10 Life Lessons From The 2010s

December 19, 2019 in Lifestyle

The 2010s were a pretty transformative decade for me. They saw me through my 20s, through university and into the working world. They also saw me meet the love of my life, settle down and start a family. I imagine you’ve been through a lot in this time too.

So before we enter a brand new decade, I wanted to reflect and share with you ten life lessons that I’ve learnt during the 2010s!

1. It’s Okay to Say “No”

We are entitled to say no to anything, to anyone and for any reason.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be to say “no” especially to those we love but sometimes we have to. We need to be able to prioritise our own wants, needs and limitations over other people’s requests and/or expectations.

I’m a chronic people-pleaser so it’s taken me far too long to realise this truth. But I’m also a person with my own needs and establishing healthy boundaries is what keeps me from burning out. It’s essentially one of the most valuable ways that you can practise self-care so give it a try sometime.

 

2. Self-Care Is Essential

We need to look after ourselves. When we don’t, we risk becoming stressed, run down and burnt out which is why self-care should be a non-negotiable part of our everyday lives.

What is self-care? Well, it’s defined as being “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” But the thing is it’s highly individual. What self-care means and looks like to me will likely mean and look like something completely different to you.

For me, self-care can be anything from taking a nap to avoiding things that make me anxious. My most valuable self-care technique, however, is just taking time to be alone. These little periods of peace and quiet help me recharge and lower my stress levels so I can get right back to the chaos of modern life with a little bit of sanity.

Self Care isn't Selfish

 

3. Your People Will Find You

It’s a bit cliche but the people who are destined to be in your life will find you in the right place and at the right time.

When I dropped out of university in 2010, I was alone. So I started going to gigs by myself and one fateful day I wound up meeting a few incredible people who I still consider to be some of my closest friends today. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

The same thing happened when I met my best friend. Neither of us were eligible for student housing so had to rent privately during our first year of university. After a few problems finding somewhere to live, I filled a space in a house share without having met any of the girls I’d be living with. From then on, she’s been a constant in my life.

As for my husband? We met on a dating site and he was the top match for me. We hit it off straight away, moved in together six months later and now we’re married with one child and four guinea pigs.

 

4. Listen to Your Body

We know our bodies better than anyone else and we have to trust that. Our health is not something to be taken lightly, ever.

A few months after Mini was born, I knew something wasn’t right. But it kept getting dismissed as normal postpartum stuff so I tried to ignore it and carry on with my life. Until it started hurting so much that I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

Since my tests kept coming back normal, I kept getting misdiagnosed with conditions I knew I didn’t have like IBS. So yes, I went to the place that Doctors wish we’d never go: Google. And that’s where I first heard about endometriosis.

In the end, things got so bad that I had to take action for myself so I went on the pill. And guess what? My pain rapidly became less regular and less severe. I’ve since been diagnosed with endometriosis but if I hadn’t listened to my body, I would have spent another year in unnecessary and excruciating pain waiting for the right diagnosis.

 

5. Do What Makes You Happy

Happiness is that one intangible thing we all seek and sometimes we get so lost searching it for it that we forget that we have the power to create and define happiness for ourselves. So what makes you happy? What would you rather be doing right now? Go do that and start filling your life with thousands of joyful memories.

6. Be Real With Yourself

Be honest for a second: when was the last time you felt out of control of your life? For me, it was Monday. I always feel a bit bitter when I have an endo flare-up because I’m taking the contraceptive pill 365 days a year, I’m not ovulating or having periods and yet every single month I still have to suffer the wrath of my uterus.

Now, it could be a lot worse. Without the pill, it was hell on Earth. But it’s still bad enough to make me cry and nothing touches the pain so it sucks. Which means that I have to be honest with myself about what I need to regain control over my situation.

No matter what you’re struggling with, be honest with yourself about what you need. What support do you need? What needs to change in your life? How do you get from where you are to where you want to be?

 

7. It’s Okay to “Unfollow”

We have almost complete control over our social media. We can unfollow, block, hide content that we don’t want to see or even choose to walk away from platforms entirely. There’s no rule that says we need to follow someone just because we know them in real life either. We have a lot of power here so we should make the most of it.

One idea that I really like is that social media is like a museum or a gallery. You are its curator and you alone have the power to fill it with content that speaks to you. I’ve recently started doing this myself and it’s great.

 

8. You Can’t Fix Stupid

This was actually something my former boss said and it’s stuck with me. Some people will believe whatever they want to believe regardless of how inaccurate or ridiculous it is and no amount of proof or logic will change that. So before you go in guns blazing, just take a step back to assess whether or not your words will fall on deaf ears or blind eyes. More often than not, it’s not worth your time or energy to fight a battle that simply can’t be won.

 

9. Making Mistakes is Part of the Process

I think I speak for everyone when I say that mistakes are an inevitable part of life. As hard as you try, you can’t be perfect 100% of the time. Take every mistake as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to be better and don’t beat yourself up about it.

 

10. It’s Your Life

There will always be people in your life casting judgement on you and the decisions that you make but these are only opinions. You don’t have to listen to them let alone act on them.

The power to make a decision is yours and yours alone so do what feels right for you even if it sounds ridiculous to everyone else. This is your journey. You only get one chance at life so you might as well live it by your own rules.

Enjoy your life

Well there you go: I’ve shared ten of the many life lessons I’ve learnt over the past ten years onto you, my dear friend so use them wisely. I sincerely hope that these will encourage or inspire you to pursue your best life in the 2020s and beyond.

So let me ask you this, what’s the one most important lesson that you’ve learnt in this decade? Let me know in the comments below!

Featured Image: Monofocus from pixabay
Other Images: (1) Madison Inouye from Pexels (2) Oko_SwanOMurphy from Getty Images (3) AnsonLu from Getty Images

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I'm Hayley - a UK book blogger & reviewer. Also: introvert, homebody & mum. Kinda emo. 🖤🤍💜

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