Words by Megan Whitehead, staff writer

People are a lot like plants. We feel our best with plenty of water, sunlight, and energy. But when these things are lacking, we dwindle and become less vibrant versions of ourselves. The only constant thing in your life is you, and your relationship with yourself should be a healthy one. It’s something that’s a lot easier said than done and there are so many obstacles in the way of  creating a fulfilling relationship with yourself, but it is also the very best thing you could do for yourself.

Something I’ve found to be a good starting point for looking after yourself is the concept of energy takers and givers. Think about the things that make you feel energised and motivated versus things that make you feel drained and make a list. For example, things that give me energy are spending time in nature, doing the exercise I enjoy and having a good routine. Things that drain my energy are spending too much time with people who don’t uplift me, overthinking and spending too much time on social media. Once you have a clear list of your energy givers and drainers, adjust your life accordingly. Prioritise the things that make you feel whole and start to shift your time away from the things that leave you feeling empty.

Another stepping stone on the path to wellbeing is forming healthy habits. They don’t have to be big commitments, but there are a lot of little things I’ve started doing which have transformed the way I feel about myself. The power of writing down all your thoughts and making sense of them on the page in front of you is underestimated. When things feel heavy and you are overwhelmed is when journaling is especially rewarding. But journaling doesn’t even have to be as deep as that. You can just use it to plan your days or weeks, reflect on the time you’re having and just have a physical copy of what’s inside your head. It’s also such a good way to see the progress you’re making and see how far you’ve come from past versions of yourself. Start small, maybe just a sentence a day, until it becomes a habit. Write down what you’re grateful for too! It makes such a difference in your mindset and outlook when you focus on the good things happening in your life.

Movement is medicine. Exercise isn’t everyone’s thing and that’s okay, but moving your body is a guaranteed way to lift your mood. Take a walk, do some yoga, run, go to the gym – move your body in any way that feels good to you. Getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine has the ability to change your mind set for the day, don’t underestimate it. It can be hard and sometimes I really have to force myself, but I’ve never regretted moving my body.

Getting out of a dark place mentally is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but when you start implementing small changes in your life, they add up and slowly you start to feel like you’ll be okay. When you start taking care of yourself you start feeling better, you start looking better and you start to attract better. It all starts within you.

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