For so many people, summer is a time of growth, using the time off of school or uni to fulfill our highest selves’ hopes & dreams. However, with that aspect becoming a trend, people might go on to pursue self-betterment in a toxic light, so how do you grow in a kind & respectful manner to yourself?
When discussing health & well-being, there are 3 aspects to consider always; mind, body & soul. If one aspect is deficient, imbalance will prevail.
The simplest way a teenager could take care of their physical manifestation, is by taking care of their skin. Inherently when you look better, you feel better -without going into detail with the philosophy of it, however by seeking out a skincare routine you are by no means succumbing to an idea that your current you is any less of, your current you is all you’ve ever known, love it greatly & give it a gentle farewell.
With skin, less is more!! A good cleanser, moisturizer & SPF, are generally all that you need, given their ones suited for your skin type. We’d recommend Youssra El Gamal, the queen of skincare, for the science behind the skin. And Arwa Abbass (more commonly known as Miss Aroura) for honest-to-God reviews.
By feeding your brain, you elevate yourself socially, but it also serves as a reflection of your act of care & kindness towards yourself! Reading doesn’t have to be boring whatsoever! Explore different genres, if you’re into fiction or nonfiction, if you read to unwind or read to gain info & find your pace, try to remember it’s not about how many books you’ve read, but rather the quality of the books you’ve read. While I’d love to recommend books myself, I’ll leave that extremely difficult task to none other than the king of the internet’s book worl Jack Ben Edwards, go binge watch his YouTube, thank me later 😉
Any media you consume is bound to have an everlasting imprint on you. It’s basic psychology!! If you watch depressive tik toks, you’ll become depressed. If you watch a farmer make an aesthetically YouTube of their day-today, you’ll wanna be a farmer. So invest in the movies you watch! Watch sorrowful movies, ones that teach you compassion and about history, take The Pianist for example. Or watch a movie about self-discovery like Eat, Pray & Love. Whatever movie you watch, make sure the key takeaway can help fuse into your life. That being said, don’t suck the life out of your own party, movies are meant to be enjoyed, but doing so with consciousness could make a world of a difference!!
Which leads me to my next point, podcasts. Self-help in the past few years has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, with everyone selling you the next best fix. Podcasts have been the brink of that as of lately. While podcasts are enjoyable, make sure that you give yourself the space & time to exist in the absence of any media, be that your phone, a podcast, or a movie!! Allow yourself to think, self-help media can help direct your thought process, but do not let it dictate it!!
While undergoing all of that change, being there for yourself, coming back to yourself & reminding yourself that you’re not your own worst enemy is extremely important. Journaling is one way you can do that. There are many, many ways by which you can approach journaling by, I’ll leave my favourite video by Jusuf linked to watch it. I would love to preface by saying that journaling is not an exclusively feminine thing, many men in my life journal, they’re all men I look up to, as does Mr Bill Gates!
6- Food & Exercise
And before you ask, yes food & exercise falls right under the umbrella of self growth & reinvention. The important thing is, to not perceive either as a form of control. Instead, find joy in exercise, a celebration of your body & its many blessings, what you’re able to add to them. With that, fuel your body with nutritious food. Consider the value of the food youre eating, but also make sure you enjoy the food itself. By all means do not use either as a measure of your self-worth or of your social standing.
7- Social Life
Finally, while being there for yourself is important, as humans we inherently run in packs. We need a community. As you change & grow, you’re going to find yourself outgrowing those who maybe aren’t, understand and make your peace with that. Remind yourself that you aren’t any superior to them, nor are they any inferior to you, you’re all simply on different life trajectories & their presence in your life for said time was necessary, it served a purpose. Don’t deny them that privilege by deleting them out of your life, honour their memory, the joy they once brought, by not settling for others who don’t fill you with the joy they once did.
One thing I’d add here is to always communicate. Don’t ghost someone because you no longer align, a simple text would do, never make anyone doubt their worth, it’s not worth it.
on the whole, while growth is a constant human evolution, it is not the essence of our existence. We should strive for our growth sure, but remind ourselves that self improvement isn’t the end all, be all of life. In the end, always choose kindness to yourself, that in of itself is the greatest growth you could achieve.