Hello! Welcome Back! In honor of Thursday being my 24th birthday I decided I would tell you guys 24 lessons I’ve learned that helped with self growth and self love. My 23rd year on this earth was definitely a growing year for me. I had a lot of self discoveries through all my hard times which I hope to take into 24 and expand on. It’s easy, especially in your early 20s to feel like you’re stuck and not making any progress in life. That’s why I think it’s important to do things like this. Reflect on your year, so you can see all the lessons that you’ve learned and all the growth you’ve made. So without further ado 24 lessons i’ve learned towards self growth and self love
1. find hobbies
Finding hobbies is so important for self-love. You need something that brings you enjoyment when things get overwhelming because they will, very often. Personally I’ve found yoga and crocheting this past year. They are both a nice way to relax at the end of a day or when I just need a minute to myself.
2. it’s okay to not be okay
I struggled with this one for a while. I’ve spoken often about my mental health here on my blog but for a while I was very ashamed about my poor mental health. It was hindering me from getting better because I was trying to rush myself into “being better”. Then I’d be SO hard on myself when I wasn’t getting better, which would send me deeper into sadness. It was a never ending cycle.
3. get help for your mental health
To go along with the pervious point, getting help for my mental health was the best thing i’ve ever done for myself. Once I got over the fear of a medical professional knowing I can’t fix this on my own, my life changed. I am on medication for my depression and anxiety, it’s a low dosage but it’s enough for me. I’m not here to tell you to go on medication because I know everyone is different, just because it worked for me doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. What I am here to tell you is, talk to your doctor and figure out what is best for you. My doctor told me to think of it like this, you wouldn’t shame someone with diabetes for going to the doctor to get help or for being on medication for their diabetes..so you shouldn’t do it for someone with mental illness. At the end of the day, it’s about being healthy in all aspects.
4. life is not a race
This is such an important one. I’ve talked about this before as well but with the times that we live in with social media, it’s so easy to feel like you’re falling behind. To feel like you aren’t doing enough or aren’t good enough. Your path and someone else’s path aren’t going to be the same. My college roommate already lives on her own, and basically has her wedding planned. Where, I’m still in my childhood bedroom and have never dated someone for long then like 3 weeks. Just because our paths are at very different points doesn’t mean one of us is doing worse then the other. Focus on your path and on being the best version of yourself everyday.
5. you can’t please everyone
I’m going to be honest, I hate that I had to learn this lesson. I’m a people pleaser and it’s discouraging to know I can’t please everyone, but it’s also very important to know. We are all different, with different interests and opinions. You’re going to come across a bunch of people who don’t agree with what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, but guess what. It’s not their life so as long as you aren’t hurting yourself or others, their opinion doesn’t really matter.
6. journaling is a good coping mechanism
During my times of poor mental health I was searching for anything to help, journaling really helped me. I made something that I called my mental health bullet journal. I put resources to help me when I’m feeling down, TV shows I wanted to watch since that’s one of my hobbies. I had feelings logs, where I could be brutally honest about how I was feeling without worrying about hurting someone’s feelings. Not that I was talking bad about anyone because that’s not what I do but, when someone you love is feeling miserable it hurts. Having all things mental health in one place that I could make my own was very helpful for me.
7. not everyone is going to support you, and that’s okay
We have this idea in our head of whose suppose to always support us. Our family, and our closest friends. Sadly that’s not always true, sometimes those closest to us aren’t going to support what we do but that’s okay. Like I said about pleasing everyone, as long as you aren’t putting yourself in physical danger, you’re in control of your life. You’ll know when something is worth fighting for even if you have to stand alone in the process.
8. true happiness is a constant work in progress
Put happiness first always. That’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year. You don’t just become happy and stay that way. You have to make the conscious effort to make your happiness a priority. You’ll have ups and downs, that’s all apart of the journey. As long as you put your happiness at the center of everything you do, you’ll have a good shot at living a happy life.
9. we are a constant work in progress
To go along with the last point, just like happiness we are a work in progress. You’re not going to be the same person you were three years ago. Three years from now, you won’t be the same person you are today. We are always changing and growing with our situations and circumstances.
10. if you want friendships to last, you have to put equal effort into it
This is important to remember as you get older. One of my best friends lives on the other side of the country, but grew up right next door to me. Our friendship had a time where it faded a little bit, because we weren’t putting in the effort. However, now our friendship is the strongest I think it’s ever been because we both want the friendship to last so we put the effort in. We make the effort to text each other as often as we can so we stay present in each other’s lives. We make the effort to support each other’s endeavors because, it’s important for us to keep the friendship strong even when we are thousands of miles apart. (side note: I was actually texting her while editing this post)
11. self care is critical
Taking care of yourself is so important and plays a big part in your overall well being. Remembering to drink your water, get enough sleep, nourish your body. Indulge in a nice bubble bath, and a nice book. Taking that time for yourself will help with every aspect of your life.
12. it’s okay to say no
This again, is tough for the people pleaser in me. I feel incredibly guilty when I tell a friend that I don’t want to go out because I’m feeling a little anxious. However I shouldn’t feel that way because it’s okay to turn things down that we don’t want to take part in. It’s okay to tell someone “no, I don’t want to do that today” It doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad friend. It just makes you human. Hopefully, if your friends truly care about your well being they’ll be okay with you saying “no” from time to time.
13. it’s okay to live the life you want and not the life others want for you
Can you tell this year I’ve learned a lot about putting myself first? People are going to constantly tell you how to live your life and it’s good to take what they say into consideration. If they have more life experience they may be helping you through their mistakes which is great, but don’t feel like you have to live life their way. Sometimes, people can give us all the advice in the world but the only way we’re going to learn is by experiencing it ourselves and that’s okay.
14. God will never leave your side
Through my darkest times the past few years, God has never left me. You all know I’m a religious person but that doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with my faith. If i’m being honest, God has been by my side my entire life but, I didn’t feel close to him until I started to go through problems with my mental health. It’s what proved to me that he’s always there, always looking out for me. Tori Kelly just released a song called Never Alone and there is one line that really resonated with me it was, “There’s no hole too deep where God’s love is not deeper still.” I was in a deep hole mentally but, his love for me was greater.
15. it’s okay to be selfish and take time for yourself
When you’re a people pleaser you focus on everyone else but yourself, from one people pleaser to another…change that. You don’t need to feel guilty about telling someone “I have to figure my own shit out first before I can help you/be with you.” It’s not fair to yourself or to someone else for you to not give that relationship the attention it deserves because you physically can’t. Take time for yourself, you and your relationships will thank you in the long run.
16. being different is a good thing
We are all so unique in our own ways and it’s special. It helps us all stand out in the crowd. People who have been considered “different” have sometimes turned into the most successful human beings. Cherish what makes you different, there are people out there that their favorite thing about you will be this quality that makes you “different”.
17. only you can define success for yourself
I wrote a whole blog post on this which I will link here, but success is different for every person. No one can tell you that you’re unsuccessful because what they define as successful may not be what you define as successful. Define success for yourself and set a goal to achieve it. You’ll never be fulfilled trying to reach someone else’s level of success.
18. you are not other people’s opinions of you
People can be really cruel and say some really negative things about you. It’s easy for people to attack your weak spots when they’re angry and it’s even easier to believe that these negative qualities are all that you are. I’m here to remind you, you aren’t what they say. How someone else see’s you does not define who you are. Only you can define who you are and who you want to be.
19. be open and honest with people you trust about your mental health
I know everyone says things like “you’re not alone” and it’ll feel like they are just making it up because poor mental health is a very lonely place to be. They are making it up, you’re truly not alone. There are people who want to help, who care about you and want you to get better. You can’t get better if you keep everything inside, it’ll eat away at you. Open up to someone, anyone you’ll feel better after talking about how you’re feeling.
20. your path is unique and that’s what makes it special and beautiful
I don’t have much else to say about this one besides, cherish the journey cherish the ups and downs. It’s all apart of your story.
21. be true to yourself, you’ll find people who love you for who you are
This was a lesson I learned a few years back during college, we all try so desperately to have lifelong friends at all costs. However you don’t need to change yourself to have long lasting friendships, if you do then those aren’t you’re real friends. People will come into your life who don’t want you to change, who don’t put you down…they just love you for who you are. Remember it’s not about the quantity of friends you have, it’s about the quality of those friendships.
22. not all relationships are going to work out, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or that you’re not good enough
Friendships, Intimate relationships, relationships of all types, you’re going to have some that don’t last. We all like to jump to the conclusion that it means something is wrong with us, but that’s not always the case. More often then not it has nothing to do with our worth. Just like how I said how someone see’s us does not define us, our worth is not defined by a single relationship or a single person. It just means that person is not meant to be on your path anymore. I believe in fate, if someone is meant to be in your life they will be when they’re suppose to be.
23. Trust in yourself and in your higher power always, it’s the only constant
This is one, is one I hold so close to my heart because trusting in myself is very challenging for me to do. I don’t give myself enough credit literally, ever. I’ve had to work tirelessly to believe in myself and learn how to depend on myself, and I still have a lot of work to go. When you get to a point where you can depend on yourself and on your higher power you’ll be on the path to happiness. Love from yourself and Love from your higher power will never fade, will never judge, will never waver..it’s constant.
24. it’s okay to cut people who bring you down out of your life regardless of their relationship to you. doing what best for you will always be the right answer
No one deserves to be in a toxic relationship, be it with a family member, significant other or a friendship. We all deserve to have happy and healthy relationships. Cutting someone out doesn’t make you a horrible person, it’s setting you up for growth. It hurts like hell to leave a toxic relationship because the only reason you’re leaving is because you KNOW how bad it is. That hurts, deep. However, the growth and change you’ll experience from it will show you just how strong and independent you can be.
If you’ve stuck around till this point, thank you. I know this was a long post, but it’s one I really wanted to share with you guys. I still have a lot of growth and love to learn but, I’m excited to see what being 24 has in store for me. I’m also glad that people will finally like me again! (leave me a comment if you get that Blink 182 reference 😜) Thank you for stopping by, until next time….