Something that I have started to understand in my old age (I’m almost 33!!) is that you’ll never succeed with unrealistic resolutions. I’ve spent so many years attempting your average choices: lose weight, go to the gym more, drink more water. You name it, I will have tried it over and over. My brain doesn’t seem to accept such big goals so I don’t even try anymore. I instead know that I need to make small changes to how I think for them to stick.
Am I making sense? Probably not but I’ll try to explain what I mean!
Say yes when you usually say no
I’m surprised that no wasn’t my first word as a baby because I say it way too often! I’ve missed out on a number of things by saying no. I’ve said no to going out with friends and even to going on a city break. If I have a solid reason, then I don’t feel so guilty, but most of the time I’m just scared.
Do you see why I’m not a Gryffindor?
I’m always going to have anxiety and feel nervous about new situations. That doesn’t mean I can’t start saying yes to opportunities. At least I’ll know I’ve tried if I get anxious!
Okay…hands up if you’ve ever given me a compliment and I’ve not accepted it? I bet a lot of you will have both hands up! It’s an awful habit that I’ve developed. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate when someone gives me a compliment. I really do! I just don’t believe I deserve it. It’s really irritating to everyone, including myself.
If you give me a compliment, I’ll do my very best to try and accept it. Even if I just say thank you! It’s better than saying I don’t deserve it!
Love yourself more
This is going to a major topic for me to focus on when therapy starts. The thing is this has been growing for decades and I’ve had many people telling me that I need to be nicer to myself. They’ve told me that I’m better than I think I am and that I have many great qualities.
Everyone deserves to love themselves a little more. Look into a mirror and compliment what you’re wearing today or how well you might have done your makeup. It will take time but that’s why these are small changes.
Don’t suppress your emotions
We all do this.
Whether it’s to protect our loved ones, our friends or because we’re afraid of what we’re feeling. I did this so many times to protect my mum. I didn’t want to worry or frighten her with all the thoughts that were going through my head. It even took me a while to tell someone that I didn’t understand something. I didn’t want my teachers to think I was dumb.
Suppressing how you feel only leads to more heartache and pain. No-one said that it would be easy to accept your emotions. You just have to acknowledge and take it from there.
Pretending to be someone you’re not
My whole life I’ve pretended to be someone I’m not. I’ve pretended to be fine when I’m sobbing inside, I’ve pretended to be chatty when I wish I could hide and I’ve pretended to be normal when I’m a little different. Acting is a great way to pretend to be someone but even then you have to have an element of you there!
Social media (especially Instagram) has people posting images of their lives and themselves looking gorgeous. It gives people a false idea of what real life is and you don’t see that someone is struggling. Not everything has to be posted online. You don’t have to let everyone see everything but just keep in mind what your audience might think. We’ve got teens seeing celebs who look stunning or super skinny and feel like they need to pretend to be like that to be popular or accepted.
Life really isn’t like that. I’m pretty sure my LGBTQ+ friends will agree with me. Don’t be afraid to be the person you know you are inside.
Understand when you need to step back
Sometimes life can be go, go, go! You’re trying to get as much work crammed into the day as you physically can and don’t always realise how thin you’re spreading yourself. Only when something gives do you suddenly discover what damage you’ve done. You need to recognise when you need to take a step back. If that means taking a day off from work to rest or if you need to give something up, do what you need to.
Forgive yourself and those around you
This is a tough one.
You know the saying ‘Forgive and forget’?
There are days when you need to be the bigger person and forgive yourself/someone else. It will hurt and, like a lot of things I’ve mentioned in this post, it will take time. It will happen though. It all depends on the circumstance, I think. If it’s a massive thing then it might not be possible to forget but you might forgive one day.
Don’t push aside your beliefs
It’s sad when people push aside what they believe in or someone doesn’t acknowledge it. Whether it’s your religion, your eating habits or your views on a subject. Not all beliefs should be accepted (such as racism, targeted abuse etc.) but you shouldn’t have to put your belief to the side. If you don’t believe in eating meat then that person should give you the courtesy of understanding.
I saw so many tweets from friends who had family members who refused to cook a meat-free meal for them!
What small changes do you think someone could make to feel happier?