatively. The stress and anxiety of not knowing when i would work or where, not knowing how much money i would earn at the end of the month, not to mention working at new places all the time and not always having a nice experience at the different jobs wasn’t helpful. But now i enjoy the days i work because i know my co workers, i know my job requirements and i like my part time job and it doesn’t affect my mental health negatively with the uncertainty.
- Keep a set of spare keys in my bag!
- Always keep a set of extra pads, tampons, razors, hand cream, pens etc in your bag. You never know when you will need them!
- Treat yourself – it is ok to spend money as long as you have the money to spend. I am not a huge spender, but i am learning that it is ok to buy myself stuff. Of course i would much rather save 98% of my money and only spend on the necessities… always fearing that there will be a time when i will need the money better. Of course, i don’t know what will happen in the future – example now that my computer has broken and i need to fix it or buy a new one – those are things i can’t know will happen and it is good to have saved up money. But i also don’t want to be 90 years old and just have lots of money in the bank which i have never used because i have always feared, “what if….”. There is a fine balance of saving and also spending.
- Remember that the days you focus on life and being with friends and family and really living are the days you most enjoy. I love using social media, but am also aware that when i am with friends and family i put my phone away and try to focus on life. My phone – and social media – will still be there when i am on my own.
- Living on my own is the best! After c.a 1,5 years of moving and living with others, nothing beats having my own place – finally! I don’t feel lonely, and i love having my own space.
- Believe in myself – believe in my capabilities.
- I have realised that the older i get the less my appearance/body/weight matters. Of course i still care about how i look, but the older i get the less my body weight and size matter. There are so many more important things in my life than whether my stomach is flat or if my muscles are visible or not. This of course, isn’t something i have learned just this year… but i have realised that there is almost a linear progression over the years!
- Mental health days are necessary. Complete mental rest days are important. Don’t feel guilty for not being productive. Sometimes the most productive & healthy thing is to just lay in bed and watch YouTube. (a balance of both resting and hard work is key!)
- I have no obligation to answer every message I get. Of course, i wish i could… but there just isn’t the time for it. Not right now, and i don’t need to feel like a bad person for this.
- 9 hours sleep is optimal for me. In the past i could get away with 6 hours sleep and “funtion”, and sure on some occassions i get between 3-6 hours sleep and still have energy. But my optimal recovery and rest time is 9 hours… and it is just to accept that. (Also when i don’t set an alarm, i naturally wake up after 9 hours no matter what time i fall asleep).
- Stop wishing and start acting. I am good at just dreaming and wishing and hoping that opportunities fall into my lap – they don’t. Hard work is key – but also acting and working towards my dreams.
- Stress less and take active steps and make choices to help stress less and feel better. As a health coach it is important to follow my own advice and recommendations, and that includes stressing less and making the choices/changes necessary to help with that!
- Cardio is important – not just for overall cardiovascular health, but also for mental health, being able to breathe better, feel happier and having good cardio/fitness helps with other forms of exercising. Don’t neglect cardio and only do strength training.
Wow what a long post – and lots to read. Pretty sure no one made it this far, but it was a time for me to reflect on the year that’s been and some of the things i have learnt or thought about!
I also feel like i should write some sort of letter to myself, either in physical or digital form, and then i can read it in 10 years time or when i am 40 or something. I feel like that would be a fun thing to do!!!
p.s i know i switch between “You” and “My”… so for all the grammar police out there, i am sorry!