I once had friends that made me feel like I was too much. Too focused or too talented and that made me feel like I had to tone it down. I felt like I had to not take interest in some of the things that I liked because of them so I would not look “too serious. “
That got me really unhappy and I ended up having a slight hatred towards them but after some thinking, I realized that I had to learn to be on my own. I didn’t need friends that were going to make me feel wrong for being myself. If no one else was going to appreciate me, I was going to learn to be comfortable on my own.
And even though some days it gets really lonely, I learnt not to make myself smaller for other people. That is something no one can take away from me.
So today, our goal is to learn to make friends that celebrate us just as we celebrate them. We learn to make friends that will accept us for who we are. Never ever minimize yourself just to fit in. You’re worth it.
Beginnings are always hard, my love. Whether you are starting a new year of school, decided to switch your job, have moved to a new town, or ended or began a relationship, the first days, weeks, or even months are going to be hard. But that is completely okay. It doesn’t mean that you are doing the wrong thing. Your life is changing, maybe even drastically changing, of course you will need some time to get used to it. Do not judge yourself or the situation based on how overwhelmed, stressed, lonely or sad you may feel in the beginning. Give it time. Eventually you will adjust and you will feel that you made the right decision. Do not give up yet – hang in there, for you might not be far from happiness.
When it gets too hard, please remember that there are people who love you and will support you through anything. You don’t have to do this alone. Sometimes our thoughts convince us that we are on our own and that nobody in our lives cares, but the reality is there are people out there that care.
Some time last summer, a friend of mine got an anxiety attack so bad that she thought, “Hey, this is it. Time to go.” And she felt like her mind was made up. Just as she was about to write her suicide note, she says I called her. She was crying so hard and in all due honesty, I didn’t know what to say but I was just there for her. When she was calm enough, she thanked me and I told her she wasn’t alone. However tough it may seem, there’s someone you can always talk to.
Showing up for your friends is really important. I know it can be draining. Honestly having a person with anxiety or depression in your life can be draining as you never really know what to tell them and even their negative vibe is also depressing. But do not give up on them, because if you do, what if everyone else has? Be it a family member or friend, tell them you’ve got their back and that you love them.
If you’re suffering from a mental health issue, it’s key to always remember that you have people out there that love you. I know it gets lonely. Sometimes there’s no one around you that can understand the pain that you are going through, you feel like you can’t even explain it to them as they won’t get it. Sometimes you may push away the few people around you because you feel you are depressing them with your issues but hey! By the time they offered to be there, they know what they signed up for. Appreciate the little the people around you do for you and also be kind to yourself. If you’re down, take a break from your school, your work, your gym, your chores and breathe in and get yourself together. It will be worth it.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. So a journey to a healthier mind starts with one healthy act. Show up for both yourself and your friends.
As discussed in my last post, I made a list with a couple of songs to give you a boost on your self love journey. It’s both a fun and therapeutic way of getting there. I haven’t exhausted the options. Just a couple to get us started.
To You, With Love;
Love Myself by Olivia O’Brien
Doubt by Mary J. Blige
Brand New Me by Alicia Keys
Brave by Sara Bareilles
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
I Love Myself by Kendrick Lamar
Beautiful by Christina Aguleria
Love Myself by Hailee Steinfield
A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay
Love is All by the Man on Earth
A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay
Beautiful by India Arie
Worth It by Fifth Harmony
Flawless (remix) by Beyonce featuring Nicki Minaj
Praying by Kesha
Love Yourself by Mary J. Blige
I by Kendrick Lamar
I’m a big deal by Christopher Martin
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Video by India Arie
Who You Are by Jessie J
Gold by Britt Nicole
Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
To compliment this list, I made a Spotify playlist. Do check it out if you like and make any more suggestions. This is my personal self love boost list and I hope you find something you like from it.
There are couple of popular artists such as Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, Christopher Martin, Tatiana Manaios and many others.
Get a favorite track and roll with it. I know sometimes we have had moments where we listen to a song and it brings up memories of a person we once knew or still do, but how about you listen this time and your soul and heart burst out with love for yourself? It sounds like a pretty good idea to me so on this self love journey, try that. I hope it works!
“And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would you take to say your name?”
I don’t know about you but I’ve had days where I have woken up, and looked in the mirror and not liked what I see.
I’ve had days when I sat in my room obsessing over the fact that I didn’t look a certain type of way and all I can say is it is not a great feeling.
One of the reasons I actually wrote this post was because of a tweet I read. It spoke to me.
Self love comes with knowing the real you. You cannot love something or someone you do not know so in the same way, get to know yourself. That way, you’ll be able to love yourself .
Exploring who you are is no easy feat. Honestly! But I am here to help you figure it out.
First I want to give you some things to remember. As you progress in this journey of life, you need to have a strong mindset.
Self love has nothing to do with others. Respect yourself and exhibit some sort of self-esteem. Knowing that no matter what cruel things the world may throw your way, you are a unique individual with complexity that needs not to be understood. We are our own biggest critic but don’t critique yourself into depression. We all have depressive moments often in our lives, make sure to love your self when it seems as if nothing else in the world has love to give.
Make yourself a priority. Be kind to others but if something isn’t kind to your soul, don’t engage in it.
Remember you are stuck with yourself forever. Most people and things that we have in our lives are temporary and they are just passing by.
You are enough. Have always been and you will always be. One of the positive affirmations I tell myself when I feel low or not good enough. Short as it may seem, it goes a long way in making you feel worthy.
In order to love yourself, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you. Embrace your past and the lessons it taught you. That way you make peace with it and it can’t make you feel worse.
So some of the ways you can start your self love journey are right here and they don’t cost a penny.
Get enough rest. Sleep, take power naps or whatever gets your body some rest. That way, you get up feeling better and ready to tackle your challenges.
Exercise and drink a lot of water. The body is ours to take care of and if we don’t keep it in good shape and a healthy state, we definitely end up feeling worse about ourselves.
Keep a journal. I know some people do not like writing that much but one thing about keeping a journal is that it is at your own pace. You don’t need to write in it everyday and you get to add whatever you feel like. If you’re wondering what to write in it, try writing what you love about yourself or the good things in your life, your dreams and aspirations, your to do list or any random stuff you see when you go out in the world. When you regularly do that, trust me you’ll be able to get stuff off your mind and in to your trusty journal.
Make a list of positive affirmations and read it everyday. Even better, you could record it and listen to it whenever you feel low. If you aren’t your number one support system, then other people can not be able to support you that well. (refer to the above image for some examples.)
Know what you want and don’t settle for less. Sometimes we take what’s on the table when we don’t have many options but when you are in control, never ever let yourself get half things. It’s like putting so much effort in to making a cake and you let it come out half baked. Do not accept half love, half friendships, half relationships. Generally anything that doesn’t make you feel so good about yourself shouldn’t be in your life.
That takes us to the next point. Surround yourself with people that make you feel better. Be it friends, partners and even family. You have the right to choose who goes and who stays. It’s your life after all.
Take care of yourself. This can be in the small ways like getting up, saying a prayer, washing up and dressing nice. It goes all the way to buying Yourself something nice or taking yourself on a vacation. Treat yourself right.
In the world we live in today, social media has brought up most of the issues people face concerning self love. So take a break. I discussed This is in Confessions of a Socialholic. Do check it out if you need it.
Make a playlist for yourself. Music is a drug. It’s like therapy. I have a couple of friends that say music healed them and it helps me too. There’s no greater joy than plugging in your earphones and vibing to something beautiful. It helps you to also get in tune with your soul. I shall compile a playlist in the next post with a couple of self love songs from different genres to start with.
I know it is hard, but if you are trying, that is enough.
This year I only want to be around people that love me, not those that pretend they do.
“But she wouldn’t do that to me, we have been friends for so long. ” A common tale. As social animals, man tends to reach out to those around them to establish bonds called friendship but in today’s society, most of these ties have become emotionally draining and don’t necessarily give you the zeal to associate.
These days, you may think you know someone so well. You think there isn’t a knife in your back. And then they twist it. (popularly known as backstabbing.)
I am sure most of you know how to identify fake friends so I won’t get deep into it. (unless otherwise)
A scene from F. R. I. E. N. D. S (a popular series)
Once we leave high school, we see who your real friends are. You learn that people change. Someone who you thought was your best friend will cut you off completely. Some of us enter high school with plenty of friends and end with only a few close ones. Others of us enter high school with only a few close friends and end with no friends at all. It’s just how life is. It’s like that sometimes. It is awful but it happens to almost everyone.
But then the big questions are:
Are you a real friend to your friends? Are these real friends to you?
Identify your real friends then try to keep them so that you don’t keep the cycle of fake friends going.
1. Be kind to your friends and listen to them. Discarding your friends’ opinions or concerns can get you a spot as a fake friend especially if your friend is usually on the listening end of your troubles so try to listen to them even if you feel like what they are saying to you is not so relevant.
2. When a person trusts you, value that trust. Getting to trust someone is not easy so when someone entrusts you with information or a secret, treasure that and do not tell on them. Betraying someone is one of the traits of a fake friend.
3. Do not try to be friends with everyone. I read a quote somewhere that said, “A friend to all is a friend to none. ” and I concur. I believe that no one would want to trust someone that seems to talk to everyone just in case their secrets get out. One thing to remember also is a smaller circle only means less drama.
4. Do not get in to a friendship based on expectations. If you are with someone for something other than love and mutual understanding, then I’ll have you know that you have merely made that person your acquaintance and you should not make them rely on you as a friend.
5. Love and love genuinely. Love from the bottom of your heart. Love unconditionally. Love even in their toughest moments. Real friends are always there no matter how hard a situation is.
Real friends contribute to someone having mental peace and if you aren’t one, please stop keeping someone up all night thinking they have something wrong with them. Be all in or not at all and see how your friendships get better. I’ll expand on this topic if need be.
According to Urban Dictionary, Socialholic (adj.) is A person with a severe dependency on social networks. Accepting that you are a Socialholic is rather difficult and it is almost hard to realize that you are one. But do you frequently post, comment and read the feeds of your friends and the people you follow with complete disregard to those around you? If the answer to this is positive, then you just might be a Socialholic.
Let us just do a small Q&A where you get to keep the answers to yourself.
1. When you wake up, do you check your social media? Such as your twitter or Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook instead of ordinarily going about your day?
2. How constantly do you obsess over your followers on twitter or Instagram? The likes on your posts, the retweets on your tweets, the comments on your YouTube videos, the saves on your pins? All these small actions unconsciously contribute to your likelihood of being a Socialholic.
3. How many times in a conversation with your mates do you “casually” mention your latest posts or the number of views on your video or actually tell them to like your posts?
4. Do you ever go through a rather private situation and you feel like posting it on your WhatsApp status or Instagram story to get pity from the people that view it?
5. Do you frequently think about what people are going to think when you post something? Do you also end up deleting it when the likes or views are not as many as you hoped they’d be?
6. When someone asks you what you possibly can’t live without, is your phone the first thing you think about? That’s okay but do you think about how you won’t be able to keep up with something on your social media? If yes, there you have it.
If the answers to this are mostly positive, you are probably a Socialholic. It is okay to get defensive about it too. No one likes to feel like they are getting hooked on to something that doesn’t have much life. Personally, there were a whole lot of reasons I gave before I accepted that I had a tiny problem. One of them was, most of my friends are far away from me so my phone is the only way I could stay in touch with them. In reality, that was true but there are alternatives I could have and finally considered instead of just succumbing to that.
Being a Socialholic can also mean you have an uncontrollable desire to need to share every event that happens to you on social networking sites.
That’s okay. To want to share everything that happens to you on social media but you have to be wary sometimes. In the world we live in now, not everyone in our lives wants to see us happy. Some people celebrate when we are in pain or when life is not exactly going well for us. So you need to keep some things private. You owe yourself that.
You probably think this is something unimportant but maybe it is one of the reasons that your mental health is not as good as you wish it was. Mental health is a very important factor in making us the people we are. Being able to have a sound emotional mindset is a vital key tp happiness.
As we have tackled some of the few signs of one being a Socialholic, let’s see some ways you can tone it down.
1. Acceptance is key. A line I have been told in every counseling session I have been for is this. Accept you have a something to fix then do something about it. Before you accept that, you can’t change because you can not change what you think you don’t have. Once you work on that, it takes us to the next step.
2. Detoxify. The mind is part of the body and it too should have it’s own time to make peace with itself and be okay. You can do this by :
• Connect with your spirituality. For those that believe that a greater power governs us, sit down in a quiet place, shut your eyes and connect with that spirit.
Pray to your God or gods to give you the peace of mind and strength to keep loving yourself enough not to be disoriented by the fake expectations that social media society is creating. That will put you in charge of your emotions and you will definitely feel more refreshed.
• Taking breaks off social media. You do not have to deactivate or delete your account. Just uninstall the app for a couple of days til you get your vibe again.
• Unfollow people that make you feel bad about yourself. I read a quote somewhere that said, “Comparison will kill you” and truer words were never spoken.
When some people log on to Instagram, they sometimes look at those Instagram models and unconsciously compare themselves to those models. Yeah unconsciously. This happens when you save a post and feel awful that you do not look as good. It is okay for it to be a motivating factor. One that pushes you on to get that new car or save for that new watch or even work out for that “bikini body” That’s all okay but if looking at those people makes you hate yourself for not being as perfect or kills your morale inside even a bit, then please uninstall the application, put down that phone, get your journal and make a list of all the good things in your life. This helps you realize your life is not as unfortunate and you become grateful. Self love is key and you can not attain that if you don’t appreciate what you have in your life. However little.
Remind yourself that some of these people are going through lengths to look that way and are merely doing all of that for “clout.” • Do not post things to get attention. Do it because you want to. The pleasure in that Is more than satisfying and nothing will daunt you after. • Love yourself. I will say it again. LOVE YOURSELF ❤ Appreciate yourself. You have come a long way,no matter how young you are. You have been through something no one else has been through and that is this one life you have. Give yourself some credit and be kind to yourself. 3. Take care of yourself. Spend on yourself, do makeovers, go get a hairdo, take yourself to a nice restaurant. If you want to really be like those social media models, then do something about it in a way that you benefit from. 4. More reading and less phone time. A lot of people say that they use their phones to read books and novels but the distractions are endless. I love me a paperback novel and a quiet spot where you can set your imagination on fire. That helps too. 5. Put your phone down and take know the world around you. Make new friends, visit people, a hospital if you must. There are a lot of beautiful things around us that we tend to ignore because we are too busy looking at what Is far away. That’s got to stop. Stopping a habit is never easy, but you have got to try. Baby steps, day by day. You could meditate for thirty minutes today and an hour the next. Before you know it, you’ll become rather comfortable with or without your phone. Try to make yourself happy with the small pleasures in life and see it get better for you. Feel free to add to this. I shall be able to publish a couple more pointers in my next post. Thanks for reading. To your health. ❤