Growing Pains: How To Have A Healthy Relationship With Yourself - Nawal Zia
Teenage! Ah, what a time to be alive… I mean what a time to over think, stress eat ice-cream at 3 am, and worry about the countless assignments sitting on your desk, right? It’s funny when I say this but this whole age is a messy hormonal melodrama. A few of you may have already been through this while others are experiencing it just like me.
The hormonal changes happening to us suppress the logical decision-making side of our brains, we follow whatever our hearts say than being rational. We all do too much for people who do the bare minimum for us, we get trapped in toxic environments because of certain patterns we’ve gotten used to, we get distracted and lose our way – and yet that’s all part of life. What matters is how you get back on your feet. As I mentioned earlier we tend to think emotionally rather than focusing on the reality of life, and we may take time in accepting what’s been in front of us for years - whether it’s a toxic friend group or someone who never returned the energy you gave, who never made time to see you, who did the bare minimum and pretended that was the most they could do. We often stay in such situations because we fail to recognize our worth and find it hard to accept reality, continuing to live in denial.
Acceptance is key, it may not heal you immediately but is the first step to healing, there will days when you’ll feel low; when you wouldn’t want to get out of bed and certain things would seem unfair and some days you’ll experience bursts of self-motivation and get your work done – self-discipline is essential, force yourself to get out of bed on days when you don’t even want to let the sunshine in, get out of bed knowing that today’s a brand-new day, I know it’s hard to find life again when you’ve fallen so hard on the ground, get rid of the toxicity in your life, not only the people but the habits that are bound to destroy you, stop fixating on certain things in your life and find a balance, so what if your friends left you? So what if things didn’t work with someone as you expected? That didn’t end life for them, and it shouldn’t for you either!
It’s never hard trying to find your way back. Here’s something that worked well for me, get up early in the morning go outside and see how beautiful the sunrise can be; how calming the chirping of birds can be, feel the cold air hitting your lungs as you run around, I know it might seem exaggerated but once you realize how freeing a small jog during nature’s finest hour can be, you’ll realize the true meaning of life lies in the smallest of things– being stuck in the middle doesn’t mean you stop living for the small things, keep on building your ship as it sails.
The first step to having a healthier relationship with yourself is self-acceptance. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that we have to live by someone else’s rules or fit into a specific box so that we can find the right job or the right partner or whatever it is that we’re searching for. In reality of course, we are all unique and we all need to accept and fully embrace our individuality.
The second step is being kind to yourself, give credit where it’s due! Being hard on yourself is just going to make you procrastinate more – the goal is to challenge yourself to keep trying. Sometimes being kind to oneself also means you have to get rid of habits that seem fun now but in the long run might destroy you, self-tough-love as I like to say. You’re a late sleeper? Don’t sleep for the day and then sleep early the next night. Fix your schedule and get back on track! You’re a procrastinator just like me? Make small goals for the day and reward yourself when you complete a goal, let it be an episode of your favorite season or a snack you had craved.
The third and last step towards a healthy relationship with yourself is being your own best friend, people come and people go (reality check – no one’s meant to stay). Self-reliance is essential for balance in any type of relationship, don’t depend on anyone emotionally - now that doesn’t mean you stop asking for help when you need it, just don’t get too attached to people to the extent that it might disturb your mental health.
We all lose friends, get backstabbed, fall in love for the first time (then get our hearts broken for the first time.), fail in exams, let ourselves and others down, and what not – all part of a little thing called life. Just remember that the growing pains subside.
Nawal zia, An O’levels student who is yet to find her place in the world, when she’s not busy with her hectic O’level schedule she’s rebelling against social injustices and binging serial killer documentaries, She dreams of travelling the world one day and also runs a travel blog on Instagram @groovygirltales