ABC Life Advice
General tidbits I have learned about life, organized alphabetically.
Alone time is so imperative. Spend time with yourself, and I mean quality time with yourself. Not time mindlessly watching a movie or scrolling through social media. Spend time with yourself and learn about yourself. Have inside jokes with yourself. Have fun when you spend time alone. Journal. Go for a walk. Take yourself out to dinner. Read a good book. Be creative, make something, paint something, bake something. Speaking of....
Bake banana bread. Don't half ass it, don't use a mix, make it homemade. Get dirty and get flour on your face. Fill up the room with that warm aroma. Sprinkle in some chocolate chips and serve warm with a pad of peanut butter. Its a small act that makes you focus on something so simple but rewarding. And if I were to conceptualize what love smells like, it would be fresh baked banana bread.
Compliment people especially on traits that they choose. Saying somebody has nice eyes may make their day but complimenting them on their personality, the way they dance to their favorite song, or how hardworking they are, really sticks. It also makes you value those traits more in yourself. Who would you befriend if you were faceless and formless?
Disconnect from your phone. Get outside, put it down at dinner. Leave it at home when you can. When your phone dies take it as a blessing to look up and around you at all the life going on. Instead of reading on your phone pick up a newspaper. Instead of watching a show pick up a book. Find those ways to break from screens and stimulate your mind in a new way.
Experience new things. If you balk at the idea of new age hippie ideology, enroll in a meditation course. If you don't consider yourself the athletic type, try kickboxing. If you are a homebody and stay in every night reading a book, go out to a late night coffee shop. Break your routine and be spontaneous. When someone excitedly describes something they want to do, even if it's not your cup of tea, taste it.
Females are not your competition. I repeat, females are not your competition. Stop comparing yourself and bringing yourself down, or talking down on another girl to make yourself feel better. Women are your companions.Women are powerful and capable of anything, especially when we band together. Raise each other up, praise each other, and do not tear each other down. We are all we have.
Gratitude is the attitude! So much time is spent wishing and waiting for something else, and then when it arrives you are wishing and waiting for the next thing. Make an effort to bask in your now and appreciate everything your currently have. Happiness stems from contentment, not desire.
Hear what others are saying. I find myself thinking up what I'm going to say - before a person is even done finishing their sentence. Being an active listener is one of the hardest things to do. An easy way to practice is to sit across from a friend and have them talk for five minutes, without you responding at all. Really hear what they have to say; tune into the emotion and intention behind their words. You start understanding a lot more, and arguing a lot less.
Invest time in doing things that make you happy! When you are between studying, school, sports, jobs, + more, is when you can fall into depressive patterns. Even waking up ten minutes earlier to journal or dance to your current favorite song can be the breath of fresh air you need to get you through a hard day. If you are overbooked and spreading yourself too thin, drop something. The time you spend on making yourself happy is a worthy investment because it trickles into every other aspect of your life.
Just because dieting doesn't mean you're being healthy. A healthy relationship with food is based on nourishing your body and getting the proper nutrition. So many diets calorie restrict and leave you tired, drained, and more likely to binge later. If you are currently unhappy with your body, a diet is just going to make you even more unhappy. Instead, focus on CLEAN eating. Avoid oil and processed foods, eat whole, fresh, plant based foods and show love for yourself, your body will respond better.
Know when it's time to move on. That friend that is treating you poorly but has been your best friend for so long, it's okay to let them go. It's okay to let an idea of who you wanted to be go. It's okay to move on from the person you were. It's fine to leave someone you aren't in love with anymore. Letting go of people, places, ideas, is healthy and necessary for your growth. Read this again, and say it out loud.
Laugh it off! I am a person who takes criticism very harshly or can dwell on something I did wrong for days. Practice humility, and acknowledge that yeah dude, that was stupid, why did I do that? It doesn't mean that I am stupid, or that I am unworthy. It just means that I am human. A sign of maturity is laughing at yourself, acknowledging fuck-ups, and most of all, learning from them. The sooner you can let go and breathe about messing up, the sooner you can move on! In accordance with that...
Make a lot of mistakes and realize that these are lessons. There is no such thing as failure, not at all. When you are afraid to fail you are afraid to live. When you do something at first, you are going to be bad at it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it! Messing up is a sign of growth. Learn, reflect, continue on, and stop being so hard on yourself.
Nostalgia is beautiful but stop convincing yourself things were better back then. Back then you were wishing for this moment now, so live in it, FULLY.
Observe. At a packed party, from the window of a coffee shop, when your friend is in their own world. Sit back and really look at the way people interact or behave when they think no one is watching.
Pamper yourself! Lush bathbombs - USE EM! Vegan Ben & Jerry's (highly recommend the PB & Cookies) EAT IT! Stranger Things - BINGE WATCH IT! You deserve to indulge at times.
Question everything. There is no such thing as a stupid question. See the world with childlike eyes, step into your two year old self and see the wonder. Stop believing things simply because somebody of authority says it, this is how you are controlled. Let your thoughts be free. Keep questioning!!!
Remind people who are in your life that you love and appreciate them. Text them, call them, tell them when you feel it. It's important to voice your love and feel that moment. Tell your friends and tell your family. Text them now.
Stand up! It can be so overwhelming with a new tragedy hitting the news every hour; the weight of the world feels heavy on your shoulders. Know that yes, you are only one person, but one person is ultimately the biggest difference that you can make. This can be practiced in the form of abstaining from eating animals, attending social justice groups, cleaning up waste, switching your lightbulbs & recycling, or just standing up for someone who is being kicked down. If we all did those little actions, the world would change.
Travel! See the world! Experience many lives in your one short life. It can be costly, so if you are a student look into study abroad programs, they can often be the same as your tuition costs. If you are still in high school, traveling can be in the form of taking the bus to a different part of town or going camping for the weekend. Don't get discouraged by people on your instagram feed going to foreign tropical destinations that are a thousand dollar plane ticket. There are ways to work around it, I promise you.
Use a clear umbrella when it rains. When I was little I used to sit out on my driveway with a clear umbrella over my head, watching the droplets clump together and roll off.
Volunteer! If you are reading this right now, it means you own some sort of screen, which means you are more fortunate than most. Acknowledge that you have power and privilege and put it to good use.
Wake up early. Set an alarm and catch the sunrise. Notice how quiet the world is when everyone else is fast asleep. Watch the sky go from black to bright and just for a moment everything will feel right.
Express yourself! Through your clothes, your words, your actions, your art! When the true you shines through, it attracts other people who are your kin. (refer to this Shel Silverstein poem for motivation).
Young children have so much to teach us. When the opportunity comes to babysit, take it, even if you aren't getting paid. Children see the world so simply. They are artistic without judgment. They smile for no reason. They laugh endlessly. There is a child buried in all of us, so let it be around another child.
Zzzs! Three sleeps can fix anything.