When I realised I had the power to change my life, and to live the life I was meant to live, it opened up a new world to me. I had been obsessing about finding my perfect - to the point where I truly believed that I would never live a happy life unless I was living in a small treehouse in a jungle, unless I spent hours in the gym just to get that fitness body, unless I was traveling around the world. There is nothing wrong with this - however it is not reality for most people. I believe that you can achieve anything your heart wishes for, but as a teenager still in school for another x years, I certainly won't be accomplishing any of these things anytime soon.
I decided I would make the conscious decision of creating new habits, new ways of thinking, and instead of striving for the impossible - doing what I could at the moment to improve both my mental and physical health. Here's 10 ways I have upgraded to Minnie 2.0 :)
1. Being with the people I love
I have a talent in isolating myself from other people, I just put on my "I hate everyone" hat and disappear under a blanket watching Netflix for hours on end. Though self care and rest is good, I have noticed that actually making myself go out, talk to other people or do something with a friend in my free time has really helped me. Maybe it's the fact that we end up laughing most of the time, or just the fact that being around other people is incredibly important, but it has definitely made me a happier person.
2. Ditching the materialistic mindset
Because of all of the new things popping up our social media feeds, we tend to become very obsessed with buying new things, most of the time quite pointless things, and we forget what's really important. Leaving this mindset has really helped me, I decided I would start buying things when I need them, and I donated a lot of my clothes that I wasn't using regularly. It felt as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I am not perfect and sometimes I do buy things that I don't really need (but I mean, I always need flowy pants). As my best friend said, "we are humans, it is our nature to be greedy, and we are allowed to treat ourselves", but focusing more on what you have rather than what you want will help you.
3. Leaving my phone
Another thing connecting to social media - the infamous (at least for many of us) advice of leaving your phone, and making sure not to spend entire days mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and Snapchat. It's hard, yes, but this is probably one of the things that has made me a much happier person in general. Because, truth is, seeing "ideal" lives, bodies, and what not on all of these apps does make you feel like sh*t at times. I unfollowed any accounts that made me feel crappy about myself, I put away my phone as soon as I felt myself getting sucked up in the world of gym selfies and açaí bowls, and I noticed an immediate improvement in my mentality.
4. Eating whatever & whenever I want
As someone with a background of eating disorders, this is more than difficult to do. Even for a normal person, the amounts of diets and unrealistic standards we see everywhere today makes it hard to even know what normal eating is anymore. I watched this TED talk suggested by one of the other creators on here, @thehippychickpea, and I realised how messed up this really is. I mean, if we look at a toddler eat, they eat when they are hungry, they let themselves eat that cookie without any guilt, and they stop when they are full. Also, have you ever seen those Pinterest posts about cravings (apparently when you crave chocolate you really just need celery - wow, logic), honestly I am just at a point where I laugh at those because your body knows what it needs! I am still on a learning path for this one, but I am starting to eat when my body needs food, and it feels amazing.
5. Giving myself more credit
This. Is. So. Important. I know many people that struggle immensely with being proud of themselves for what they do, for me this mostly goes for the work I do at school. Even though my results are pretty decent, I always deny that I did good, and this is yet another thing society teaches us. Being proud of your self is in no way selfish, it is something we need more of in this world. You are doing your best, and that is good enough.
6. Drinking more water
As easy as this seems, water has so many benefits. Some of the ones I definitely notice are that it has helped me with headaches, my skin is clearer and it just makes me feel cleaner and happier overall. I drink a bottle of water right after waking up, I read somewhere that this is supposed to flush out toxins from your body and I believe everything I see online so it makes me feel like it helps, at least. I also keep a (reusable) water bottle with me at all times, and I make sure I am sipping my water throughout the whole day. Downside: make sure you don't drink too much because trips to the bathroom every 10 minutes aren't great - I've been there.
7. Accepting who I am
I have spent way too many hours trying to become someone I am not. Realisation: not worth it. I stopped trying to copy everyone around me, I ignored people that judge me and I discovered that I can be happy in my body and my personality. It's okay to mess up, it's okay to have learning curves, but it is so important to stay true to your soul. I am who I am, if people don't like that, well, too bad for them. Be yourself.
8. Smiling more
"Fake it 'til you make it" Something I agree with to 100%. I have repeated this quote to myself countless amounts of times, and it actually works. When I was struggling with anxiety daily a few months ago, this is what kept me going. And it still does. It is important to be honest with yourself and the people around you, but if you ignore your negative thoughts and make an effort to be happy on the outside, a lot of the time this can actually help. As well as making you feel better, smiling actually spreads happiness to people you see, and so, if you just smile more, you have the power to make someone else's day better too.
My new obsession. I wake up every morning and stretch for 20 minutes, I try to stretch every night as well. I am happy to announce that in a few weeks I managed to get my left split back after about 3 years since I last did gymnastics. I personally don't do yoga though I would love to get started with it - if anyone can help send me a dm on Instagram please. But for now stretching is what keeps me flexible, I feel like it makes it easier to move around, and it reliefs a lot of pain. Tip from a stretching addict: do it while watching Netflix or Youtube - you won't even realise you are stretching plus it makes it more fun.
10. Letting things happen
Last point I have for you, to let everything happen. Believe that everything happens for a reason, and let everything happen. Things tend to turn out differently than you anticipate, and that is okay. Life is full of trial and with this comes loads of error. Take everything that happens to you and make it into something good, this is your life and you may not be in control of everything that happens to/around you, but as I have said, you are in charge of how you act. If you make a mistake, laugh it off. If you do something stupid, who cares. In the end, you are your biggest critic, and everyone is just trying to survive in this cruel yet beautiful world.
See the bright opportunity in each new day.
Minnie Elisabeth @minnieelisabeth