During Mental Health Awareness Week, our intern, Sonali Nundoochan shares with us the great advice she was given about self-love and learning from low points.
Some days it is easy to spend more time worrying about how to balance life’s priorities, than investing time in them. It can be overwhelming to have a lot of responsibilities not to mention different worries and concerns.
Once you jump onto that train of thought, it can be difficult to jump off. Anxieties can build up and the same thoughts spin round and round in your head, like socks in a washing machine. However, there are ways to make things easier. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, we can learn to thrive and grow positively.
This is one of the hardest things to do. We’re always told to love ourselves but what does it mean? I think that loving yourself means to be kind to yourself. Appreciate the things that make you, you. Take ownership of not only your successes and strengths but also of your mistakes and accept that you can be wrong.
Be a best friend to yourself. Think about how you treat someone you love, like your best friend. You support him/her when things are bad and celebrate with them during the good times. You look out for each other, do fun things together, and care for each other. Treat yourself in the same way. You may feel low but don't give up on yourself if things aren't going well. You wouldn’t give up on a friend, so why do that to yourself?
When things are great, don’t be afraid to embrace your happiness and compliment yourself. You worked hard and achieved your goal; you deserve to feel proud about yourself! Be your own cheerleader and always motivate yourself. Lastly, take care of yourself – if you need time-out, advice or help – don’t be afraid to ask for it.
It is important to use everything we go through as a lesson for the future to help us grow. An unsuccessful job interview may teach us to be more confident in our skills and capabilities next time. Meeting the exam grade target we set for ourselves may teach us that hard-work and revising in advance and not the night before pays off.
Self-growth and thriving means learning from our previous mistakes or regrets. A regret will remain a regret unless we learn from what we did and change the way we approach similar situations next time.
Throughout high school I always regretted the fact that I was too shy to take part in activities such as debating. This prevented me from making the most of different experiences and closed the door to potential achievements. When I first started university I learnt that I could either carry on this behaviour or I could step out of my comfort zone and build my self-confidence.
I knew it would be difficult and very scary but I also knew that I owed it to myself to try to achieve my goal. In my first year I joined many societies at university and attended events even though I was scared that I wouldn’t know anyone.
Growing and thriving
Today, I am so glad that I did that. New situations still make me a bit nervous but I know that I am learning and growing. I have become more involved in different activities that I used to run away (literally and figuratively) from. I have learnt the importance of not over-thinking everything, being confident in yourself and doing things that might scare you: It's one of the best ways to grow and thrive.
By practising self-love and using our low points to learn and to grow we can thrive and develop positively. When you're feeling low, advice can seem impersonal or clichéd, but it often holds truths: Loving yourself and being kind to yourself is important; learning from low points helps us become stronger individuals, and things do and will get better.
"Learning from low points helps up become stronger individuals" – YoungMinds Intern