Last month I turned 26 and for me, the past year has (naturally) had its ups and downs. The year I was 25 was the year I felt I have learnt the most about myself for so many reasons. Here’s a roundup of
Always make time for learning
Whether it’s reading a article, listening to a podcast or even listening to others, learning is something we as humans should always actively be doing. It doesn’t have to be work related either. Ultimately, you are in control with what you want to learn about, so be creative and flexible with it as you want. To always make sure you are continuously learning, you should ideally dedicate at least an hour a week to explore something new or expand your knowledge or skill set on something you may already know. You’ll be surprised with how much you can find out in a small space of time. Sharing knowledge is also important and hugely powerful. In my workplace we are actively encouraged to share knowledge, not just with people in your team, but with others. This is something I truly believe we should all do, something so small to you may have a huge impact on others.
No life plan? No problem
I’ve always thought I’d know what age I’d achieve big life milestones. What age I’d get married, have kids buy a home… those kind of things. This year I’ve certainly realised that it is okay not to have a strict plan in place. Life will always be unpredictable and we must start learning to embrace it. As corny as it sounds, everything does happen for a reason. We are all still understanding what life is all about, so if you want to take risks, why shouldn’t you?
Speak up about mental health
This year I have had somewhat a battle with my mental health. From panic attacks, to anxiety flare ups, I felt like my mental health was taking over my body and mind. I wasn’t in control of it and had no idea how to manage it. Don’t get me wrong, this is still working in progress for me and I’m still figuring things out for myself however, I have had a great support network around me. My boyfriend, friends and family have all been there for me when they knew something was up and not quite right. This certainly helped with me speaking up about it, and has given me the courage to share my experience and seeking help when I needed it. It’s never easy opening up about your mental health but just remember, there are people, charities and services out there who are willing to listen. You are never alone.
Value your relationships
Some of my relationships have taken a turn this year, in both good and bad ways. The relationships I’ve made this year are the ones I never thought I would have made, and it’s been a game changer for me. It’s important to remember that relationships are a two way thing, both people have to put the effort in. So if you want it to work, you’ll need to do some work! Friends are the people who pick you up from a bad day, to give you the honesty you want to hear and turn your bad day into a good one. The same goes to family. They are the best support function out there, without a doubt. Take the time to talk to your nearest and dearest, a simple text asking how they are can really change their day, especially if it’s been a bit of a rubbish one!
Don’t compare yourselves to others
This one has taken me so so long to realise and has challenged me a lot this year. Looking at others my age who are either travelling the world, getting engaged or landing the job of their dreams. Always try and remember your biggest successes and what they meant to you. Silly as it sounds but I like to jot down once in a while all the good things I’ve done in the last few months. It helps me realise I have been doing some pretty good shit, despite it not being what others are doing. You’re probably asking how I would compare myself to others? Well, social media seems to be on people’s agenda 99% of the time and will continue to do so. I’ll happily hold my hands up and say that I spend way too much time scrolling through Twitter and Instagram and sometimes even get to the point of viewing some random profile, having no idea how I managed to get there and why I was looking in the first place. While social media an awesome space to speak up, promote good work and influence others, it can also be a place where the wrong message is sent and can be significantly damaging. Remember, nobody is perfect. Admitting both your strengths and faults helps you understand who you are and how you can learn from both. Social media is getting better at this, but a lot more still could be improved.
What were the things you learnt at 25? If you’re not 25 just yet, what are the things you think you’d like to learn by then? Let me know!