I hope you give yourself grace. I hope you give yourself the grace to make a mistake and then learn from it. Give yourself the grace to move through this world as an imperfect being and know that your imperfections are not something you need to hide or be ashamed of or sweep under the rug. Nobody is perfect. Nobody has all of the answers. Nobody has it all figured out. So please, give yourself the grace to try and to fail. Give yourself the grace to make a mess and know that you have it within you to clean it up, too.
Cell phones aren’t going anywhere, and social media is here to stay, and so it’s becoming a natural response to feel as though you have to be connected all the time. It’s easy to take your work home, and continuously be plugged in, and always feel as though you have to respond to that email, or text message, or direct message, or post. But here’s the thing we’re all forgetting: you don’t. You don’t have to respond immediately. You don’t always have to bring it home. It’s okay to give yourself office hours. It’s okay to say no to the people who are making demands on your time. It’s okay to draw a line between your personal and professional life—it’s healthy, too. Having boundaries doesn’t mean that you’re closed off—just think of it as a way of prioritizing all of the people and projects in your life in a way that makes your life better. There are only so many hours in the day, and you only have two hands—give yourself boundaries so that you are comfortable with how much you’re holding.
3. The permission to feel
I hope you permit yourself to feel, even when it’s unpleasant, even when it’s hard, and even when it makes you want to crawl out of your own skin. You are a human being, not a robot, and human beings are built to feel. So please let yourself feel hope and joy and excitement and fear and hurt and sadness and happiness—let yourself feel it all. Let yourself feel your feelings so that you don’t immediately react from a place of heightened emotion. Recognize them, don’t judge them. And whatever you do, please don’t sweep your feelings aside or bury them under the surface. For if you do, they will eventually fester and boil over and cause more harm than if you just dealt with them in the first place. Let yourself feel things so that you can work through them, and understand them, and keep moving forward in a way that is healthy and good for your soul.
4. A morning routine
That sounds so simple, but sometimes the hustle and bustle of life can overshadow tiny things that we take for granted that can aid in our mental clarity, and sanity, and overall health. Everyone’s morning routine is going to look different, but I hope that you give yourself what it is that you need—mind, body, and soul. Perhaps that means a cup of coffee at the kitchen table in silence before your household is awake. Maybe it’s reading before you start turning on the news, or scrolling through your feeds. Perhaps it’s meditation. Maybe it’s a morning run. Maybe it’s yoga. Maybe it’s just a shower in peace and getting ready for the day without being frantic, or worrying about being late. Whatever it is, I hope you give it to yourself, even if it’s just 10 minutes, because 10 minutes of peace and self-care can change the course of your entire day.
That’s simple, yet too complicated. But I hope you give yourself love. I hope you learn to love the person who stares back at you in the mirror. I hope you learn to love your quirks and your idiosyncrasies. I hope you learn how to love yourself enough so that you know when to push yourself and how to cut yourself some slack. Love you, and love all of you—every triumph, every setback, every part that sparkles, and every scar, too. I hope you love yourself enough to know that you deserve to be loved right back. I hope you love yourself so much that you stop apologizing for who you are or what you want. I hope you love yourself so much that you know that you can pick up the pieces of your own heart when it breaks. I hope you love yourself enough to know that it’s okay to ask for help. I hope you give yourself enough love so that your heart overflows with it, and that you, in turn, give that love to other people.