Self-Improvement and Self-Care, both are needed and should be valued.
Learning to improve oneself is a lifelong journey, at least in my opinion. The way I strive to improve myself as an adult is drastically different than when I was an adolescent. Some things I do these days to ensure I am working towards being the best person I can be are:
Enjoying drinks, by this I mean if I want to have tea I will enjoy it, if I want to have a soda I refuse to let myself feel guilty about it. While I do monitor my intake of sugar and caffeine for my health I know that when I outright refuse myself those small simple pleasures I only crave them more.
Taking time to get organized. With how my brain works this is an ongoing challenge. Part of why this blog is something I am working on making a higher priority. Honestly, I have three calendars…I’m not even joking. I have a calendar app that I share with my partner that has both our schedules on it as well as memos, to do lists, etc to make sure we both know what is going on. I have my Google calendar which is automatically updated by my school with my class due dates. Then the third is a physical planner where I can organize as my brain needs, writing everything down is also the best way for me to remember that I have something going on or due.
Being conscious of what I put in my body. Over the years I have learned what helps my body feel it’s best. I know that gluten and I don’t get along, that pineapple could send me to the hospital. So within those restrictions I eat a fairly healthy diet, however I like the drinks do not refuse myself things that I want. I just do my best to find the healthier option of that. For example, prior to discovering that gluten is the enemy for me. I used to love double stuffed Oreos. Once going gluten-free that was no longer an option. Until they came out with a gluten-free line, which in my opinion tastes better, but that could just be because it has been years since I have had a “normal” Oreo. I grew up on pasta and absolutely love it. After going gluten free I went through many, and friends I mean MANY pasta option only to land on Barilla’s gluten free line. Which to me tastes like normal pasta, but I don’t feel sick or in pain when I eat it.
Community, as you grow and change your community does the same. Some people will be with you for years or a lifetime, while others are only in your life for a season. Having a community of people that challenge you, love you, support you and genuinely care about you and your growth is crucial to self-improvement. My community looks COMPLETELY different than it did even 6 months ago. While I have a couple people in my life from when I was young, there are quite a few new people.
This point piggybacks off the community point. Learn to genuinely be yourself. Growing up and in my first serious relationship I did everything I could to mold myself to be who I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I just wanted to fit in, be accepted. Now, after trauma, pain, and heartbreak I have learned and am still learning that when I am true to who I am, the people who accept me and care about me mean so much more because they know the real me and that level of acceptance is so much more valuable. It is more valuable because you don’t have to keep up a facade you can come to them with your real issues and concerns. It is also FAR less exhausting!
I know there are more and I am happy to write lots on this topic, but those are the few that are on my heart and that I am walking through currently.
Talk soon my friends!