In light of a major mental health crisis in the UK and growing number of suicide among youth, I feel there has never been a better time to share this.
The title of this post is self-explanatory so I will get straight to the point.

1. Look after yourself, as nobody else will

This applies to both men and women. In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, it is very easy to forget about your own needs. Whether it is a busy job, long commute or a young family, everything else seems more important. To many of us finding your inner balance and meeting your needs might seem like a real luxury. However, in the long run, it pays off to see it as a necessity, not a luxury. It’s only when we start feeling low, we realise that something is missing. We contemplate and try to understand why we are feeling depressed, overwhelmed or hopeless.
Often the answer to that is not obvious, although it often comes down to the fact we forget to look after ourselves. But we don’t seem to forget to look after others.
Some parents reading this will know that only when you look after yourself you will be able to look after others well.
And let’s be honest here – we all do enough for others. So why not do something for yourself once in a while – no matter how busy you are.
The joy taken from small pleasures will give you strength and energy so much needed for the gloomy days. The alternative to that is getting stuck in our daily grind, one that we have alone created.
If you are not sure what brings you the biggest joy, take time to get to know yourself. It’s the best investment you can undertake!

2. Only when you love yourself you will be able to love others

It took me a while to understand this one, but now I do – it makes perfect sense. I used to dislike myself. Despite having quite a few good friends, I could easily think of a hundred and one reasons why I don’t deserve a better career, a better body or quite simply a better life!
Amazingly I was able to convince myself that I can’t get these because I’m being me. Because I’m just average, attracting average things in life. I’m not ‘destined’ for real happiness, a meaningful relationship or a fulfilling career. It took me years to realise how wrong I was and finally start loving myself.
And all because of the crazy fake stories I have created in my head…

Jeez, the stories we tell ourselves!
When we don’t experience self-love we are full of criticism and negativity. We don’t like ourselves, so why would someone else like us? It’s not easy to like someone who is miserable, negative and has a problem with every solution. But loving yourself means being able to take things with a pinch of salt – and that takes courage and good humour.
We are all beautiful and unique in our own way.
Let’s embrace it. Believe in yourself and realise how wonderful you are. Once you do, the world will notice it too!

3. When you spread positive energy, it will always come back to you

It will – sometimes when you least expect it! It’s such a shame it took me years to realise it – but better late than never. I know life’s hard. I get it. It’s a real art to put a smile on your face when all you can think about is how much you hate your job or how fed up or exhausted you are. Life can be so overwhelming.
But the truth is it’s much easier to change your circumstances when you change your attitude.
That’s when everything changes. Wonderful things happen. You smile, people smile back. You focus on positive things and the universe sends you more positive things.
It’s crazy how it works, but if you think about it, it’s very simple.

Establishing new positive thinking patterns will lead to taking positive action. This in return will lead to positive results and positive results turn into positive energy.
And once you start spreading it, watch how many new friends you get. But it all originates from your thinking and acknowledging that we become what we think about.
We should all learn how to control your thoughts. Once we do – the sky’s the limit!

4. Nothing lifts up your mood like physical exercise

Physical exercise releases oxytocin, the happiness hormone. No rocket science here. We all know about the multiple benefits of physical exercise. It’s not only good for your body but also for your soul. Yet we seriously underestimate it. Life gets in the way and we very quickly can end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, depressed or angry.
But you know what – going for a run will put everything in perspective. The key thing is to be persistent. No matter what your age or personal situation, create a new routine that works for you. It will only take a few weeks and you will see a change in you. I love running outside. It works for me, as I feel connected with nature. I enjoy looking at trees and breathing fresh air while running.
You might be different. You might be into yoga or cycling – that’s fine. The key thing is that any exercise is better than none. It’s the most wonderful antidepressant there is.
Make it your friend! It will transform your life.

5. You will only find real happiness when you are true to yourself

Many people live their lives through the expectations of others. They do jobs their parents want them to do.
They marry someone their friends ‘’expect’’ them to marry. They practice religions they have been told to practice. And they paint their house the same paint their neighbours have.
Many people are so busy working hard that they don’t take time to get to know themselves, to find out who they really are and to get the clarity of what they really want from life.
Without sounding dramatic, that’s one of the biggest mistakes one can make.

All of us want to be happy, but very few of us have the courage to follow our dreams. It certainly takes strength and little wisdom to accept that you are not going to be everyone’s friend.
But guess what – that’s completely fine! Being true to yourself is so much more important. Free yourself from the world of expectations others impose on you.

You are the master of your destiny.

Happiness is a choice, not a destination!