28 things I’ve learned in 28 years

I’ve just turned 28 and I like to think that every year I learn something new. Life does get harder, but you also get stronger and more resilient and if you’ve got a smile on your face and spring in your step, that’s all that matters. Here’s what I’ve learned in 28 years:

  1. It’s okay not to be okay – feel like having a cry? Do it. You don’t have to have it together 24/7, you’re only human.
  2. Be kind – always. And not just to other people, to yourself. We can be our own worst critics, become aware of the things you say to yourself and be kind.
  3. Love yourself – how do you expect anybody else to love you unless you love yourself? Love every part of you, all the quirks and imperfections (we’re all imperfect!), go forth and realise that these are the things that make you unique.
  4. Who cares what anybody thinks? – Do whatever you want to do in life. Yes, ask friends and family for advice, but don’t let anybody stop you from following your dreams. There is nothing you cannot achieve.
  5. Take time out – our lives are so fast-paced that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Meditate. Just sit with your breath, even if it’s for 10 minutes a day. Trust me, it works wonders.
  6. Don’t take life so seriously – life is hard, that’s why it’s good to see the light-hearted and funny side of it! Laugh at yourself, make others laugh, enjoy every little bit of your life.
  7. Drink more water – we all need to do it. Go and buy a bottle you love and carry it around with you all the time. Keep yourself hydrated; it’s good for your body and your mind.
  8. Save money, but live your life – having savings is good and saving a little bit each month will be good for your future, but don’t forget that life is happening now, so do the things you want to do, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
  9. Be grateful – every morning write down three things every day you’re grateful for. Making this a habit will rewire your brain to think more positively before you even start your day. Our brain activity can change if we keep doing something and make it a habit – it’s called neuroplasticity.
  10. Move your body – go for a run, do yoga, rock climbing, swimming, just get out there and move your body.
  11. Take care of the planet – this is your planet, you live here, why not do something to take better care of it? Stop using plastic bottles, have a day a week where you don’t eat meat, walk to work every Friday instead of driving – just do one small thing and it really will make a difference in the world.
  12. Be vulnerable – being vulnerable is scary, but also amazing. When you’re vulnerable with someone, you become so much closer to them and that’s what we want as humans, we want closeness. Tell your best friend or your partner how you’re really feeling and feel all the love and support they give you.
  13. Talk about your mental health – do it. Talk about it. Anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, perfectionism, whatever it is, don’t bottle it up inside. Talk to your best friend, a family member or your doctor.
  14. Go out in nature – the world is so beautiful, take a walk without your phone and just breathe in the fresh air and take in the beautiful surroundings.
  15. Never settle – for anything, but especially love. There are so many mediocre things in life; love shouldn’t be one of them.
  16. Phone a friend – get your phone and give your friend a call. Forget the texting and WhatsApp. It’s so much better to have a flowing conversation and hear a voice. Pick up the phone.
  17. Take a break from technology – you’re probably reading this on some sort of device, but put it down, at least once a week and give your mind and body a rest from technology. Pick up a book, do some mindfulness colouring, journal, get away from the blue lights and the constant need to be ‘on’.
  18. Remember you got this – everybody has those days when they don’t want to get out of bed. Just remember, no matter how anxious you are, depressed, or overwhelmed you feel, you got this. Be kind to yourself and don’t give yourself a hard time.
  19. Nourish your body – fuel your body with fresh, nourishing foods. It will thank you.
  20. Take time to do nothing – yes, I mean absolutely nothing. Just for 10 minutes stare into space, it’s good for your mental health.
  21. Not everybody with like you and that’s okay – don’t keep doing things to make others happy, there will be some people who won’t like you and that’s okay. Make yourself happy first.
  22. Let go of perfectionism – I’ve said this before, but it is so important, but admittedly very difficult. Let go of being perfect, because you never will be. Just be your messy chaotic self, be authentic and you will be a lot happier.
  23. Let go of people that drain your energy – you don’t need these people in your life. Find a tribe who support you and love you for your quirks and all.
  24. Tell the truth – always be honest.
  25. Find your calling in life – don’t just settle for a job you hate, find out what you really want to do by doing loads of different things. We spend most of our lives working, do what you love.
  26. Don’t compare yourself to strangers on the Internet – in this age of social media we have 24/7 access to do this, but don’t go down this road, it will make you really unhappy. Remember, you are unique, love yourself for who you are.
  27. Remember you have one life – we walk around like we’ve got another life to go to, but this is it. Do what you love and do it often.
  28. Don’t be so hard on yourself – Something I’m still learning, you need to be kinder to yourself (as I’ve mentioned in many points above!). Just think, would you talk to a friend the way you talk to yourself? No

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