Things I've Learnt this Year (2021)
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Thanks for stopping by and taking a couple of minutes to read this post.
I'm Jayda, a 19-year-old girl who currently lives in South Africa. I'm a lover of all things Jesus related, fashion, graphic design, music and RE: Friends (an online community I started, for women to walk into a space where they can feel redeemed, renewed and restored to everything God wants them to be). You'll most often find me, buried in my office with earphones, working at my church, as an intern, writing blogs or designing graphics.
Last year, during COVID and lockdown, I finished school. A lot has changed since then and as my adult life has just begun, I've realized how easy it can be so easy to be swept into the rush of everyday life that we forget who we are, what we want in life and what we're called to be.
Often we allow the busyness and craziness of life to become our guide but this can leave us feeling tired, overwhelmed, unsure of ourselves and everything and everyone around us.
As I've started to navigate what being an adult looks like for me and what sort of life I want to build and lead, here are a couple of tips and tricks I’ve learnt that helped me get back to a place of feeling loved, happy, strong and like I could conquer the year ahead:
1. Step outside of your comfort zone.
Doing things that make you uncomfortable is one of the hardest things you can do, but it can be so rewarding! It can be so easy to stick to yourself or continue in your hamster wheel of eating, sleeping, working, repeat but often we miss such incredible opportunities because we allow our routines to become prison walls that cage us in. Now don't get me wrong, routine is everything but every once in a while it's important to set outside your comfort zone and see what more life has to offer you.
2. Find a mentor.
When I started finals, it was a super stressful time (especially with COVID hitting in full force) and I’m very lucky that I had friends and family that got me through it but someone in particular who helped, was my mentor/friend Cam. She is a ray of light and brings love, a whole lot of laughter and punny jokes (pun intended) to every interaction I have with her. During my finals and into my first year she’s been a constant friend, helping me through the good, the bad and the ugly. I think everybody should have and needs their ‘Cam’ so go out there, follow Tip 2, and find a person you love and look up to and ask them if they are willing to be your mentor. That’s all it takes!
3. Don’t be a leaf!
I know that sounds funny but here’s what I mean, in a windy storm, you’ll often see leaves blowing in the direction of the wind. (If you haven’t noticed that, then watch the tree nearest to you next time there’s wind in your area or a storm). In life, there is always pressure to bend to the world’s idea of what’s right or popular. Sometimes this comes against what you know or values you hold. Don’t be a leaf that bends to the world’s opinion, instead stand tall like a tree and stick to your values and morals, even if that means writing them on nice pieces of paper and sticking them to your mirror for the year, or making them your phone wallpaper. Being strong and knowing who you are and what you want, is so important!
4. Take time to do things you love!
It’s important to look after yourself and one of the biggest ways you can do that is by just doing things you love. If you love watching movies with a group of friends then do that, if you love hanging out with your family then check in with them, if you love the beach or a specific place then go there when you aren’t busy. These things also help build your self-love which in turn, builds your self-confidence. It’s important not to let all the big things happening around you, drown out the fun gems in life. If you don’t have anything specific then find something you can do, maybe it’s going for a run once a week while listening to your favourite album. Just find something that you love and do it.
5. Journal, journal, journal!
It’s so important to keep stock of how you are so journaling daily, even if it’s “went to a meeting” or “don’t have anything to say” is key. Once you get into the hang of journaling, it can be life-changing and allows you to see how you’re doing and if you need help. It’s also a great place to vent without hurting anyone but remember when journaling, not to spiral into your feelings but instead use it as a sounding board.
It’s a winner!
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
No matter what season of your life you are in, don’t be afraid to ask those who are older than you and know what’s happening, for a little bit of guidance. When you try to do things in your strength, it often causes problems which leaves you feeling worse than when you started. It’s better to be humble and ask for help than be humbled because you didn't.
I hope these tips help you navigate the year ahead. Know that you aren’t alone and you can do this!
Written By: Jayda Mun-Gavin- UNTAMED's Intern