R I D Y O U R S E L F O F T O X I C P E O P L E
Let's start with one of the most important tips. I've no idea why but I used to think I had to put up with people I didn't like, maybe that I felt I had to make them like me, or that I should make an effort with people that aren't bringing me any positivity. I used to think that the people that made me feel envious, small or insecure (Instagram anyone?!) had to remain in my life, or that I still had to talk to the friend whose conversation had just devolved into competition and oneupmanship. If you're in that mindset, I'm here to tell you that that's just simply not the case. And it's not about whether it makes you a nice or mean person - it's just you doing you. You deserve better than the negativity and toxicity and belittling, and it's within your control to not accept it. Distancing yourself might be the best thing you've done this year.
S A Y Y E S M O R E
Anyone else abide by the 'You're more likely to regret the things you didn't do, rather than those you did' mantra? Being open to change and getting out of your comfort zone actually does a lot for anxiety - something that I, along with many, suffer from. The more you enrich your life with new experiences and opportunities, the happier you become, and the only way to do that is by saying yes more, instead of talking yourself out of it, or putting things off until you feel more confident/it's after your birthday/it's next year/you're thinner.
B E H O N E S T W I T H Y O U R S E L F
Whatever version of you you want to portray to the rest of the world (and I understand putting on a front etc to make you feel better), behind closed doors, be honest with yourself. Even if things aren't good - and god only knows honesty is hardest to hear when things aren't - at least you have a grasp on where you are and you're in a position to assess the situation and make changes.
E M B R A C E Y O U R I D I O S Y N C R A S I E S
Whilst realising you don't always conform to the norm can have you feeling disappointed and not good enough, standing out isn't always a bad thing. Everyone but everyone has their quirks so what does that make normal anyway? (Isn't it funny how being called 'normal' is generally seen positively, whilst most of us would feel somewhat underwhelmed being labelled 'average', even though they mean very similar things.) Embracing who you are can bring you joy, so focus on being the best version of you rather than a second rate version of someone else.
G E T O U T S I D E M O R E
The sedentary, technology-driven lifestyle a lot of us live these days robs us of many of the simple things that bring us pleasure and peace of mind. Research has found for example that exposure to sunlight alleviates depression - no surprise, as I'm well aware that sunshine always lifts my spirits! Just getting out for a walk in the country can get your blood pumping, endorphins going, top up your vitamin D levels, mitigate stress and generally do your body and sense of well-being the world of good.
D O N ' T B E S O H A R D O N Y O U R S E L F
Believe it or not, I've been diagnosed with 'Perfectionism', which I always thought was a positive thing and just meant striving for the best rather than being an ailment (I think people use the phrase 'I'm such a perfectionist' incredibly lightly and most have no idea) - it still frankly sounds like nonsense to me and isn't something I've ever told anyone outside of my inner circle - so I guess now you know! But setting constant and all-encompassing standards for yourself that are impossible to reach and beating yourself up when you don't reach them is pretty soul destroying. This is something I'm still working on, so I could do with practising what I preach here - and if you want me to talk about my experiences and tips more then let me know.
D E C L U T T E R Y O U R S P A C E
A tidy space for a tidy mind - who doesn't feel better after a clean up and a clear out? I recently cleared out all the skincare and makeup packaging I'd accumulated for months (why do we keep these bloggers?!) and went through my entire makeup collection, chucking out the old and expired, and it felt so good. Even the little things like sorting out your diary or deleting unwanted pics or apps on your phone can do the trick.
F O R G I V E O T H E R S
And not for their benefit either. I love this Chinese proverb: 'Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned'. I'm not saying to invite them back into your life with open arms by all means (refer to tip 1!), but holding a grudge expends your own energy that could be put to better use.
I N V E S T I N A G O O D B R A
Your tatas aren't supported by muscle, but rather by skin and ligaments (who thought up this terrible design shortfall??) and aside from defying gravity for longer, a good, well-fitting bra can help with headaches, neck and back aches, posture and the fit of clothing, especially if you're amply proportioned. I love Wacoal's Halo bra as it offers full cup support and you can clip together the straps at the back to stop them slipping down your shoulders.
W E A R A H I G H S P F E V E R Y S I N G L E D A Y
Wearing a high factor sunscreen everyday is one of the best things you can do for your looks. The sun, as much as we love it, is arguably the biggest cause of aging in skin, and the UVA rays that we can't see are able to penetrate clouds and glass. There are SPF's available in all types of formula now so there's no excuse! Try a powder like this Pang Pang SPF powder or the cult Biore gel for oily skins, the Myeonghan Miindo for drier skin, or my personal favourites, the O Hui Perfect Red and cushion SPF's. And make sure you get a dedicated sunscreen as makeup including SPF isn't enough.
I hope this little list has helped somewhat, I'm all for encouraging as much self love as possible - life can be hard enough right? Share your favourite tips in the comments below!
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