Twenty-eighteen was a lot of things, but perhaps the least accurate description is “easy.” Many of us faced conflicts we never could have predicted or determined ourselves reeling from world events we had no control over. But for me, in spite of all the bad, 2018 will ever have a special meaning: it’s the year I stepped back and recognized I required a big life change, and fast. Thus began my year of radical self-care.
For an entire year, I decided to set myself first. I invested hour cutting out the unnecessary stressors in my life, practicing healthier lifestyle habits, and exploring the things that make me happy. And along the way, I learned a lot of difficult( and important) life lessons that will stick with me forever.
Strength Isn’t The Absence Of Emotion
I’ve always been told that I am improbably soft, perhaps impossibly so. As a kid, I was often told to “toughen up, ” that “big daughters don’t exclaim, ” and that the right way to handle different situations — the mature way — was to show as little feeling as possible. My natural judgment was that my inability to cut off my emotions meant that I was weak.
But there isn’t only one brand of strength in the world, and if there were, I’m not sure why we’d want it to be the kind that requires people to numb themselves to their feelings. The ability to understand your impressions and maturely act on them is strength. Compassion is strength. Empathy is strength. Strength has more to do with conviction, sense of self, and confidence than it will ever have to do with restricting the behavior you feel or hardening your heart.
It Isn’t Selfish To Set Boundaries In Your Relationships
I’ve always been the person who has close, intimate the relations between my friends. I’ve prided myself in being the first person people call when they were in trouble, the shoulder they’d sob on when in need, the ear for all their secrets. I liked being this person, so much better so that I didn’t even distinguish when it began to grow unhealthy. I thought it built me a good person, selfless and kind. A lot of periods it only left me feeling heavy and depressed.
Your relationships should not exhaust you. If your friendships dredge up your own mental health issues or leave you mentally and emotionally drained at the end of the working day, you’re allowed to ask for period alone. You’re allowed to stair away from someone else’s troubles when they start to become your own. You’re allowed to say, “I want to help you, but today I’m not in the right mental space.” You’re allowed to set borders for your sake and your sake alone. Don’t let anyone attain you feel guilty for that.
Your Feeling Are Just As Valid( And Important) As Anyone Else’s
So many of us downplay what we feel, specially when we’re trying to avoid disrupting someone else’s emotions. We swallow back our own hurt or anger and tell ourselves that our sentiments aren’t valid, then continue to beat ourselves up over when we can’t only make them go away.
But that’s the thing: you have the right to feel anything , even if it’s something that induces others uncomfortable. If doing what constructs everyone else happy attains you miserable, it’s likely something you shouldn’t be doing. If you’re constantly walking on eggshells in a relationship because your impressions upset the other person, it’s probably not a healthy one. Your emotions are valid. Acting in accordance with those feelings is valid.
Healing Can Be Uncomfortable, Confusing, And Downright Painful
I spent a lot of “peoples lives” believing my I’d healed my trauma because I’d observed a way to avoid feeling it. In reality, I was avoiding having to do anything to heal myself at all. I didn’t talk about the trauma; I refused to even acknowledge that it happened. I pretended that it didn’t exist and when others asked, I said I was fixed.
But 2018 forced me to face my trauma head-on and examine the style it’s affected my life and the behavior I respond to the world. And frankly, it hurt like hell. It entailed reliving pain memories and forcing myself into a vulnerable position, even if it was just with myself. But it was only when I was at my lowest that I began to realize that for the first time, I was really healing. I began forgiving myself for things I never realise I blamed myself for and taking a good, hard look at the toxic habits I’d unwittingly adopted in the process. Sometimes you must re-break shattered bones to allow them to heal properly; sometimes you must regress to progress.
A Proper Skincare Routine Isn’t Just “Treating Yo’Self”
Maybe this is just common sense, but it was a luxury I didn’t necessarily have in my early twenties. I was too broke to truly consider putting fund toward products that weren’t absolutely necessary for my survival, and so face masks were strictly reserved for girls’ nighttimes in, complete with a cheap bottle of wine and a rom com. This year, I decided to make the jumping and finally invest in quality skincare products, thanks to the recommendation of a coworker. Hello moisturizer, toner, and face serum!
Honestly, it made a bigger difference than I imagined — my skin is clearer, brighter, and healthier than ever, and now I feel like I’m pampering myself every single period. But it’s not just about feeling better — it’s about loving and taking care of your body. You deserve to treat yourself with care and keep your body as healthy as possible. It’s a form of self-love we should take more seriously.
Sometimes “Closure” Just Mean Accepting You May Never Truly Get Closure
I used to be obsessed with closure. I felt this insane be required to figure out how to close each chapter of my life, and it typically involved either confronting the people involved or, more often than not, compulsively fantasizing about confronting them. I’d attempt to threw myself in the other person’s shoes just understands why something purposed, then get frustrated when that didn’t work up, either.
In the end, it was actually fairly counterproductive. Instead of moving on with my life, I expend all my free time wallowing in the past. And most of the time, instead of stumbling upon some new insight, I’d end up assuring exactly what I wanted to see. You know what takes a lot less day and emotional energy? Realizing that something — or someone — no longer serves a purpose in your life and walking away from it. Life isn’t means to wrapped up with a neat little prow, so don’t bother.
You Deserve Cheerleaders In Your Life — But That Doesn’t Mean Enablers
I securely believe that your friends should be your cheerleaders. They’re the people who is an indication. They’re the ones who get excited for you. They should want you to be happy, they should want you to be successful, and they should encourage you to do the things that get you to that level in your life.
But remember that cheerleaders and enablers are two separate things. Your friends shouldn’t be supporting your toxic behaviors or promoting your unhealthy habits. They shouldn’t sit by as you self-destruct. Understanding the distinction between someone who wants the best for you and someone who wants you to have anything and everything you want can be one of the most healthy things you can do for yourself.
Success Is Rarely As Glamorous As You’d Expect It To Be
I ever imagined that recognise my lifelong dreams would change my life — and me — wholly. I thought it would be the turning point in my life, my wake up bellow. You see it all the time in the movies. But after completing one of my lifelong goals this year, I teared up a little, poured myself a celebratory glass of wine, and then continued “peoples lives” as if nothing had happened at all.
Sometimes success is subtle. Sometimes it doesn’t change anything about your life at all. You’re likely not going to wake up mood like a new person, because possibilities are, you aren’t a new person. But that doesn’t make your success any less important, and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proud of yourself for your accomplishments. Remember that every little step matters.
You Can Choice To Change Your Life At Any Moment
Even if you can’t change your job right now, and even if you can’t change where you live, you can change what you do in your free time. You can change the people you surround yourself with. You can change the route you make decisions. You can change your tolerance for toxic behaviours. You can change your habits, your diet, your routine. You can change how you ensure and respond to the world. You merely have to try.