Learning to love myself again

On Sunday, as I sat in another hospital waiting room (yes I know at the weekend!), I picked up an out of date edition of Grazia. I rarely buy these types of magazines anymore because in all honesty, reading about which celebrity couples are on or off and fashion mishaps doesn't really appeal after our own life traumas.

However, there was one article that caught my eye titled '30 things I've only learnt in my 30s' written by journalist Bryony Gordon (she wrote 'The Wrong Knickers' which is bloody hilarious). Although she openly admits to having problems with addiction, her 30 pieces of advice for the teenage girl in us reinforced what I learnt when my life was turned upside down last year, dealing with demons from my teenage years and how to move on after loss.

But these points are are an important reminder to a lot of people out there who doubt themselves at any point. So I thought I'd share them with you, with a few of my own thoughts added in. My faves are 4, 9, 15, 24 & 25.

1. The most powerful thing you can be when you grow up is YOU. Almost all of the bad decisions you make in life will stem from not wanting to be you.

2. Everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side. Actually, the grass is greener where you water it.

3. You are just as valid and important a human being as anyone else. In fact, you have something the Kim K's and Gigis want - the ability to go out with your friends and not be stalked by weirdos and paps.

4. Instead of aspiring to be like someone else, try being inspired by them. It's a small but crucial difference.

5. Do not hide your light - or try to turn it into something like a flood light, when it's more of a bedside lamp. Both are necessary.

6. Boring, I have learned after a lifetime of chaos, is not such a bad thing. In fact, if you want to live a rich, fulfilled life, boredom is sometimes exactly what you need. Boring is where the inspiration strikes.

7. Don't trash talk yourself. I used to do this almost as a preemptive strike - nobody else could trash-talk me as much as I did. But nobody else was interested in trash-talking me at all. Everyone else was too caught up in their own lives to do that - probably, ironically, busy trash talking themselves.

8. Take compliments. Don't turn them into insults by telling someone that the dress they admired on you cost 50p from Primark and shows off your bingo wings. Just say thank you and move on.

9. Play the gratefuls; every day, find three things that you are grateful for. It could just be that you got a seat on the tube. But blieve me it works.

10. Putting off stuff means it just takes more of your time.

11. Don't dismiss the way you are feeling because it is caused by hormones. Hormones are the most powerful chemicals known to humakind and the idea that i should ignore them because they happen to be female hormones is RUBBISH.

12. Remember is men had periods they would probably be a show presented by Jeremy Clarkson in which he and his friends tried out period technology. Do not keep quiet about the menstrual cycle, or menopause for that matter!

13. Listen to your body. It has things to tell you - important things.

14. Don't feel you have to remove every hair on your body because Love Island says so.

15. Stop giving advice - at least some of the time. We often think we need to offer people advice when they just want to talk. Don't feel you need to provide solutions.

16. Valuing life skills is valuing yourself. You can skydive and still have a savings account: being sensible does not make you dull.

17. Remember you are a human with wants and needs, and not just there to meet someone else's wants and needs. Nobody else's pleasure is worth sacrificing yours for.

18. Perhaps not for this blog!

19. You body is incredible. Your body is to live for, not to die for. You are not obliged to find something about it that you dislike, or to keep quiet if - gasp! - there is something about it you do like.

20. Unfollow anyone on social media whose feed makes you feel 'less than'.

21. Why are you using filters? You are brilliant just as you are and we all have spots, wrinkles and shadows. You are just setting yourself up so that every photo of yourself will make you wince as apposed to just one in every 20!

22. There are no 'good' or 'bad' foods. It is just cake. The world is not going to end if you eat it, and it isn't going to kill you. Just eat it in moderation and exercise after!

23. Think of all the things you could be doing instead of hating yourself.

24. Remember, exercise is for everyone. It is not owned by an exclusive club made up of Olympic athletes and Instagram influencers.

25. Exercise for gains, not the the losses: The clarity it gives you instead of the inches you might remove from your waist and thighs. Exercise for mental health, and see the physical health benefits as a bonus.

26. Try not to use 'you look like you've lost weight' as a compliment. It feeds the idea that our worth lies in our appearance - also, people tend to lose weight during times of heartbreak and illness. What's to celebrate?

27. Don't wait until you are older to see how beautiful you are now.

28. Id someone doesn't like the way you look or tells you that you need to lose weight, then lose the weight of them.

29. A relationship is only ever part of you, not all of you.

30. You are Miss right. And anyone who tells you otherwise is just plain wrong.

Now go love yourself. x

Adapted from Bryony Gordon's article in Grazia 7th May 2019.

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