I have to write a small disclaimer here as I'm not always one to follow my own advice, I most definitely do not always practice what I preach.. I will read stuff and go all 'THIS MAKES SO MUCH SENSE?!' and still, yet again, I return to my life and end up chasing my tail wondering what went wrong. Anyway, I try to follow as much as my irrational human instincts will allow (See number 6 for more information) and I offer all of this advice from my own colourful life experience so far (and maybe a lot of therapy). Soooo...
1) What you allow will stay. Simple. If you don't want or like it, don't allow it.
2) Value and protect your sleep - its a really essential ingredient to good mental health that we don't promote or acknowledge enough. Get your Zzzz.
3) Things, people, situations, jobs – are rarely what they first seem. Trust your gut, it never lies. A very experienced therapist friend of mine once said to me “Sophie I have never had a client sit down in that chair and say ‘Well I wish I hadn’t trusted my gut because that was wrong’”. Your gut always knows whats really going on - and it will usually let you know straight away if you listen.
4) Everyone is ‘crazy’. So please try not to waste another minute of your time feeling ashamed of your idiosyncrasies. You're fine. You're good.
5) In the words of Marian Keyes (one of my favorite authors); “You can’t get excited about becoming a cyclist the same day you find out your car has been stolen.”– Think about it, healing from hurt or loss - of any kind - is important and should always be allocated time, patience, respect and kindess.
6) Life is messy, people are messy – be kind – people have their reasons and I can promise you, everyone is just doing their best with what they know. (Unfortunately, some people sadly do know very little!)
7) Do your best to sort out and understand your past and learn about the messiness in your attachments to other people – go see a therapist, write about it – run away for a few years - but take responsibility. Everyone’s family screws them up in some way or other and you don’t get to be a victim once you’re in adulthood. Its not always obvious or easy to see when we do it, but try not to use other people, relationships or sex to plug those emotional holes. I think you know you can do better than that.
8) Looking after yourself is not selfish, its smart. You have needs – don’t ignore them.
9) Every relationship you ever have with any human being be it business, friendship or love – is always a negotiation which means two things:
1) You can only ever give 50% - so don’t exhaust yourself trying to do their bit too - whatever it may be - to keep the relationship afloat - its always a joint effort.
2) Physical, sexual or emotional dis-respect is never ok and its always valid to say no and walk away.
10) And finally – the most important of them all - learn to be vulnerable– it can be excruciating and embarrassing and cringeworthy and terrible (trust me, I know...!) but its also the only way to live a life you won’t regret. If you're not quite sure what 'vulnerability' really means then google 'Brene Brown' and get back to me (She'll change your life). Great love and great success is mainly achieved by people who internally somewhere just went ‘oh fuck it I'm gonna look like a massive idiot but whatever here goes!. ’
Now go finish that coffee and have a lovely day :-)