This blog post is a little more fun, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail with each dot point but I wanted to share the 25 most important tips I have learnt in my life so far – things that I really wish I knew sooner!
I feel this blog post will be helpful for everybody, but in particular for teenagers. I can only imagine where I would be and how much better off I would be if I knew all of this at the beginning of high school! Let’s get into it!
1. Anybody can experience mental health issues
I was 14 years old when I was first “diagnosed” with depression and anxiety. I didn’t think it was possible for me to struggle with my mental health because I thought it only happened to people who experienced life a lot different to me (who were “worse off” than me). So, when the doctor told me that, it really shook me up.
2. Seeing a counsellor or therapist is okay
You visit your doctor when you have an issue with your physical health to get advice to improve things. Seeing a counsellor or therapist
is the exact same, just for your mental health. I have been seeing my counsellor for more than 7 years now and he is part of the reason I am where I am today.
3. It’s okay to discuss your mental health issues
When I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I thought I was alone. I truly thought there was nobody else around me who felt how I did. Now, I look back and realise that a lot of the people who I have grown with had the same struggles, we just didn’t discuss it. Maybe if we had discussed it more often, we could have all started to feel better a lot sooner.
4. It’s okay to fail
Failing is not the end of the world. Whether you fail school, university, a workplace assessment. No matter what you fail, IT IS OKAY. You can and will be able to come back from it!
5. Surround yourself with positive and uplifting people
You become the most like the people you surround yourself with. Do you truly like who they are? Because if you don’t, there is a huge chance you will become just like them…
6. Do whatever YOU want
Make decisions based on what you want. Of course, listen to opinions and reasoning from other people when appropriate, but you need to follow your gut and do whatever you want to do. Life is too short to do what everybody else wants you to do.
7. You are allowed to say no
I honestly wish I learnt how to say no a longg
gg time ago. Value your own time and priorities and say no when you don’t want to do something. You don’t even need an excuse. You are allowed to say no.
8. You can achieve anything you put your mind too
No matter what you want to do, you can achieve it. You just need to work hard and towards it. Don’t give up.
9. You don’t need somebody to
I spent years of my life feeling like I needed somebody to spend my time with. I actually have people around me who still feel like they’re incomplete without somebody else. The truth is, you only need to be with yourself to be happy. Once you’re happy within yourself, the rest falls into place.
10. First impressions matter
Always remember to be kind because first impressions matter. You never know who you will be meeting and where.
11. There is always room for growth
Nobody is perfect. Literally nobody. There is always room for personal growth and there is always something new to learn.
12. Don’t make assumptions or judge other people
You will never truly know what somebody else is experiencing or feeling, a lot of the time, the other person wouldn’t be able to explain it properly if they tried. I’m just going to say this again because it is SO important – always be kind.
13. It’s okay to be different
You don’t have to fit into the perfect picture frame of what society has moulded. Do and be whoever you want. Have pink hair and be an artist. D
on’t ever dye your hair and be a lawyer. Honestly, it doesn’t matter, just do what you want and don’t think about it.
14. Take the time to make somebody else’s day
Making somebody’s day is a lot easier than you think. Pay for somebody else’s coffee. Support a small business. Smile at a stranger. Offer to carry somebody’s groceries. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but doing something small like this can completely change a person’s day.
15. Always communicate
Whether it is in a relationship, workplace or friendship, communication is key. As my Mum used to always say, people can’t read minds. Communicate your problems and work through them as a team.
16. Don’t burn bridges
I was extremely unhappy at work and wanted to just up and leave (I honestly was going to tell the owner to stick it) but I had an INCREDIBLE manager when I was a Sales Assistant and he told me “don’t ever burn bridges”. I communicated my issues, stayed professional and worked there for a year longer than I thought I would. I eventually left for another opportunity but another year later, my original boss called me again and guess what? I got offered an amazing opportunity that I would have never got if I burnt that bridge two years earlier.
17. It’s okay to remove people from your life
You get to choose who is in your life. You are allowed to end toxic friendships and relationships. You are even allowed to distance yourself from family when you feel it’s needed. It is your life. Spend it surrounded by people who deserve to be there.
18. Life is what you make of it
If you think your life is crap, then it will be. If you think your life is incredible, it will be. Your life is literally moulded by your thoughts.
19. Take care of your financial health
This one is something I think should be taught in schools. Honestly, I’m unsure why financial health isn’t a school topic???
I have so much I want to say here so I will definitely have a blog post about this very soon, but a few quick points – learn how to budget, understand your tax requirements, take time to learn about superannuation (and the fees associated with it), do not get a credit card and most importantly, SAVE. Save something every single week.
20. Exercise for fun
We all know exercise is important for our overall health, but try to exercise for fun. Don’t do it “just to lose weight”. Do it because you love the fresh air hitting your face on your daily walk or because you love the weigh you feel when you’re dancing in your class. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring.
21. Gut health is SO important
This is only something I’ve known about for two-ish years now, but your gut health is SO important. Please spend tim
e researching and talking to professionals such as nutritionists or naturopaths (if you can afford it).
22. Being busy is not “cool”
For some reason, we glorify the fact that we’re busy. We all have done it, I used to do it so often. I would always say I’m super busy with my businesses, my son, running errands, cleaning the house and it would make me feel somewhat “successful”? It feels bizarre to even write about now because being busy like that causes stress and we all know that stress is bad news.
23. Not everything you see online is true
News websites aren’t always telling the truth. People you admire on social media don’t post everything. Don’t assume everything you read or see is the truth, chances are, it isn’t.
24. Understand your values
Spend some time understanding what your values are. This will help you to find your purpose, react appropriately to situations and mak
e decisions. Understanding your values is the first step to understanding yourself.
25. Have fun
Spend time, spend money and spend energy doing things you love. Having fun will make you happier which in return will improve all other aspects of your life.
Certified Counsellor & Mental Health Coach