Things I wish I could tell my 25 year old self…

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By Anita Manley

I recently posted a throwback photo of myself on Facebook (see below). It really spoke to me and I started thinking, oh what I wish I’d known then. So, I decided to write a blog about it. I originally thought I would write 25 things, but the list grew larger. Here are 35 things, I wish I’d known when I was 25:

  1. Practice patience. (As my mother always said, “Good things come to those who wait.”)
  2. Practice self-love. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
  3. Get rid of the negative self-talk track going on in your mind.
  4. Hobbies are not a waste of time, they are wellness tools! Really!
  5. Read a book for enjoyment.
  6. Walk daily.
  7. Join a group/club/team/class to have fun and meet new friends.
  8. Volunteer doing something you enjoy.
  9. “This too shall pass.” The good times, and the bad.
  10. Be yourself – nothing more, nothing less – You are good enough!
  11. You are worthy of love.
  12. Keep busy, but calm your mind.
  13. Have a daily routine.
  14. Practice mindfulness.
  15. Enjoy your alone time. Don’t be afraid to be alone.
  16. Pay yourself first (save and invest).
  17. Relax – learn methods to keep your anxiety in check.
  18. Believe in yourself. “You’ve got this”.
  19. Trust your gut.
  20. Some things are better left unsaid.
  21. Always use the sandwich approach when communicating with people regarding a difficult situation.
  22. When angry – go for a walk, write in a journal. Take time to digest and calm down before discussing. You can’t take those words back.
  23. Compare yourself, to yourself – not to others.
  24. Learn to love and appreciate your body.
  25. Don’t be afraid to feel all of the emotions. You don’t have to be “happy” all of the time.
  26. Journal!
  27. Have an attitude of gratitude!
  28. Stop blaming others. Take personal responsibility!
  29. Have compassion for yourself and others.
  30. Stop worrying about things beyond your control.
  31. Continue to do your best and be satisfied with that.
  32. Aim for progress, not perfection.
  33. Breathe!
  34. Take care of yourself first so you can truly take care of others.
  35. Surround yourself with people who hold similar core values.
When I look at this picture, I feel so much love and compassion for my younger self. There was just so much I had yet to learn.

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…”

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By Anita Manley

Hi folks, I’ve been absent for a few weeks now, trying to manage my anxiety around some important issues that are beyond my control. I don’t know about you, but I’m really not good at this. My Mom always told me: “don’t worry about things that you cannot control”. I think of her words regularly and really give it the good ol’ college try, but if I have to do this for too long, I fail miserably. Everyone’s perception of ‘too long’ varies. Mine is about a month. After a month, I start to think of what if, then what, etc.

I’ve had two pretty important issues ‘up in the air’ for over a month, one I’m still waiting on. So, I had to do something to manage my anxiety. I talked to my support people and then I decided to keep busy doing things I love to do, in order to keep my mind from wandering down a potentially negative path. I decided to do more knitting during free moments (I’m now working on a baby blanket and bunny for my new grandbaby, expected in July), journaling and painting (acrylic on canvas). All of these activities help me to stay in the present moment and while doing them, I feel as though I lose track of time. I would even say they are ‘meditative’. It worked! I’m not exactly an expert at “not worrying”, but I have mostly managed to overcome the beast.

So, I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing, and let the cards fall as they may. Whatever happens, happens! I know that I can deal with the outcome. I’m so much better at coping with the known, than the unknown. I’m a work in progress. In the meantime, I’m creating some wonderful knitted objects and beautiful art, and greatly enjoying it.

I just read a Peanuts posting that said, very fittingly, “Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening, it just stops you from enjoying the good.”

I will continue to do my very best ‘not to worry’ about things beyond my control. Besides, Mother knows best. At least I know my Mom always did!

How do you cope with things beyond your control?

Journaling, knitting and painting have helped me stay focused, quelled my fears… and give me HOPE.