This exam time, Hustle smarter, not harder...
Life is not meant to be perfect, it's meant to be real.
Of course we all know that - but somewhere in the back of our minds, we sit there waiting for everything to be just right. We feel kind of sorry for ourselves because it isn't yet...
We look at other people's lives, people we know and people who live worlds away that we are 'soft stalkers' of online, and we assume their lives are exactly as they portray in their pictures.
As much as we know that no one's life is perfect, we see what people show us (online or in the 'real world') and any gaps between posts, any information we don't know about them, we fill in with what we imagine their lives would be, based on their perfect posts.
We assume they 'woke up like this' - they DIDN'T.
We assume they don't use spray tan and stand on a special angle to look like that- they DID.
We assume they don't have to budget, take out the rubbish, cover their pimples, fight with their partner and clean up after their dog - they DO.
You're right, your life is not perfect.
There are things in your life that are totally unfair.
You don't look super great when you wake up in the morning - sorry!
That's because you're a real person.
In the words of Steven Furtick, 'The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."
Because I got sick of feeling crap about how imperfect my life is when I compare them to others online, I decided to take action.
So, every night before I go to sleep, I write down 3 things I'm thankful for from that day - somedays it's a big thing like, "my friend shouted my breakfast", some days it's average, like "I ate some really great strawberries today.' (there is a real food theme to my points)
Whatever it is, it will change your perspective from that of comparison to gratitude where good things are a bonus rather than a right.
Life's not meant to be perfect, but you choose whether you enjoy it or not.
Think of one of your favourite memories- chances are, it is a time when you were totally carefree yeh?
You were just completely in that moment; yesterday and tomorrow didn’t even pop into your mind.
You weren’t worried about school, your parents, your friends, whether that mark on your skin was cancer or if he/she would find out how weird you really are and dump you.
You would do anything to be that carefree again, but it’s just too hard to shut down that stinkin’ brain right?
We hear ya!
If you haven’t worked it out already, there are going to be some things that happen to you which are kind of crap and they are going to want to pop up and press replay in your brain-ALOT.
There are going to be some things that might look like they are going to happen that would be pretty crap and they are going to want to play out with a million different scenarios in your mind - ALOT
You can keep going over all of that stuff, BUT if you do, you’re going to have to say goodbye to that carefree feeling you love.
If you keep going over and over the way your ex-best friend was a massive B!#&% to you, you’re never going to move on and actually enjoy the decent friends you do have.
If you keep replaying that time you fumbled the ball in the last 30 seconds of the game, you’re never going to let yourself have the confidence you need to play again next week.
So what the heck are you supposed to do?
In the words of the great poet, that Swifty blonde, Taylor, you’ve gotta ‘SHAKE IT OFF.’
As she so profoundly describes: 'Haters gonna hate...' – playing things over and over in your mind and worrying about how to avoid the hatin’ isn’t going to stop them hatin’, you’ve just gotta SHAKE IT OFF.
‘Players gonna play…' - getting your knickers in a twist and your brain in knots isn’t going to change the way that person treated you, it’s just going to make you feel super crap and depressed about yourself, you’ve just gotta choose to SHAKE IT OFF.
We know it’s easier said than done, but if you’re able to stop yourself next time your brain starts to play that movie of your girlfriend dumping you, or the multiple movies of what would happen if your parents got divorced – if you’re able to SHAKE IT OFF and move on with living in the now, you’re going to start to remember what carefree feels like.
"Just think while you've been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world,
You could've been getting down to this sick beat."
And if you want to make sure you remember to SHAKE IT OFF, go ahead and watch the video below so that you can have SHAKE IT OFF as your tune wedgie of the week. You're welcome!
Think that tiny little phone of yours might be acting like the boss? Take a look at these questions to find out:
Whenever there is a lull in what you are doing, when you feel a little awkward in a crowd or you just get a spare minute, you find yourself scrolling through a newsfeed.
You check your phone out of habit, not always because you need to.
You have push notifications for all of your social media.
After posting a photo or status you keep checking and refreshing to see how many likes or comments you get and it affects how you feel.
You take 20 photos of the same thing (often yourself) to get the best angle then another 15 minutes to pick the best filter!
You know a lot about people you’ve never met in ‘real life’ and sometimes have to play dumb when you meet someone for the first time, because you already know everything about them.
Sometimes you find yourself 'thinking' in statuses.
You re-write your new status a dozen times until it sounds absolutely perfect.
If you see something funny or cool, you immediately think that’ll make a great pic/video and you reach for your phone.
The first thing you do in the morning is grab your phone to check all you missed on social media over night.
You take your phone everywhere with you and you feel totally lost if you don’t know where it is.
You felt tears welling in your eyes the last time your home wifi crashed.
If you said yes to even a few of these, we hear ya!!!
Social Media is such a HUGE part of all of our lives. Don't get us wrong, we're pretty mad for it ourselves, heck, it's one of the main ways we get to talk to you!
What we aren't keen for though, is anything that controls us, like an addiction or fear etc. We want to use social media because it's fun, not because we need likes to feel good about ourselves and not because we are using it to hide how lonely we feel.
If you're like us and want to put social media back in it's box, rather than let it play slave driver, here are some of the things you can try:
- Have set times in the day when you check your social media, the rest of the time, you give your attention to the real world.
- Care more about the people in front of you than the people on the screen.
- Treat your phone like an accessory, not a priority.
- Don't ruin every moment by trying to capture it and show the world. Just enjoy some moments, and be ok that not everyone has to know about every 'really funny thing.'
- Remember that the number of likes you get or comments on your selfie have NOTHING to do with how down right great you are.
Let us guess, if you just had more ______________ you would be happy.
Whatever you fill that blank in with, be it cash-monies, friends, tan, clothes, brains, blah blah blah….it's all a bunch of c#@p.
We can spend sooo much of our lives wishing we had 'more' of something... or many things, but to be honest, we've realised that being happy is something you have to work out without all the 'stuff'. Those things don't make you happy, they are just the the icing on the cake.
Not only does 'more' not make you happy, sometimes it just causes more clutter and stops you from actually getting to enjoy the life you do have!
Here are 5 things you need less of.
Less social media - try a day without it. *CRAZY* But let's face it, it's never bad to have less time comparing yourself to others and listening to their opinions. *Feel the serenity*
Less tv – If you’re anything like us, your brain can be a pretty full on place, so constantly filling your time with STUFF like tv and music can save you from being left alone with your thoughts. We get it, but it's actually important to have some time to process what's going on without the clutter!
Less clothes- now we are not advocating walking around starkas /'in the raw', no matter how tight your buns are, but we are saying that there are probably plenty of things in your wardrobe that never see the light of day, so why don't you share or show them you care!
Less DRAMA- Do your friends have more drama than a Kardashian wedding? Yehhhh….it gets pretty tiring hey. Try go a whole day without getting involved ie. Don’t create any drama and don’t try solve any drama, trust us, you’ll find that spring in your step.
Less time thinking about YOU- Whether they’re good or bad thoughts, try think about other people and how they feel/what you can do for them, for a whole day. It’s jolly hard, but feels pretty darn good.
Confession time: there are a bunch of things that freak me out. I’d really love to pretend that I am always cool, calm and collected, but put a hairy spider on my head or sit me in front of a tv with Claymation (ie. Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit- just gives me the heebie jeebies) and I am bound to run faster than Miley Cyrus from her Disney contract. Something else that really freaks me out though is being out of my comfort zone, like in a room full of people I don’t know.
Now when I say I get freaked, it’s not just that I get a few butterflies. One of two scenarios generally play out. First scenario: I forget what words are and that I can make them with my mouth, leaving me to be the unusually tall girl lingering in conversations I’m not a part of.
While that may seem pretty awkward, the second scenario is much, much worse. Nervous Cassie who can find her tongue, tends to say really, really strange and embarrasing things. Example? One time, this really good looking guy that I’d noticed for a few weeks started talking to me, so the 'freak out' started. Not wanting to be the creepy mute, apparently the only thing I could find to talk about was head lice and next thing I knew, I was going into great detail about how I had nits throughout the majority of my primary school life... Sad thing is, I was nearly 22 at the time of this freak out.
Clearly I can’t always be trusted to keep it together. It would be fairly easy for me to avoid these situations in life- extended trips to the toilet work well, or, being an adult now, I can generally just decide to not go to things where I might feel uncomfortable or don’t have an ‘entourage’. Thing is, I’ve noticed that if I can push through the discomfort, a lot of times, good things happen.
Now, my comfort zone is pretty small and it is unbelievably safe there. But I never seem to meet new people there or learn cool things and exciting, unpredictable things just NEVER happen in my comfort zone.
This week I had the chance to go to the other side of the country and meet some pretty important people. I’m not gonna lie, it was super freaky for me and one of these things involved me in a room full of people I didn’t know. But as awkward and dorky as I probably was thanks to my nerves, I got to meet some really cool people who I would NEVER normally meet.
You see, sometimes things freak us out because they are dangerous and we know they won’t end well, such as anything to do with hairy spiders or a dark alley. It’s good that we stay away from these things, I think they call that kind of 'freak out' a survival instinct!
But a lot of times, there are good things on the other side of the 'freak out'.
Sometimes, there are cool new friends, or a sport you never knew you liked or a side of yourself that you’ve never seen…I’m still surprising myself!
Being brave doesn’t mean that nothing freaks you out, it just means that you value what’s on the other side of the 'freak out' more than being comfortable all the time.
When something really freaks me out, I have to tell myself that it’s ok to feel freaked out, it’s probably even a little normal, but what matters is what I do with the 'freak out'. If I avoid the situation, I’m saying that fear is bigger than me- and I hate that.
If I confront the fear, I’m proving that I am stronger than the fear - I like that. Whether you feel like it or not, you're always stronger, you just might need help!
Confronting may be doing that thing that freaks you out or it may be asking for help with how to deal with it. Either way, you come out on top.
P.S. If 'freaking out' is something that happens a lot though, like just the thought of doing certain things makes you really anxious and you start to feel it in your body (breathing, nausea etc), you might want to read this article here and chat with someone you trust, like your teacher or chaplain or something.
(sorry for my snake picture…I couldn't bring myself to post a picture of spiders!!!)
Ever feel like there are a million tabs open in your brain, like when you have too many apps on your phone open? Just like your computer or phone, everything starts to slow down and become REALLY HARD as there is just toooo much to deal with. Then sometimes it all just FREEZES!
Yeh, we feel ya! Whether it’s a million assignments, one of your friends isn’t talking to you or maybe your parents are fighting more and more these days and it makes you feel sick to your stomach. There are heaps of things that can go around and around in your head when you just want to switch them off and sometimes it starts to stress you out. If only your thoughts had a volume switch….
If this is you, here is what we think you should do:
Write down all of the things in your head and put them into 2 columns, the first being ‘Things I can do something about’ and the second being ‘Things I can’t do anything about’.
For the first list, work out a plan of attack, this might be a study plan for your exams coming up or some of the ways you’re going to reach out to a friend who seems to be acting really weird.
For the second list, you need to realise that these things may be out of your hands and this is where you consciously choose not to spend time thinking about them. If it is something like your parents fighting and it keeps stressing you out, you may not be able to confront your parents about it, but you could talk to your school chaplain or counselor about how you feel.
Still feeling stressed? Here are some other things you can do:
1. Dance it out or jog it up- turn up ya jam and get those good endorphins flowing.
2. Go to bed earlier – We are big fans of what a good night’s sleep can do. Read our piece on SLEEP here. Try it!
3. Think about good times you have had- reminiscing about good things that have happened will remind you that good things CAN happen.
4. Ask someone for a hug- strangers may not be so accommodating, but your mum or a friend will surely oblige!
5. Smile- watch this video, you can't watch this and not smile...
6. Breathe- if you feel your heart rate rising and your breathing quickening, you need to find ways to self calm, so try this:
a. Breathe in for 4 seconds
b. Hold your breath for 7 seconds
c. Breathe out for 8 seconds
BECAUSE SCIENCE: This changes your autonomic nervous system from a fight or flight state, to a more relaxed and logical state- super great for when you open that exam paper or you’re about to give a speech!
If you get this anxious, freak out feeling often, that doesn’t make you weird, but it may mean that you struggle with anxiety. Check out our article here and how you can deal with it!
Peace out- seriously, chill!
We all generally put our best foot forward online, right?
Admit it, you know that you don’t post a selfie when you’ve just woken up and one of your eyes is stuck together all crusty-like, when you’ve found some melted chocolate in your eyebrow and one of your arms is still dead from sleeping on it.
You don’t post a picture of that Maths test you studied really hard for and then failed.
Yet we still seem to compare that part of our lives, to the best part of everyone else’s that we see online, and allow ourselves to feel like absolute crrrrud.
Did you ever think that just like you, there are some things that those ‘perfect’ people aren’t super proud of and don’t post online?
They are showing you what they want you to see, in the same way you show everyone else what you want them to see.
When we compare our selves to others, we are saying that the good things about our own lives aren’t enough and that we aren’t thankful for them- focusing on that will never leaves us feeling ok.
A pretty smart American President, Theordore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy," and we are starting to think that even though he didn't know about Facebook and Instagram and how easy it is to compare yourself to people online, he was really onto something!
We need to remember, that all of the things someone else has going for them doesn’t make us any less, but comparing ourselves and being jealous of them does.
Being jealous will always leave you feeling sucky about you and about them.
Ok, so repeat after us, “I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet”…or my friends or anyone anywhere for that matter.
So do what you gotta do to stop comparing yourself to people.
Post this picture as your wallpaper on your phone, write it on your bathroom mirror, say it a million times over so that you start thinking it in your sleep.
If you want to be happy, if you want to be free, you need to “stop comparing yourself”, especially to people you don’t even know, on the internet.
We’re not saying that it will necessarily be easy, or that we have got this down pat, but we are saying that it is kinda a big deal and any progress on the matter is GOOD work!!
We're often told that you should do things for others rather than for yourself, but we think there is one time when YOU are more important than THEM.
That one time is when you need to crank out some forgiveness.
It kind of sounds like one of those sappy words that your mum talks about when your little brother vomits all over your new shoes.
When you’re little, it’s normally just something you have to say you’ll do so that you don’t get into trouble for showing how annoyed you really are.
Forgiveness often seems more about the other person than about you.
As sappy as forgiveness may sound though, it can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do, because if you let unforgiveness grow, it can become one heck of an ugly, gnarly monster. The bigger it gets, the harder it is to get rid of.
Sure, forgiving your little brother for ruining your new shoes isn’t too hard, especially as the vomit smell starts to disappear after about a month.
But sometimes people do things to us that aren’t so easy to forgive. Sometimes those people are the ones who you should have been able to trust.
Forgiveness isn’t letting someone off the hook for what they did though.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you’re saying what they did was ok.
Forgiveness means deciding that you won’t keep holding that thing against them.
Forgiveness means not going over and over and over that situation in your head.
When unforgiveness grows in our lives, it turns into a disgusting and rank old thing called bitterness that makes us twisted and cranky, inside and out. Bitterness has a way of showing on your face and in what you say.
Just like that saying goes, “bitterness is the poison you swallow, hoping the other person dies.”
Bitterness is toxic and as long as you hold onto it, that person continues to have control over you.
So as you can see, the 'I' in "I forgive you" is far more important than the 'you'.
You're probably working out now, there is nothing weak about forgiveness.
Forgiving can be downright hardwork- a million baby steps that require the bravery of a loud and proud Beiber fan at a Kanye concert.
Let’s decide that we value our freedom more than holding onto those offences, giving someone else control of our lives.
Before you go!
Forgiving doesn’t mean that you are saying what someone did to you was ok, it means you aren’t going to let that keep controlling your life. If someone has hurt you or violated you, you need to tell someone you trust about it.
You could tell a parent, a school counselor, chaplain or a teacher you trust.
If you don’t have anyone you can tell who will do something about it, we think you should chat with our friends-
Jealousy- you don't ever want to feel jealousy, it just creeps up on you like a monkey eyeing off your Nanna's hat. You know it's ugly, but it's just so hard to stop.
One minute you're chatting away to the guy everyone likes and having a grand old time, the next, you're trying to find things about him that are less than great, because you are feeling super lame about yourself.
- "I think his third toe is bigger than his first toe on ONE of his feet! How does he even show his face at the beach?!"
- "He might be great on the footy field and in science class, but have you seen that guy try and use chopsticks? SUCH a loser!!"
You don't even know how you got there, but suddenly you're stuck trying to make yourself feel better by making him look worse.
Sorry, but any good feeling you get from that won't be long lived! Picking out the faults in other people to help you sleep at night will make you a bitter old man before your time AND it doesn't do justice to the great things that make you one of a kind.
We've found the best way to get rid of jealousy and be happy with other people when things go well for them, is to STOP and be thankful. It's hard to be envious of what other people have when you are busy enjoying what you have.
Yep- we think gratitude solves a lot of problems. So write down three things that you've got going on and decide to feel good about that, rather than trying to spot grey hairs on a year 8 guy.
Lastly, do something nice for the person you feel jealous of. It's hard to stay jealous and annoyed at someone when you are thinking about how to make them happy.
Besides, green really isn't your colour- does it even really work for the Hulk?
My hand is up- I've totally been there.
I changed schools a couple of times growing up and often I was able to make new friends quickly, but sometimes it took much, much longer.
Whether you've changed schools, your old friendship group has changed around or whether it's just something that doesn't come super easy for you, having friends is a MASSIVE part of being at school- I KNOW! And having the right friends can be even more important.
From a girl who will admit to having spent a lunchtime or two alone in the bathroom- wishing the bell would ring and hoping no one has realised how long I've been in hiding in that cubicle (trust me, I don't have an intestinal problem), I want to tell you that school isn't forever.
It can feel like it will always be hard like this, I'm here to tell you that it won't.
But for while you ARE in school, here are some things I learnt about making friends:
1. People like talking about themselves, so ask them questions and remember their answers! Not in a creepy, 'I'm taking notes/stalker' kind of way, but be actually interested and engage in conversation through that.
2. Invite them to hang out at your house. When you're a bit shyer, like I was, having a smaller group of people at your house, where you feel comfortable, helps you relax and helps them to see the real you.
3. Try new sports or out of school events that the other kids might do. Having something in common is a great way to build a friendship.
4. Don't try and win friends by gossiping and sharing secrets from one group to another. We are wanting to make friends here, not enemies yeh? Word gets around. If you start talking smack about people behind their back, nobody is going to want you hanging around!
5. These things can take time. Don't stress if you're not falling on the floor laughing at inside jokes about Mr Jones' cat stories after a week.
6. Don't feel pressured into doing things you're uncomfortable with or being someone you're not.
Friends are important, but remember that no matter your interests or quirks, you are worth being friends with and there will be people who totally get you.
7. SMILE. My natural instinct is to avoid people who give death stares or eternally look like they just saw their puppy killed by a giant rabid otter. Happy people are much nicer to approach and offer to share my chocolate with!
Go get 'em!
Is finding friends something you find hard?
Tell us what you do to get to know people?
What we spend our time thinking about, affects our moods.
Whatever we focus on, seems to just get bigger and bigger and bigger.
If we're not careful, it's pretty easy to spend most of our time thinking about the things that worry us and stress us out. All of them going around in your head all day can make you pretty tired and cranky hey?
So much homework...
How are you going to pay for camp?
That friend is not talking to you and your parents are fighting ALOT these days
...it all seems to get a lot of air time and often for good reason, it's important stuff!
BUT, when we focus on all of these things that we can't control or that are missing in our lives, stress and worry can mean we miss all of the downright AWESOME things that happen everyday, the things that aren't going wrong.
The best, most flipping attractive versions of ourselves aren't always frowning, trying to solve life's problems and hosting the never-ending pitty party.
Do you like being friends with that person who's always cranky? NOPE, the best versions of ourselves choose to focus on the things that are good.
Life will show us that there are a lot of things we can't control and there are always ways that things could improve, but every experience will be a whole lot sweeter when we spend time thinking about the good, rather than the bad.
When we get stressed out, or start getting a bit moody, we
2. Work out what has got us down.
3. Think of something we can do to help the situation OR if it is out of our hands, decide that we would rather be happy than worried.
4. Come up with 3 things we're thankful for.
Seriously, it works!
So right now, STOP. Think of 3 things you are thankful for (the beach/your friends/the fact that Perth may one day have it's own Krispy Kreme store...anything!) and decide to be happy rather than stressed.
If what we focus on gets bigger, wouldn't you rather the good things seemed bigger than the bad?
Those problems may not be going anywhere, but don't get old and cranky before your time!!
HEY! BEFORE YOU GO: Sometimes the worry and stress is a bit bigger than us though, sometimes it takes up all of our thoughts and it's hard to remember a time when we were happy. If you are finding yourself anxious and nervous a lot of the time, it might be a good idea to chat with someone who can help you with ways to cope. These guys below know what they're talking about!