Things I wish I knew when I was a teenager!

We all know that these years are formative for development, learning about yourself, the world and others around you, so what do we wish we knew earlier.

Being yourself is A-OK

Writing this I'm now in my 40’s (gasp) even though I still feel like I should be in my 20’s. What tips would I give my teenage self? Here are 18 things that are good to know.

1. It's normal to be figuring out who you are. Embrace your uniqueness, strengths, and weaknesses. Your identity is a work in progress.

2.    Understand the implications of your online presence. Be mindful of what you share on social media and respect privacy (especially of others).

3.    Recognize the characteristics of healthy relationships, including communication, trust, and mutual respect.

4.   Understand the importance of setting boundaries.

5.    Prioritize your physical and mental health. Establish healthy habits, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep.

6.   Be aware of your mental well-being and seek help when needed.

7.   Life is unpredictable. Develop adaptability and flexibility to navigate changes and challenges.

8.   Be open to new experiences and ideas, this can lead to personal growth.

9.   Take responsibility for your actions and choices and be accountable.

Communication and balance are key

10. Learn effective communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal. Express your thoughts and feelings respectfully, and practice active listening when others are speaking.

11.   Question information, think critically, and form your own opinions.

12. Don't be afraid to challenge ideas, including your own, and seek a deeper understanding of the world.

13. Life comes with challenges. Develop resilience by learning to bounce back from setbacks.

14. Mistakes are growth opportunities, not reasons for despair.

15. Learn to balance responsibilities, including school, extracurricular activities, and personal time. Developing good time management skills will serve you well in the future.

16. Learn to manage your own emotions, as well as being empathetic toward others. It’s okay to feel – it doesn't matter what the feeling is.

17. Explore your interests and passions. Discover what brings you joy and a sense of purpose.

18. Develop healthy coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety, and challenges. This might include mindfulness, journaling, creative outlets, or seeking support from friends or professionals.

Just remember you don’t have to go it alone, think about all the people you know that are older than you, whilst you might not always want to hear what they have to say, they have been there and got through it.

Embrace growth opportunities, be curious, and don't be afraid to seek help when it's needed.

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