Losing weight wasn’t making me happier, increased confidence and wearing whatever clothes I like was making me happier; two things that are not necessarily defined by how much I weigh.
Diet culture is everywhere. Until this year, it had sucked me in, and I wasn’t even questioning the effects or recognising the damage it was causing me. Eventually, it ended up affecting my mental health quite substantially, and I’m still struggling to come through the other side.
Different people deal with things in different ways, and that is perfectly okay. I’m an open book, wear my emotions on my sleeve, and would prefer to talk something out for hours than have space to think it through. That’s how I cope, but others might not, so if they need alone time to reflect for a while, I have to give it to them.
It’s not worth staying in a job (or any other situation) that’s making you miserable, no matter how perfect parts of it might seem. Particularly if it’s your first job, it’s easy to overlook the issues, which might not even be anything to do with the work itself. Read more about why I left my ‘perfect’ job.
Alone time is valuable, necessary, and – above all – not something to be afraid of. If you’re not used to it, it will feel strange at lonely at first. You might even experience feelings of panic and actively try to avoid it, but with time you’ll start to appreciate it as a form of self care.
Relying on others for happiness just isn’t worth it. You have to retain your independence and sense of self, even in a long-term committed relationship, because you never know when it might come to an end (and it won’t necessarily be anyone’s fault!)
Family, and those friends who count as your ‘chosen’ family, are the most important people in your life. Take care of these relationships, because you never know when you’re going to need them the most.
It’s okay to say no to ANY kind of social occasion if you can’t afford it, would prefer to spend your money elsewhere, or just plain don’t want to go. If you and your friends all become comfortable admitting these things, your social life will be so much more enjoyable.
Doing anything for the first time is scary, and that is completely normal. It sounds cliché, but dealing with new and difficult situations will only build you, making you stronger and more confident when you do it next time.
Sometimes the fight is worth it, and sometimes it’s just not, so pick your battles and use your energy wisely. You’re not weak or a ‘pushover’ for letting things go instead of engaging in conflict.
For me, 25 was a year of firsts, and though it wasn’t an easy ride I am thankful for everything that I’ve learnt this year. Bring it on, 26!