Even at the ripe old age of 21 – okay, it’s not so old – I feel that I have a stronger sense of life around me than I thought I did three years ago, showing truly that with time wounds heal, experiences are had, and conditions change to make you a more rounded individual than ever before.
Recently a lot of my thoughts have been ones of reflection or regret, longing and wishing, so to get my funk back on I’ve gone back over what I think are the 10 most important life lessons I’ve encountered (and hopefully get myself from downtown dismay to Uptown Funk on a sugar high)
Love exists, even after heartbreak
Whilst your first heartbreak is excruciating, it’s not going to be the last time it happens to you. People will come and go in your life, leave their mark and burn it into your memory so you never forget. However, you have the ability to love yourself, to find love from your family and friends, and one day find the other half of you who will be there to make you laugh until you cry, accept your weird habits, and make all those previous to them seem momentary and stepping stones towards something better.
School is valuable but experience is greater
As much as I think that school may have held me back in some ways, it taught me many things: how to make friends, how not everyone is great at science and that’s okay, that learning about death is more interesting than Russia (a real reason for me taking Philosophy over History), but I have found my involvement outside of school has built me into a better person than I could ever imagine – I have participated in events that have knocked me, inspired me, made me feel successful and a failure, but I have found that I am the version of myself I want to be from it.
Never forsake your friends
Whilst I don’t have the same friends as five years ago, it’s still important not to set aside those who are around you now. For instance, don’t let your work consume you – take a break and see your closest friends for a few hours to let yourself become human again; also, it’s important when embarking on a relationship that you don’t focus all your energy on this new love, remember your friends, the ones who have always been there for a cup of tea in the times previous. Find balance between your relationships, and you’ll find balance in yourself.
Looking after yourself is #1 priority
Similarly to the last point, finding balance in yourself by looking after yourself is the most essential factor this life could give you. Look after yourself by finding your happiness, nourishing yourself, elevating stress that you and the outside world puts on you, put your health and mind first over anything else. When you look back on the last year, decade, period of existence, make sure you made yourself feel complete by caring about the most important thing on Earth – you.
Food is not a punishment, nor is your body a trash can
If you’re hungry, eat; if not, don’t. Enjoy food and its taste, its craft and how it can make your body do amazing things. You have one body, so make sure it can work for you by eating your fruit and veg, drinking water and herbal tea, and by finding sources of nutrients from natural and homemade meals. Enjoy that cake if it makes you feel good, just make sure you feel okay doing what you do. From experience, eating (or not eating, or not eating well) things that aren’t that beneficial or supportive of you – whether it’s a thought you have or because you haven’t discovered a love of food as a source of fuel yet – will leave you feeling contrary to your beliefs, so think about how you can positively approach food and make those meal times a dream.
Don’t change or tailor yourself for anyone
Seriously, it’s more effort than it’s worth. You’re going to find a group of people so soon who will totally accept you and allow you to be that person you always wanted to be.
We all have the same hours in the day
Cliche, but true; an hour on YouTube might seem great but you could have done that 20 minute workout you were putting off three times now. Block off time for different activities, find out what duration of the day you function best and work to your strengths at each time. Want to work at 6am? Wake up, whip up some breakfast and get typing! Fancy doing some yoga at 8pm? Go for it girl, it’ll make you sleep better too! Something big and daunting may only take 10 minutes, so make it all manageable and you’ll find success in your day. If all else fails, make a list. Lists are great.
Work hard, play hard, but don’t burn out
Something I always need to work on, as I will work more than I have to to make sure I am performing and achieving above what I need to just in case – but in case of what? Work if it makes you feel happy, and reward yourself with some downtime – go out for dinner once a week, make yourself a nice meal, whip up a hot chocolate and sit in bed with a podcast, allow yourself to have a break – I won’t tell if you don’t.
Laughter solves a lot, as does crying
I cry now and again, but I haven’t full on sobbed since either arguing with someone in my family, losing a friend, or when David Tennant left Doctor Who – priorities. Letting yourself just release any built up stress, pressure or fears through a good old crying session feels amazing, you feel super refreshed and you’ll probably be able to reflect a lot better on what was making you feel down; similarly having a fit of belly laughs can make your endorphins soar sky high, so pop on your favourite funny film, a YouTube playlist of things you shouldn’t really laugh at but are too hilarious, or reminisce over old memories with friends – get your spirits lifted & you’ll be able to achieve anything!
PJs, tea and rainy days are as good as the first day as Spring
We all look forward to the first appearance of spring and summer – the intensity of the sun on our skin that warms your bones, the feeling of finally going bare-legged (can I get a whoop whoop?) and throwing on some shorts or dress is the final liberation after a long winter, but similarly snuggling down into your favourite pair of pyjamas with a cup filled of your favourite brew gives you that feeling of comfort and relaxation that you cannot beat. Throw in a quiet rainy day and you have your few hours of calm to sit back and enjoy your time alone finishing those tasks you’ve had on your mind for days.
What are you 10 Life Lessons? Have you learnt more from experience? What advice would you give someone who wanted to live a successful life?
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.