As we grow older and wiser we tend to think, “If we only knew then what we know now!” Nichole Howson addresses issues that young girls could be facing in the hope that she can help other young ones who are going through the same thing.
Dear young girl,
I know these times might be a bit confusing, maybe even a little painful at times but I want to give you some advice that has helped me through the years.
1. It’s okay to feel your emotions. It’s okay to be happy, to be sad, or to be mad. Emotions are good; letting them control you is not. When you’re angry, don’t act in anger. When you’re sad, don’t base your plans on those emotions.
2. Crying is not something to be ashamed of. You should never have to hide your emotions. Crying can be therapeutic; embrace it, but do not set up camp there. Have a good cry, then watch a funny movie or take a hot bath. Do something for you to help you feel better.
3. It’s important to remember that the bad days won’t last forever. I know that sounds clique, but I really do think it’s true. Try to find at least one thing each day that you are thankful for. It will help brighten your perspective.
4. Don’t ever stop dreaming! Your dreams will guide you through life, giving you your passions, guiding your decisions and leading you to find the joy in every day. The sky is the limit!
5. There is no shame in asking for help. Admitting that you can’t do it all on your own is healthy. It’s something you should learn to do sooner rather than later. You’re mental and physical health will thank you.
6. Know that there are people around you who love you, care for you, and will be there for you in your hardest of times. These are the people who will support you through the good and bad and will have your back no matter what.
7. Your failures don’t define you. We do not learn without failure. Accept the failure, learn from it, pick yourself and continue on. No matter what happens or what people say, you are NOT a failure. Everyone makes mistakes, even the most successful people.
8. Boundaries are healthy. They might be hard to create, but you will grow to appreciate them, especially once you’re older. You will find that boundaries will make your life easier, healthier and more fruitful.
9. And lastly, never be ashamed of who you are. You are amazing; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t hide your weird, it’s unique. Don’t hide your quirks, it is part of what makes you, you. You are special, don’t deprive the world from how incredible you are!
Hold these truths close to your heart, live life to the fullest and love lots.
Someone who’s been there.
Full permission attained by Nichole Howson, www.defyingshadows.com
Where to get help
If you need help, talking to your doctor is a good place to start.
If you’d like to find out more, or talk to someone else, here are some organisations that can help:
Black Dog Institute – Are you affected by mood swings or a mood disorder – See website for online help
Lifeline – Do you find yourself find in a Crisis? Call 13 11 14 or chat online
Suicide Call Back Service – Are you or anyone you know talking or thinking about suicide? Call 1300 659 467
SANE Australia – Living with a mental illness? Call 1800 18 7263
Beyondblue – Do you have feelings of depression or anxiety? Call 1300 22 4636 or chat online