So I basically wrote what I imagined to be a 500 word post in my head and now, it’s only partially written in my memory. (I have a terrible memory—not sure why, is it only me?). And of course now, it’s Monday. I don’t know about you but for me Mondays are never my most productive days even though it’s the day I wish was the MOST productive. Anyways, here are my five tips, my five lessons that I’m always learning. Continually learning.
5. Be careful of the company you keep.
What I mean by that is, don’t let toxic people poison your days…your life. I don’t mean only with their negativity, but people who are bad influences, people who won’t support you, people who don’t even TRY to “get it.” Not everyone will GET what you’re dealing with, but everyone can try. I’m not telling you to ex-communicate everyone in your life. I’m simply suggesting you evaluate the people you’re letting into your sphere of influence…those who influence YOU. It’s more than thinking positively. I know not everyone has a good support system, and although I DO have a good support NOW, I haven’t always had support from everyone around me. It’s necessary to choose SAFE PEOPLE to be around and to allow their influence into our lives. Safe people are trustworthy people who either get it, or try to. This might look different to different people. But as you’re reading this, if it’s something you’re struggling with, I have a feeling you know what to do to solve the problem in your life. I encourage you to do something about it, whatever that looks like to you.
4. Comparison is the thief of joy.
I’m not the first person to say this phrase, and I don’t remember who else has used it. According to thee wise old Pinterest it was Theodore Roosevelt who first said it. Roosevelt or not, I know it’s a good one. As a bipolar person, as a woman, as a mother, as a friend, as a HUMAN…I’ve learned comparing ourselves to other people is not only UNHEALTHY, but unnecessary and will steal joy, contentment and happiness fast! Be you, and no one else. Don’t compare your life, your recovery to others. Relating to people and understanding each other and what we are all going through is great, and helpful, and important, but it’s NOT healthy to compare to the point of jealousy where you think you’re less than anyone else. Everyone has their own issues. Be you. Be content. Being you is good. Being you is right, and you can’t ask anything different of yourself.
3. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Whether you’re stable or in the pits of bipolar recovery hell, let up a little on yourself. Keep going, I encourage you to do the best you can, but only that. It’s okay to fall, but just pick yourself back up again. You can only do WHAT YOU CAN DO and pressuring yourself and putting FALSE GUILT on yourself only makes things worse. And for me, with false guilt comes anxiety. I’ll address false guilt more at a later point, but in short, I describe false guilt as this: if guilt is a real feeling over something bad you have done, then false guilt is that same nagging, uncomfortable feeling over having done nothing. Make sense? It’s something I’ve struggled with and for me goes hand in hand with anxiety almost 100% of the time.
2. Trust your instincts
Especially when you’re a woman, (I’m not a man so I can’t speak for men, ok?!) But when you feel something to be true, and you feel it in your gut, consider going with it, consider trusting it. True instinct and women’s intuition are typically right. There are exceptions to this, and that is, if you’re not good at listening to your own intuition. It can be tricky. So for starters, try learning to listen to your instincts and deciphering what’s your gut and what’s not. When you can start to trust your instincts, listen and follow through. This is something that I learn time and time again in motherhood, but I don’t think it’s exclusive to mothers or women.
1. No gossiping
Random? Maybe. True? Yep. If someone is talking about other people to you, I hope you know they’re talking to other people about you. It’s true. I’m just saying. Keep your mouth and your heart pure. It’s like I tell my almost-four-year-old son; “you wouldn’t like it if someone _______ to you, so don’t do that to them. He’s still learning the lesson, and anyways, we are all continuously learning and growing in life…but this one helps me keep a clear conscience and mind. Thus, limiting anxiety also.
So these five points seemed somewhat unrelated to each other. But they’re also completely on-point and completely related. Such big life lessons, and things that I’m often sharing with people and ALWAYS needing to remind myself of. I just needed to share them with you. They matter to me, things that make a difference in my life (and, when in check, help with anxiety too— BONUS!)