These five wellbeing-related life lessons aren’t deep or life-shifting – and they won’t do anything to address whatever the root problem is – but they aren’t inconsequential, either. They have the potential to improve your experience of the everyday, and that’s no small thing. They can also create space – for joy as well as the other things that are important to you.
This post was written by Founder, Iris Brannan, and it contains hard-earned wisdom from more than thirty trips around the sun.
1. Trade your money for time, it’s an even more precious commodity.
Everyone has to live within a budget. Much of the time this means scrimping here so you can splurge there. Many of us are often looking for the most affordable option, however sometimes it is the wiser decision to spend your hard-earned money. The caveat to this is that it has to be done in a considered way. Ask yourself: is what your splashing out for going to save you time in the long run? Is there something else, more important that you could be doing with this time? Are you going to be happier with what this expense is offering you in return? It is, quite simply, a quality of life question.
2. Being body positive doesn’t mean not exercising.
Exercise is about so much more than weight loss. It makes your body work better, as well as your mind, and it has a huge impact on your mood. The way that someone looks also isn’t necessarily an indicator of their fitness or health.
The body positive movement is a wonderful thing. Just don’t misinterpret it as permission to disrespect your body, or use it to justify the decision not to exercise. This movement is all about self-compassion and acknowledgement of what your body is capable of, in addition to being a giant middle-finger up to contemporary beauty standards (no one should need to make justifications, to themselves or others). Once you’re able to move beyond exercise as punishment (for calories consumed) then you can enjoy it for what it really is – a celebration of your body, what it can do and what it will continue to be able to do if you care for it properly.
3. A capsule wardrobe is liberating.
This practice is – or should be – less about strict numbers and more about making sure everything works well together, makes you happy when you wear it, and doesn’t detract from the rest of your life. In essence, it’s about allowing yourself to feel good without being robbed of all the rest that life has to offer; simplifying so that you’re not held back. This practice should give you more than it takes away.
The concept of a capsule wardrobe can be a difficult one, particularly for someone who loves clothes. It’s also, undoubtedly, a privilege to even be considering to choose to buy higher quality and likely more expensive clothing. It comes down to individual priorities and one’s understanding of the power of shopping according to your values – but, importantly, this practice shouldn’t be financially stress-inducing. It can also be a (really) slow process.
4. Trying to be someone that you’re not won’t get you anywhere.
This clarity often comes with age. As you get older you become more aware of who you are and what you need, and have the wisdom to be unashamedly yourself. At the risk of spouting cliché motivational quotes: Be who you are and if that means that you’re not someone’s cup of tea, well, they’re not ‘your people’. Also, if someone doesn’t take the time to get to know you before forming opinions about you they aren’t worth your time anyway.
The desire to try and be (or seem to be) someone that you aren’t can come from one of two places; either you don’t really know yourself (in which case this is more accidental than intentional) or you don’t like yourself – or some element of yourself – and pretending to be someone else is easier than doing the work to fix it. Either way, pretending to be someone else is an utterly exhausting charade.
5. Tracking your period and knowing where you are in your cycle is revolutionary.
Your menstrual cycle and fluctuating hormones can cause big feelings. Knowing where these big feelings are coming from doesn’t mean you won’t experience them, but it can improve your experience of them and minimise how much they impact your life or relationships. For example, it might mean that you’re able to dismiss cycle-induced anxiety instead of spending all day ruminating over your fears. Being able to see patterns or predict when you’ll have a dip in your mood will help you to ride out these unpleasant symptoms and see them for what they are – which is temporary and not necessarily rooted in truth.
You can be ‘old-school’ and write down your symptoms in a notebook so that you can track them over a period (no pun intended) of a couple of months, or go digital and use a period tracker app like Clue. If you’re interested in reading more about how your menstrual cycle can impact your mental health you should check out this post by Cherrelle Slaney. You might also like 8 things which every woman and girl should know about her period.
Have any life wisdom of your own that you’re grateful for? Share it by dropping a note in the comment section below.
*Cover image from Pinterest (credit unknown).