It seems that as you get older, you’ve got a bigger metaphorical mountain to climb. Not just in the fact that everything appears to be heading south, such as your exposure to illnesses and bugs, but your responsibilities and stress levels increase, as your mind seems to dull (seriously my memory is nonexistent these days). While this may sound like the rantings of someone entering the latter stages of their life, the fact is even when you turn 18, this is the beginning of everything going downhill. Now, this isn’t to say that you have to be negative about the rest of your life, but it’s about taking control of your attitudes of your existence, taking more things seriously (like skincare and self care), and growing up. What can we all do to make sure that we have a positive state of mind as we enter key milestones in our life, from our early 20s, to the big 3-0, and beyond?
Think For Yourself
We spent a lot of time preoccupied with things that don’t necessarily matter in the long run. Can you remember being in high school and sweating the small stuff? Ugh, how exhausting! And while there are so many different things for us to consider as we get older, we sometimes choose to follow the herd rather than remain the fiercely independent versions of ourselves from our youth. Look at a toddler, they have their own mind, blissfully happy and independent, and they know what to do with themselves marching to their own innocent beats. Somehow as we get older, however, we learn to fall into line: societal norms, expectations, etc. As a result, we don’t think as independently or freely as we used to. As we get older, we feel we need to tow the line. And, to an extent, this is true. But remember the old adage, rules were meant to be broken. This is something that we should carry with us! Challenge the old rules, introduce new ideas and concepts, spark an evolution of thinking or doing! It’s so easy to look at someone else and feel the need or want to copy them, for whatever reason. And yes, there are many issues we struggle with in our late teens and early twenties, such as fashion trends, what’s popular, peer pressure, and what is considered hip and now. And to an extent, these things aren’t always essential, but it’s vital that you think for yourself and retain a sense of individuality. I don’t know about you but the happiest version of myself arrived when I started embracing who I was, not who everyone else wanted me to be!
Worry Less About Perceptions Of You
This goes hand in hand with wanting to be popular, we all worry about what other people think of us. But as you get older, you start to care less – or at least I hope so. In our late teens and early twenties, we have more superficial concerns, and popularity is a vital currency. Insert the ever-growing social media world and the need to validate yourself through numbers of likes/comments/followers/etc. It’s gross and unhealthy. And while it’s easy to say we should’nt care about what other people think of you, we can’t help it – even I get caught up in it until I snap myself out of it. But what you should remember is that when it comes to making decisions about your life, you should do what is best for you. Now, this isn’t to say you should be supremely selfish, but the important things in life are about your state of mind and what benefits you. I always hear in the back of my mind (like my own little Jiminy Cricket) if I’ve done something to please someone else, or to please me. When I first started walking my path of ownership and decisions, I felt somewhat self-conscious. I almost felt showy or overly confident. This, however, is normal. You’ll begin to develop a sense of confidence along with your new approach to life and in turn, doing what you want to do in life won’t evoke fear of being made fun of, displeasing someone, or falling short of popularity. Let go of FOMO and become your own fearless leader.
Do What Makes You Happy
Don’t please everybody, and don’t leave yourself last. I was the worst about this! Always tending to the needs of anyone and everyone around me while forgetting how to care for myself. It’s basically creating your own boundaries – which at first can weigh heavily on your mind. Saying no sometimes makes you feel guilty, right? Forget that pish posh – saying no is healthy and good for you otherwise you’ll find yourself feeling trampled. Don’t be that person everyone walks all over. Sometimes we need to do what makes us happy, and we know when we’ve done something that compromises our happiness. Very simply (and obviously), you won’t feel happy. Whether this is in relationships where you put the other person first, or you help others who end up stepping all over you, life can be a very difficult machine indeed. But if you go through life prioritising your happiness, this will certainly benefit your state of mind and overall state of health. In life we pass up opportunities, and we carry the regrets throughout the rest of our days, like anchors on a ship. Fortunately, missed opportunities give us chance to assess what does and doesn’t make us happy. The future and all possibilities within is ever-changing. We now have the ability to explore various careers throughout our adulthood instead of saddling into one preordained career for life. This is why so many people go travelling, or people try different careers. It’s these basic things that contribute to a sense of stability and happiness in life. And as bombastic as these ideas sound, it’s vital when approaching your key milestones in life, that you have no regrets.
Photography by Rebecca with BeckleyCo