Now I’m officially in my mid-20s, I feel qualified to give advice (lol).
Don’t worry, I’m not talking about boring stuff like changing light-bulbs or fixing a broken fuse (there are usually real adults around to do that stuff). I’m talking about the things that really matter.
I don’t know how a mortgage works (I think you need to feed it twice a day?) and the mere mention of HMRC sends shivers down my spine, but I’ve still been through some pretty grown-up stuff. All of which has made me infinitely wiser.
Because I’m all about producing amazing content for my readers, I went through some excruciatingly painful self-reflection to harvest my shiniest nuggets of wisdom for you.
You can thank me later.
1. Eat the cake
Eat. The. Fucking. Cake. I spent my teenage years stressing about my waist-size instead of socialising and feasting with friends. To this day, I mourn how many delicious desserts I shunned because I was scared of calories. Cake and calories aren’t the enemy; a society which tells people beauty is conditional on size is.
2. Health isn’t’ synonymous with weight
Health is such a broad term and includes everything from mental health issues to work/life balance and finances. It’s also individualistic; healthy looks different depending on the person. For some, it’s gaining weight and learning how to indulge without guilt. For others, it’s working on forming healthier relationships.
3. Find an exercise you enjoy (not just to lose weight)
Find something active to do just because you love it. I hated exercise; I spent hours running or doing HIIT (I still have nightmares) in the name of keeping fit. It all changed when I found yoga; I began to enjoy moving. Whether it’s pole-dancing, walking or hobby-horsing (please check this out if you haven’t), stick with an activity that suits you.
4. Invest in good workout gear
Gym gear can make or break a workout; how many times have you been stuck on a treadmill hoisting your cheap Primark leggings up? It’s annoying. As a yogi, investing in a good pair of leggings changed my life. How? Head over to my shameless clothing haul blog to find out.
5. Throw clothes away that don’t fit
Why is that size eight dress still hanging miserably in your wardrobe? You know, the one you wore TEN YEARS AGO to your sister’s wedding? Does it remind you (falsely) of a time when you were prettier, smarter or more successful? Newsflash: YOU ARE STILL ALL OF THOSE THINGS PLUS SOME EXTRA. Seriously, that ancient dress shouldn’t dictate your worth; throw it away, buy some bomb clothes that actually fit and start living your life.
6. Ditch heels
At university, I lived in a high-heeled hell, toddling around London on stilt-like shoes. I thought I looked hot. In reality, I looked like a drunk giraffe.
7. Ask for help
It doesn’t make you weak or incapable; it shows you’re resourceful and self-aware. Like any skill, it gets easier with practice. Next time you’re in a tough situation, reach out to loved ones for help. Never feel bad for doing so because you’d do the same for them.
8. Invest in therapy
If all else fails, see a shrink. We’re so isolated and uncommunicative as a race, we now have to pay people to listen to us talk – now that’s what you call a dystopian society. Joking aside, it really helps to get an outside perspective. Whether the problem is your dead-beat husband who never makes you cum first (leave him immediately) or navigating a painful loss, talking about it makes the world of difference.
9. A few good friends are all you need
Popularity was important to me throughout school and university; the more people I had around, the better I felt about myself. This meant I spent a depressing amount of time with people I hated, in artisan coffee shops, talking about Whole Foods and thrift shops. Which leads me nicely to my next point…
10. Not everyone is going to like you
And if they don’t, it’s their loss. I know this for definite because anyone reading this blog is fucking amazing.
11. Family is everything
This won’t be the same for everybody but, thankfully, I have a wonderful family. If I’m down, they’re always ready to cheer me up with a home-cooked meal and useless advice like “everything happens for a reason”. That’s what you get when your parents are yogis.
12. Never stop learning
We’re our own biggest project. Find something, anything, that interests you and pursue it. Take courses, learn skills, approach life with inquisitiveness and make sure to…
13. Read non-fiction
I thought non-fiction books were for nerds when I was a kid. Now, I’m less of a dickhead.
14. Learn to listen
Don’t be that annoying person at the pub who constantly tries to one-up stories. We all know them. You can’t even finish your sentence before they butt in with another “funny” anecdote about how the EXACT same thing happened to them. But it happened better. Fuck those guys.
15. Walk away from conflict
If you’re angry, hold fire. Don’t tell your mum she’s a bitch or send a scathing 17-page text to your ex. Remove yourself from the situation, take some breaths and, if after that time you’re still after blood, feel free to indulge in your self-destructive behaviour of choice.
16. Be by yourself for one year
Understand your likes and dislikes and treat yourself to exciting dates. Take some Tinder-free time out to get to know yourself; fall in love with that person.
17. Heartbreak is cured by time and distance
… and ice cream and furious masturbation.
18. Get a cat
Cats are better than dogs *mic drop*.
19. Call your grandparents
Because they won’t be there forever. It takes five minutes; they’re the only reason you’re walking this planet. So give them a bell and say thank you for that £10 cheque you received two years ago.
20. Detox your social media
Social media is a hotbed of self-doubt; I personally love gently sobbing to myself while scrolling through Instagram photos of gorgeous, tanned blondes. Get rid of people like this; fill your newsfeed with inspiring and like-minded figures.
21. Love your work but don’t make it your life
You need to like what you do but don’t make it part of your identity. Companies go under and people get made redundant; you might relocate and your interests could change. Instead of defining yourself by a job, add a few strings to your bow. That way, if it all goes tits up, you have something to fall back on.
22. Challenge sexist language
Your nobody’s love, sweetheart or darling (unless you want to be). Don’t let anyone speak to you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. Not your superiors at work or strangers on the street.
23. Take the time to learn about yourself sexually
If you don’t know what turns you on, how can you adequately tell your partner? The key to sexually satisfying relationships is to know how you like it; buy sex toys, read erotica, experiment in the bedroom and go on an exciting vagina voyage.
24. Save money
Put the shoes down Carol, you don’t need them.
25. People are stronger than they think
Just remember, you’ve survived 100% of bad days so far. They may have sucked, but you survived.