How to Deal: 24 Things I’ve Learned in 24 Years

24 KARAT MAGIC IN THE AIR! Yup, I’ve recently turned 24 and with each new year comes an increased level of chill (anyone else feel this way about getting older?). I look back on my history of anxious struggles and overthinking  things that really don’t matter in retrospect, and have narrowed down my sources of anxiety as the following: myself, others, money/work and diet/health. Since many others become stressed out by these same areas of life, I thought I’d let you know how to deal. Keep reading for some of the habits I’ve adopted as I’ve grown.

How to Deal with Yourself

  1. Ask yourself what it is that you want. Don’t be afraid to dig deep to find your truest desires, but also don’t ignore your superficial wants, sometimes a burger or a pair of boots can make you feel better.
  2. Don’t be disappointed with yourself when you make a mistake or feel like you don’t know enough. Not knowing provides opportunity to learn. Drive yourself to be better rather than being down on yourself.
  3. Trust your gut. Always. I don’t know how it works, but your intuition has got your back.
  4. Don’t make yourself crazy by stressing over items that are beyond your control. Traffic making you late for work? Stress won’t help you now – leave earlier tomorrow morning, but today you’ll be late, oh well. I live my life by the 5×5 rule: if it’s not gonna matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes upset by it.
  5. There’s no need to feel insecure about that new pimple that sprouted up overnight. You’re still pretty, I promise, and it’s unlikely that anyone else has even noticed. Do yourself a favour though, and do not pick at it! (Okay, so I’m still guilty of this one.)
  6. Almost any bad day can be reversed with a bath bomb, a face mask and a hot cup of tea. Treat yo’ self.

How to Deal with Others

  1. You don’t have to hang out with people you don’t like. Healthy relationships shouldn’t make you feel constantly anxious or ashamed of yourself. Keep your inner circle staffed with those who lift you up.
  2. It’s great to have friends that push you to be better, but the best relationships consist of a give and take. Be a valuable friend and help those around you to be their best selves.
  3. Don’t hold grudges – you’re only hurting yourself!
  4. All relationships require you to be invested. Don’t call your friends only when you have time, but make time to call them. Better yet, set aside one night a week/month where your group can meet for coffee.
  5. Find a cause you are passionate about and volunteer some time. You can put off doing your laundry to help out at a soup kitchen or lake clean up. You always benefit yourself when you help out your community.
  6. Say Thank You! Gratitude is so important and is not shown nearly enough. Say Thank You to waiter, to the person who held the door open for you, to the stranger who said “good morning” …

How to Deal with Work and Wealth

  1. Don’t work a job you hate. If you wake up every morning feeling like Garfield on a Monday, it’s time to find another job.
  2. Salary is not the most important part of a job. You spend a third of your day at work and no amount of zeroes on a paycheck can validate feeling unimportant or disrespected.
  3. Don’t compare your professional/financial successes to those of your friends. Remember that you’ve each got your own set of strengths and being jealous isn’t a good look.
  4. Having friends at work is a blessing. They can help the day go by faster, and make you look forward to coming into the office. Find your flock and lean on them during the tough days.
  5. Having a budget and saving for a rainy day are two great ways to avoid money stress.
  6. Find fun activities that are free or very cheap. With the right crew, you don’t need to spend a lot to have fun.

How to Deal with Health

  1. Drink water! Actually, stop reading this list, go pour yourself a glass of water and come back. I’ll wait……. Welcome back! Doesn’t that feel better? Your body is mostly made of water, so get chugging!
  2. Caffeine is never a substitute for a good night’s sleep! If you’re on your fourth latte and your hands won’t stop trembling, switch to an herbal tea.
  3. Find a meditative act that gets you out of your own head for a little while – running, yoga, colouring and even washing dishes can do the trick. Whatever it is, do it as much as required to stay sane.
  4. Eat at least one green vegetable and one orange vegetable every single day. Let it become a habit and work your way up to more.
  5. Restrictive dieting is a no-no. Make healthy choices in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re punishing yourself to be skinny.
  6. Eat breakfast (and not just a coffee). Every. Single. Morning.

If I had to sum this list up in two clichéd  phrases, I’d use Don’t worry, be happy and Treat yo’ self. I’m really looking forward to what else 24 has to teach me about life. What lessons help you deal?

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