1. Ignoring or minimising health issues.
Let’s start with a biggie. This behaviour is not smart. If you see/feel a problem, talk about it. It never does any good keeping things in; emotionally or physically. What if the things you are ‘keeping in’ are slowly killing you? Isn’t it better to know what you are dealing with rather than spend your days living in a constant state of anxiousness and anxiety? (The answer is yes there by the way. Just in case this very sentence is making you anxious). If in doubt, get checked out.
2. Doing diets/workouts/joining gyms if you don't want to.
It’s January! You’re a big festive fatty! You better lose those pounds fatso! And what better time than the start of a new year! That’s right, your purse is barren, and you’re heading back to work after a blissful indulgent period of time off, what better next step to take then silently crying as you mount a sweaty treadmill? If you don’t want to a join a gym – don’t. Yes, exercise is great, and necessary but find your own way – you don’t have to force yourself to join a spin class or kale eating contest if the thought repulses you.
3. You don’t have to ‘classify’ yourself.
Personally, in living with a chronic illness, I prefer not to be referred to as a ‘crohnie’ or a ‘spoonie’. I don’t like the idea of feeling like I’m separate from the rest of the ‘healthy’ world; in some sort of bizarre sickly cult. Of course I hold no ill will against those who take comfort in these terms, it makes many feel they are ‘in it together’ – however for me it strips identity. I don’t ever want to be determined by my disease.
4. Getting a mountain of ‘Likes’.
We are but tiny specks on this massive planet, inevitably floating into oblivion, what does it matter how many ‘likes’ you get on Facebook/Instagram/your social media of choice? Give up seeking approval for every thought that enters your pretty head and try putting that energy into more productive activities. Did you notice I called you pretty there? LIKE.
5. Things you didn’t achieve.
Look, unless you are a Time Lord you can’t go back in time, so stop mentally torturing yourself over what you haven’t accomplished in the past 12months/your life. Yes, a new year is ‘just another day’ – but it’s also an opportunity to clear away the cobwebs and put the past to bed. So do just that and focus on looking to the future and what you want to achieve.
6. Seeking validation from others.
An inspirational mock-up Marilyn Monroe/Minion quote once said ‘The only opinion that matters is your own’. As with the previous advice of ceasing ‘like’-seeking, try to give up seeking approval from others. The more you aim for it the more addictive it becomes, and therefore the harder to give up. You have to find comfort in your own opinion – because you’ll never please everyone, but mainly because your opinion matters.
7. Tolerating trolls.
The scourge of the internet – little boys/girls playing with their toys and getting so hot and bothered over a complete strangers comments they are left with no option but to call them names hidden behind their keyboard – the internet equivalent of pulling a schoolgirls pigtails. It’s hard to know what the best way of dealing with these trolls is; do we pull them out of their caves into the light for the whole world to see or simply ignore them and eventually they’ll go away? I prefer to pay no attention to them (sometimes it’s easier said than done) – when they have no one to bat their nasty ball back, the game is lost.
8. Wearing heels every day.
Nope. Have you ever seen a bunion?
9. Desiring the ‘perfect’ body.
Such a thing doesn’t exist. So really you’re pinning all your hopes on the unachievable. ‘Perfect’ is different things to different people – don’t change yourself in order to attain a fruitless goal that will leave you miserable. Albeit attractively so.
10. Feeling obligated to make plans.
You think; ‘I’d rather die than go to your baby shower/housewarming/all night rave/brunch date in artisan restaurant where they serve your steak on a shovel’. You say; ‘Oh absolutely! I can’t think of anything better! I wouldn’t miss it!’ Stop doing that. Just don’t go.
11. Selfie shaming.
If you want to post a million and one selfies then go for it. You have a great pout! Just know that we all love you and want to help you deal with your insecurities, if that involves you selfie-ing yourself to ecstasy for a while that’s ok. Just don’t mock others for the same thing.
12. Making a mountain out of Valentine's Day.
Why are you succumbing to the pressure of every advert/shop window in the country? If you want to do something romantic then do it – you don’t need a ‘day’ to show someone you care. If they forget that ‘special day’ who cares? Make him/her a cup of tea! Run them a bath! Throw a toaster in there, they’ll love it!
13. Comparing your life to others.
14. Losing the What If’s
Move on and look to the present, and the future. It’s pointless and redundant trying to replay what you feel are missteps in your past, you’ll never know how things may have worked out if you’d taken the other sliding door and it frankly makes no difference on the here and now.
15. Getting back ‘out there’.
Yuck. The best moments normally happen by accident. Unplanned. Don’t feel you have to follow some imagined rule book in order to find happiness.
16. People who are toxic for you.
You don’t need people in your life who make you unhappy, stressed, think less of yourself. It’s just not necessary. Stick like glue to the ones who show you care, make you feel happy and loved. Start the year as you mean to go on: feeling GOOD.