“Better yourself” it’s something we hear and read often in the self-help section of the bookstore or from a friend talking about their new workout routine – better yourself is a vague term but what does it really mean? Well, it can mean many things to many different people, but in my opinion it is taking action to improve your situation, your mind, or your health. As you may have been able to tell if you have been following my blog, or even my instagram for the last little bit, I have been on a personal growth journey which all started with a new business venture. It seems crazy to think starting a business would change almost every aspect of your life… because it’s only a business after all, but it really has. I believe that bettering yourself, no matter how you want to do it, has to start with mindset.
Mental health is so important, and it is only recently that I have actually come to terms with this. I used to live life kind of ignorantly, if I am being honest; I was doing the bare minimum to get by mentally, spiritually and physically. I feel like a lot of us do this, it is the way society has bread us to be – we get up and go to work to pay for things we need in order to survive and then come home exhausted and repeat this cycle over and over again. Like I have stated many times since the beginning of this pandemic, I think as horrible as the situation and circumstances are, this time has been a much needed mental check for a lot of us.
Like I said, mindset is super important if you want to better yourself and that goes hand in hand with mental health. If you don’t take care of the state of your mind first or at least make the conscious effort to try to help your mental state, it is almost impossible to have a good mindset (aren’t these the same thing? You might be thinking… no, they aren’t and I will explain). Now this might seem obvious, but it wasn’t to me at first – for a long time my mental health was fine, yes I had a few issues here and there but for the most part it was pretty good; my mindset though was horrendous.
Mental Health is defined as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being”, inferring that it is sometimes out of our control, it is the physical state of our brain often changed by chemical imbalances. Mindset is defined as “the established set of attitudes held by someone”, meaning your choices and decisions influence how your mind works. This here is what I am getting at, without the mindset to better yourself and actively choose things in life that will better your life, it is never going to happen. I want you all to think about that for a minute, think about how you talk to yourself in your head, how you decide to do things or not do things based on various things in your life and if your mindset alone is stopping you or hindering you in some way.
It’s not easy to change your mindset and it won’t happen overnight, but working at it each and everyday is necessary in the journey to bettering yourself. The next few tips I will discuss include some tips and tools that will help with your mindset overall, which in turn will help you better yourself, but before you implement these things you have to choose to create a healthier more uplifting mindset.
2. Personal Development
Once you have the mindset down pat, it’s time to actively start working on yourself and developing your mind into a more positive, uplifting environment for you to live in. I was reading an article about how you can work at personal development and it mentioned 3 steps:
Improving Self Awareness: This includes coming to terms with your strengths and weaknesses as a person and accepting these things about yourself. Weaknesses don’t always have to be bad things either, for example, one of my weaknesses is that I get very focused and distracted my menial tasks, making my day overall unproductive. By recognizing this, I can work around these things and find ways to overcome this weakness which in turn makes me more productive! A good way to find out some of your weaknesses is to do an enneagram test, or the myers-briggs test – these are fun ways to discover things about yourself and I can personally say it is pretty spot on.
Knowing and Building your Own Identity: The easiest way to do this is to write down a few core things about who you already are and a few things that you would like to be, and then working towards making that list into one. Once again this isn’t a quick process but by physically seeing what you want to be helps you be accountable for your actions and decisions so that you can work on becoming the best version of yourself.
Discovering and Identifying Talents: Everyone has talents, and some people (probably a lot of people) have talents they don’t even know about because they never try anything new. My advice for this is to try new things! You will find new hidden talents you never knew you had… and that just might even bring you to your true purpose.
These steps are essential to self growth and to better yourself, one of my favourite topics recently and ways to dig deep into each of these aspects is to listen to self-development podcasts or read self-development (or self-help) books. There are a ton of different options for this and you can choose specific ones that tailor to what you specifically want to achieve whether it be business, building relationships, gaining friends, or just believing in yourself more.
Some of my favourite personal development podcasts (I have yet to venture into the book world, but that is coming soon so stay tuned):
- Salvaged Soul by Christa Paarni
- Often Ambitious by Erica Sheffer & Lindsey Plevyak
- Make it Happen by Jen Carrington
A few I have yet to listen to but have heard amazing things about:
- The John Maxwell Leadership Podcast
- Design Your Dream Life by Natalie Bacon
- Do it Scared by Ruth Soukup
- Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher
3. Get Active
This one is super important, and I know we have been hearing it since childhood, but it seriously makes all the difference. Whether it is walking, running, doing sports, or even dancing in your kitchen while making dinner, getting some sort of exercise and movement into your routine everyday is the secret to happiness. You might be thinking “um, no…watching Netflix makes me happy” but I can tell you, you are wrong. While Netflix may be providing you temporary joy, as soon as it shuts off you are going to feel the exact same way you did before watching Friends again for the 800th time. I always think of one my favourite movies when I am explaining why exercise is so important… Legally Blonde… when Elle is explaining why her friend couldn’t have committed the Murder on trial “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
The reason I love this quote so much is because it is 100% true! Endorphins save lives. When I was in my lowest mental point – not so long ago, working out made me feel alive again – feeling that satisfying copper tang in your mouth after pushing yourself to the limit is the best way to snap yourself out of whatever mental funk you have been in. Not only that, but by getting active, you in turn will become more fit, no matter what you are doing and from there you will feel more confident! Confidence also in turn leads to happiness… so once again, get active! I swear it will change your life.
4. Make time for yourself and your hobbies
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that we are all on the cog of capitalism and commercialism… in different words, but essentially that’s what it is. This is the number one thing that beats people down into nothing in my opinion, which again I have come to realize during this much needed break from that never-ending cycle. I could go into how working somewhere that makes you dread going there everyday is horrendous for mental health and overall well-being, but I won’t for now. Instead, I want to just say that no matter what kind of work you are doing whether you love it or hate it, taking time for yourself and your hobbies outside of work is super important to avoid burnout and better yourself.
This can come in many shapes and forms – and if Netflix (sorry Netflix, I do love you) is the way you do that then great! A relaxing evening without any worries on your plate is an amazing way to recover, but once again I feel like personally consuming hours of a show or even just watching a movie really doesn’t do much to help me break through that mental fog. That is just me though, and that is why I choose to spend time taking a bath, going for a hike, working on my blog (yes, this is a hobby for me!) or painting- doing something that allows me to fully escape from work mentally and physically- is more my style. If you feel like you can fully relax watching your favourite show or movie then do that! Do whatever makes YOU feel like YOU are okay again. It is super important to take care of yourself, so make that a priority.
5. Spend time outside, everyday.
It’s no secret that I love the outdoors. Camping and hikes are one of my favourite things to do…ever, and one are some the highlights of my summers every year. I think the reason I love getting out into the forest so much is because it re-energizes and revitalizes me, and this makes perfect sense if you think about it. What gives us oxygen? Trees. So it only makes sense that being surrounded by trees, in turn gives your body that extra boost of oxygen and energy, and in turn, happiness. It is also known that green is a calming colour so surrounding yourself in an environment where all you see essentially is green, I feel, is necessary every once in a while to reset your mind and ease all of that day to day stress we carry around with ourselves.
Now I know being “outdoors, outdoors” isn’t for everyone, but you can get some of these effects by simply going for a walk, or sitting outside and looking at the landscapes around you. Fresh air does the body a whole heck of a lot of good and allowing yourself that break away from everything at least once a day is necessary to keep your mindset clear and focused on your goals, in my opinion. Try it out! Get outside for a short period everyday and let me know how it makes you feel!
Once again we have come to the point in this post where I realize that I did not touch on my outfit at all… but as I have stated time and time again, I am going through change and growth right now and this type of content is probably going to stick around for a while. Let me know if you like me adding this content into my outfit posts, or if you would like them to be separate once again… these posts have gotten pretty long haha so I understand if you would like them separated!
This outfit, and the pieces in it have been my latest obsession… my band t-shirt dress collection has been slowly growing and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future because it’s just so easy! Def Leppard is one of my favourite bands of all time, I grew up listening to their Hysteria albumn on repeat as a child (my dad was obsessed and so I too became obsessed). Love Bites had always been one of my favourite songs on the album also so this shirt SPOKE to me as soon as I saw it (if you haven’t listened to Love Bites, do it now, if you like 80’s classic rock anyways).
Like I was saying, oversized band-tees are it, and you can pair them with almost anything! I decided to pair this one with bike shorts that were a little longer so that people wouldn’t question if I were wearing pants or not, and also add a little more coverage on the legs. BUT, I have another one that is a tiny bit longer than this one (post coming soon) I was wearing with shorter-shorts the other day and it was perfectly fine. Honestly I would wear this one with shorter-shorts and just say whatever also as it is getting warmer out, but that is totally up to you! I like how the bike shorts give a little more of a layered vibe anywho.
With these pieces I added my FAVOURITE new accessory that I honestly want to buy in every colour, this fedora from Aritzia that I had eyed up a while ago but never purchased. I remembered that it existed recently, got it (the price is VERY reasonable btw, and amazing quality so 10/10 would recommend getting it if you like it) so I purchased and I am so glad I did. As we speak I am adding another colour to my basket because I am so obsessed… and done, purchased hahaha. I wish I was kidding but I am not. ANYWHO back to this outfit.
To finish the look off I added some gold layering necklaces (another one of my newest favourite things) and some chunky heels to keep with the grunge, rock-esque but indie vibe I have going here haha. This is honestly one of my all time favourite outfits I have worn in a while and will continue to wear the heck out of it.
Anywho, I hope you have enjoyed this super long post and try to implement these things into your life so that you can grow and better yourself along with me! If you try any of these out please let me know, I would love to hear.