There is no one secret to life. There is no one fountain of youth and there certainly is no one way to “have it all”. Rather, the “secret” (see what I did there) isn’t so secret after all: It’s the combination of many things that serve a multitude of life goals. If that sounds a little muddled up, it’s because it’s meant to be.
Life doesn’t lend itself to a linear existence and in the words of Italian film director, Frederico Fellini:
“You have to live spherically–in many directions. To accept yourself for what you are without inhibitions, to be open. Put yourself into life and never lose your openness, your childish enthusiasm throughout the journey that is life, and things will come your way.”
Here’s how you’re going to do it.
Image by Myriam’s-Fotos
LOOKING GOOD, FEELING GORGEOUS, LOVING LIFE
It’s very easy to be seduced by fashion magazines, television, and celebrities, and who wouldn’t want to? Stylized images of airbrushed perfection lean into perfect bodies and flawless complexions. While many of us escape to that world as a flight of fantasy, there’s no doubt that it also has much, much darker influences on women the world over.
But, there is a clear connection between a healthy self-image and mental health and you do not, repeat not have to look like a Vogue cover model to achieve it.
So, here are 5 simple ways to achieve a healthy self-image that won’t break the bank or turn into a full-time obsession.
#1 Love what you have, don’t yearn for what you don’t.
Especially useful if you’re on a budget, taking what you already have in your wardrobe and categorizing it using 3 keywords can create a whole “new” wardrobe. The 3 keywords you want to use are the 3 words that you would most likely use to describe your style. Even if you don’t have all the necessary items in your closet to define that style, arrange what you currently have into those categories.
Now, search the internet for inspiration on different looks with accessories like belts, scarves, and shoes (and a few photos of your favorite celebrity styles) and you’re heading in the right direction. Later on, when budget allows you to hit main street knowing what you’re looking for.
This simple action serves a dual purpose: You’ll remember the emotional “feel-good” when you first bought your favorite wardrobe staples, and you would have learned a very good lesson in gratitude. Win-Win.
#2 Love the skin you’re in first, then (and only then), improve it.
So that’s a bit of a loaded statement but here’s a take-away deconstruct: we all want to be better versions of ourselves and that’s fine, but start from healthy self-acceptance first. Otherwise, you’re going to pursue an idea that is unrealistic and will just cause even more issues down the road.
Then, take it literally. A good skincare routine has overall health benefits for you, apart from just looking and feeling great. Everything you need to know and more, here.
#3 Take risks…the good kind.
Ever heard the saying “do one thing every day that scares you”? Well, it turns out that there is a whole lot of substance to that way of thinking. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take up skydiving (unless that’s what you really want to do), but pushing yourself a little farther outside of your usual limits can have a wonderful effect on how you see yourself and your abilities.
But if jumping out of planes isn’t your thing, try taking a new direction with your hair or makeup, and far from going from Cate Blanchett to Morticia Adams, a quick trip to your local Spa/Stylist for some professional advice on a new look will go a long way. Remember it doesn’t have to cost a lot, work within your budget and check out some microblading pricing to reshape your eyebrows and instantly change your look.
#4 Learn Something
Not only will doing this increase your overall skills and ability to compete professionally, but it is also a wonderful method of boosting your mental wellbeing, particularly good practice if you already have depression or anxiety issues.
Why not start with a new language? Learning Spanish in America is becoming more and more useful and not a bad place to start.
#5 Change someone’s life
Another one of those “double-impact” type things to do, because by making a difference to someone else’s life – you’ll be changing yours by default and that’s always a good thing.
AND THEN, THERE WERE TWO
No matter what we try to tell ourselves that we’re perfectly fine being single and sure, in some cases at different stages of our lives that may well be true, but the science is in: Love makes you live longer. There is something entirely unquantifiable about this particular element of the human condition, but the emotional currency of being romantically and sexually connected to the person you’re in love with is well worth spending.
Love completely and often and without hindrance, to do so with anything less than your best is ultimately to let yourself down. In the bigger scheme of things, we miss 100% of the shots we don’t take and romance is no exception. Sure, it doesn’t always work out, but when the great accountant comes to balance the books, can you think of a biography that’s ever been written that ends with the words: I should never have fallen in love?
YOU REALLY DO NEED A 5 YEAR PLAN
Nope, not the vision board (although that’s always a wonderful way to create some dream space), we’re talking about the type of 5-year plan with a dedicated goal in mind. Use the “S.M.A.R.T” Technique:
Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic and Timed. Remember to work in a generous reward for achieving that goal at the end and break the 5 years down into successively achievable milestones, few things motivate as powerfully as success. It’s a sense of knowing.
When all is said and done, the rich tapestries that define our wonderful and exceedingly complex journey on this planet are ours for weaving and achieving the richness and fullness of life is no secret at all, but it is…the journey.