This time of year, everyone seems to be on a mission to change themselves. New year’s resolutions can be pretty toxic though, as everyone looks to lose weight, or push themselves too hard too quickly. So, here’s 25 resolution ideas that will help you to grow in 2021, and not box yourself in a resolution that could have more of a bad impact than a good one. 

  1. Check in on your friends more
  2. Keep a mental health tracker
  3. Spend more time with family
  4. Switch off from social media more
  5. Have a spring clean
  6. Shop for clothes or food more ethically
  7. Exercise in a healthy way
  8. Spend more time in nature
  9. Do some daily meditation or mindfulness exercises
  10. Try out a sleep schedule 
  11. Experiment with a new hobby
  12. Help out the neighbours more
  13. Join a local community or volunteer
  14. Explore your local area more
  15. Support someone who is struggling to fit in
  16. Be more socially or politically active
  17. Help out around the house more
  18. Keep a gratitude journal
  19. Give yourself a break and ease self-pressure
  20. Put out more positive energy, and think more positively
  21. Be more connected to the present moment
  22. Do what makes you happy, and embrace it
  23. Take care of yourself more
  24. Try not to flake on commitments
  25. Keep being who you are – you are amazing

There you go – 25 new year’s resolutions that are non-toxic and will help to make not just your year, but everyone around you, better. 

So the Christmas madness is over and thoughts are turning to the new year. We know most of the country is sad about how many mince pies they’ve eaten, and so a million gym memberships will be bought before January 2nd. Sometimes, the new year new you mindset can be a great way to reset old habits that made the last year harder for you, but it can also be a pretty toxic way to look at your life, when we all know our problems can’t be fixed overnight. So here’s some reasons why we don’t think ‘new year new you’ is all that great, and some other ways you can make a change for 2021. 

1) You don’t need a new year to make changes 

It’s one of those things that everyone feels; like a new year needs to be the time to become better people. Whether that’s in the way we look, the money we spend or the habits we try to give up, we all seem to think that as soon as the clock strikes midnight, we’re all going to have our reverse Cinderella moments and become our ideal selves. 

The thing is though, you can absolutely make these changes any time throughout the year. If there is something that is upsetting you about the way you are living your life right now, take a moment to really think about it and try to make a few changes throughout the year. Midnight on NYE is not a magic wand. 

2) Diet companies make a fortune off poor self image after the festive season 

Most people will use the ‘new year new you’ moment to make major changes to their diet and lifestyle, and trying to lose weight is, year on year, the most popular New Year’s resolution. Lots of people and companies will be bombarding the public with messages almost as soon as Christmas is over, designed to make you feel guilty for indulging over the festive period, despite the whole run up to the festive season telling you to consume more. We know, it’s a confusing nightmare.

3) And you are so much more than how you feel about your body after winter 

But, you are SO much more than all of that. You are 360 degree person with interests and people that love you and things to do. For some awesome hints on how to improve your body image, check out this article on practical things you can do. Because you are a warrior with a lot going on, thinking about how you look every minute of every day can be completely exhausting.  

4) Trying to change everything overnight will never work 

Some of us will roll into the New Year with a list longer than the Dictionary of everything that we want to change about ourselves and our lives. But, trying to change everything about yourself will never work. For one thing, even if you do somehow manage to get a new haircut, new style, new attitude ad brand new personality in less than 24 hours, it will never be you. You are who you are, and trying to change all of it is never going to stick.

5) Remember, you are amazing for making it this far

If we are being constantly bombarded with stuff that basically says we are not quite good enough, it’s easy to start to believe it. At this time of year, though, it’s super important to remember that you have battled your way through the entirety of 2020 and have done amazingly well to get this far and be looking forward to doing it all again. 

6) So try making one little change if you feel like you need to 

We aren’t saying you should sack off new year’s resolutions altogether. If you feel like you need to make a change, then do it. Our best tricks are to keep it to one thing that you can actively track or plan for, and make it something that will bring you joy all year round. That way, you can really notice a positive difference which should make it stick.

7) Like keeping track of your mental health… 

So, if you want to make a change, make it something that’s going to be good for you. You could try tracking your mental health with a bullet journal or other way that works for you. You can find some great ideas for keeping track of your mental health here. 

8) Being a better friend… 

Maybe 2019 was the year you jumped head first into a relationship, moved around the country, or just really committed to nailing your exams. Whatever you did that means you might have drifted a little from your friends, spend 2020 making sure those connections are as strong as they ever have been. Suggest a New Year’s Day walk or chill time and get off on the right track. 

9) Or taking care of yourself more… 

2021 could be the year where you put yourself first for a change. Work in some self care time each week or plan something you can do every month that you’ve always wanted to try. Whatever it is, taking care of you might be exactly what you need 2021 to be about. 

10) Whatever you decide to do for 2021, you are already a warrior

No matter what you decide to do, if anything, this is going to be a great year. And whatever happens, if you need a bit of help, we’re always gonna have your back. <3 

Growing up is tough, especially when everybody else seems to be in a better place than you. But take it from us, it’s all an illusion and you’re definitely doing better than you think you are.

Here are 18 ways to prove it.

1) You have a couple of really great friends.

Okay so the 300+ friends you have on social media may suggest otherwise, but friendships really aren’t about quantity. The saying is true that you can count your close friends on one hand.

Quantity is irrelevant to the sense of closeness, acceptance and happiness you experience with true friendship. So, stop striving for popularity and feel great about those amazing friends you have standing by your side in real-time instead.

2) You’re working towards something.

Having a dream helps you see beyond your current situation. Working towards a goal shows to yourself and others that you’ve got direction and purpose.

You are the creator of your own dreams, which have no limits, so design a plan of action that will enable you to achieve them (even if that goal seems like a million years away right now!).

3) You’re making people happy.

Have you made someone smile today? Okay, so it may not seem like a big deal but by bringing laughter and happiness to the lives of others, you’ve made the world a better place. By going out of your way to help people you can be sure you’re doing pretty well already!

Remember that successful people are always looking to help others. You don’t have to be a giver all the time but by striving to be a better person each day and working hard on causes you believe in, you’re not only improving the lives of others, but you’re building your own self-esteem too.

4) You have time to do what you enjoy.

Whether it’s listening to music, writing a blog or watching Netflix in your onesie, having the time to pursue whatever it is you enjoy doing is a privilege so make the most of it!

5) You’re getting to know what you don’t want.

It’s okay to take time to figure out what you want out of life. When it feels like everyone else around you is striving for the perfect relationship or the ultimate career it can be difficult to remember you don’t have to base your life on these people’s schedules.

In fact, discovering who you are by process of elimination and finding out what you don’t want in life, can be a really powerful way of determining what makes you truly happy.

6) You ask questions.

Being sceptical sometimes and doubting the world around you doesn’t make you miserable and annoying. In fact, questioning yourself and challenging ideas demonstrates your self-awareness and openness to growth.

Looking for better ways to do things shows your ability to be both objective and reflexive which will help you solve problems and move forwards in life. You’re already awesome enough to know not to follow the crowd or accept the status quo.

lady, girl, looking upwards, laughing, field, grass, sunset

7) You don’t let others stop you.

Even though it feels like everyone else disagrees with you right now, feel proud that you’ve stuck by whatever it is you feel strongly about. By courageously walking down your own path you’ve shown that you can listen to your intuition and refuse to let the judgments of others hold you back.

8) You have internet access.

So many people around the globe still aren’t connected to the internet but you have the privilege of being able to speak with and get support from individuals all over the world. It’s pretty awesome to know you have the potential to change someone’s life without ever meeting them.

The internet gives you a platform to express yourself, share your thoughts and connect with like-minded people. So make the most of your internet access which opens you up to infinite amounts of knowledge as well as helping you to achieve your goals and make informed decisions.

9) You’ve been rejected.

Life’s a journey which won’t always go your way. But each rejection is an opportunity even though it may not feel like one at the time. When one door closes another one opens and we reckon this one will be even better for you than the first.

10) You’re different to how you were a year ago.

Reflecting upon the good, the bad and the ugly of the last year and the wisdom it’s all given you just highlights how far you’ve come. Being aware of the ways you’ve changed, for better and worse, allows you to move forward. Some people get stuck in their ways and never change which can prevent them from progressing. But life’s about evolving so celebrate all those changes you’ve gone through!


11) You know how to look after no. 1.

Knowing how to take care of yourself may sound simple but you’d be surprised by how many people get this wrong. Feel great about the fact that you already know what relaxes you, which person you should to turn to for some TLC and how many hours sleep you need at night.

Everyone’s different, so getting to understand your own needs is really important and this self-awareness will help you keep going strong right through your life.

12) You’re afraid of something.

Okay, so we certainly don’t want you to live in fear but a little bit of adrenalin can be good for you. So many people go through life without ever leaving their comfort zone but by allowing yourself to be afraid you’ll be able to realise your potential and discover what you need to do most.

13) You’ve lost relationships.

Letting go of that relationship you thought was gonna last forever was heartbreaking. But love is a lesson and letting someone go that wasn’t right for you, is an opportunity. Losing a relationship means that you’ve opened yourself up to the possibility of something else being there.

grainy, black, white, road, hills, cars, america

14) You don’t fall for the latest craze.

Not falling for the hype is definitely something to feel good about. We live in a society where many of us have forgotten to stop and ask ourselves why it is that we actually want to buy that latest ‘it’ thing before we part with our cash.

People just think they should buy something because everyone else is buying it, but you haven’t let rampant materialism take control. You know to own your possessions and not to let them own you.

15) You’ve made mistakes.

Nobody’s perfect and making mistakes forces us to grow. We’ve all made the wrong choice at some point and have been hurt by others too. Although we can’t justify those actions, it’s what happens next that counts.

So embrace the lessons your mistakes have provided you with and remember that they are no indication of your future potential. Don’t blame yourself for the bad things that have happened to you either, you can’t erase them and they were out of your control.

However, you can reclaim that control now by taking responsibility for your present. By choosing to write your own life story you’re refusing to be a victim, which is really powerful.

You can’t change your past but you can change your future and you are so much more than the bad things you’ve done or that have happened to you.

16) You’re still hurting.

Never suffer in silence. If you’ve had a negative experience, such as being bullied or perhaps you’ve lost someone close to you; always seek support. Whether that means opening up to a friend, talking to us here at Ditch the Label, or working through difficult emotions with a counsellor, remember that you’re not alone.

But still hurting is natural and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It reminds you that you’re fully alive and healing. It’s not feeling any emotions at all that would be the real tragedy.

17) You’re learning.

Whatever it is you’re learning about; having something that intrigues you enough to explore it is worth celebrating. Whether it’s life on mars, politics and society or working for equality, delve into whatever interests you. Learning more each day puts you ahead of people who already think they know everything.

18) You see outside ‘planet you’.         

You don’t need to travel half the globe to achieve a broader world-view. By engaging with current affairs, going out of your way to speak to others and learning about cultures outside of your own shows how you’re already doing everything you can do to open your mind.

Take some time to appreciate your own modesty and genuine interest in the world which gives meaning to your life and strengthens your ability to relate to others. You already know that ignorance isn’t bliss and you can use your knowledge of the world to help the people that need it most and influence social change.


Did you know we have a community for people to anonymously discuss the things they are struggling with?

Be it bullying, mental health, identity or relationship problems. We provide a safe, open place for you to say what you need. You can join it for free here: community.ditchthelabel.org/

ditch the label, community, forum, anti-bullying, advice, support, q&a

When you’re going through a stressful situation, it is often really difficult to remove yourself from it and to see everything for what it really is. When there are multiple things happening all at once, it can become really overwhelming and tricky to figure out a way forward. Here’s our guide to overcoming stress through reprogramming.

What is stress reprogramming?

First and foremost, stress is an evolutionary thing – we’re programmed to get stressed for a short period of time to help get ourselves out of a dangerous situation. Back in the olden days, stress was used to encourage a fight or flight response from people if they were being chased by a predator. Nowadays, stress is all around us, but it isn’t good or healthy to feel stressed over long periods of time so it is super important to develop your own ways of coping with stress.

Our Stress Reprogramming system is one that we all use in our own lives and has a really high success rate when used properly. This program is designed to encourage you to look at and deal with stress objectively. At the end of it, you will hopefully feel significantly less stressed and will gain an understanding as to how you can remove yourself from stressful situations.

Download the Stress Reprogrammer

Click to download our Stress Reprogrammer and overcome stress here:

feeling stressed, ditch the label, stess reprogrammer

Or alternatively, download it directly here: dropbox.com/s/5c8xhtq2clc6ujh/Stress%20Reprogrammer.pdf


How to overcome stress

The entire exercise is surprisingly simple and shouldn’t take longer than 30-60 minutes to complete. We would recommend doing it with somebody else, but it is equally okay to do it alone.

In the downloadable PDF below, you will find a blank sheet with rectangles and lines below each one. Start by writing, in less than 10 words, in each rectangle the separate issues that are stressing you out. Next, think about the relationship between the things you just wrote down – for example, if you are worried about money and don’t enjoy work, the common denominator is work and so both things are related.

Once you have written down everything that is upsetting you, you now need to go through each one individually and try to come up with 3 things that you can realistically do to resolve that issue.

Once you have done this for every single thing that is worrying you, look back over each issue and evaluate as to how confident you now feel in resolving that issue. If you still aren’t happy, it may be worth getting a second opinion from somebody else. The final outcome of this task will be a strategy to help you overcome your stressful situation.



Stress is evolutionary

We are evolutionarily programmed to experience stress. Back in the day, our flight or fight response would kick in if we found ourselves in a dangerous situation so that we could get ourselves out of trouble.

Nowadays… stress is less helpful.

We no longer live in a world where our everyday survival depends on adrenaline responses. Annoyingly though, this doesn’t mean we are stress-free.

When we are faced with challenges, our physical and psychological stress responses still kick in – and this can become exhausting and unhealthy if it carries on long-term. If you are struggling to sleep, read our six steps to the best sleep of your life.

Understanding stress helps to combat it

This exercise is designed to help you to deal with stress objectively.
If we can recognise what is stressing us and how to deal with it, we can override our stress response and prevent it from getting more serious.

Download our Stress Reprogrammer:

FOMO. Fear of missing out. Whilst it is thrown around a lot on social media when you see some pals living their best lives and you are stuck at your Aunt’s birthday, FOMO can actually be a pretty difficult thing to deal with if you get it too much. Double booking, over booking, feeling guilty and not feeling happy about what you are doing can all be pretty crappy side effects of having too much FOMO. That’s why we wanted to bring you a few ideas that can help keep it bay, and get you back to enjoying life. 

1) Have a detox 

Try taking a little bit of a break from the social side of life altogether. This could be a weekend, a week or a little longer. Focus on yourself, and other aspects of your life like school or work. This time should help you get back to knowing who you are when you aren’t constantly chasing the next night out, festival or holiday. 

2) Quit the multitasking 

The world is pretty obsessed with multitasking. Everyone is doing a million things at once – eating, working, watching tv and answering the group chat all at once is a pretty standard Thursday evening right?

Well, turns out, the more you multitask in your daily life, the harder you’ll find it to focus on one thing at one time, and the FOMO will be strong with you. Try to cut back on the multitasking in your everyday life and it should be a good step towards leaving the FOMO behind. 

 

3) Stop comparing yourself

We know this is easier said than done, but FOMO often comes from comparing yourself to friends and total strangers online and in real life. We all have a tendency to compare ourselves to other people, but there are things we can do to nip this in the bud.

Next time you catch yourself comparing your life, or plans, to someone else, try this: stop the thought in its tracks by breathing in slowly for four seconds and out for four seconds, and repeat four times. Then think of three things that are awesome about you, your life and your plans that you are comparing. This is a great trick that is bound to help you mellow out and enjoy yourself.

4) Focus on where your feet are

If you have decided to skip out on the music festival in favour of working, or that your friend’s house party can’t be more important than your cousin’s wedding, focus on enjoying the time you have in the place that you have decided to be.

It can be super tempting to spend these times chasing down the Instagram stories of people who have gone to the event you chose to say to no to, but this will probably only make you feel super guilty about not going, and mean you can’t enjoy the decision you have made. 

5) Listen to your body 

We’re betting that, at some point, you’ve dragged yourself to a party or a dinner even when you’ve been completely exhausted? Maybe even when you were legitimately unwell? One of the most crucial things you can do to defeat the FOMO is to listen to your body and not feel bad about that.

Next time someone invites you out when you feel like this, try to sit and list the pros and cons of going. It might seem pretty long-winded for a simple decision, but the more you do this, the more you will get better at recognising what you are physically capable of, and what is the FOMO. 

6) Put relationships first

Putting the people you want to spend time with over the activity is a great way to not only bat away the FOMO, but also give you major friend/family/partner points. Thinking about that friend of a friend on Insta who has hopped over to Europe for a big festival this year? Make some plans with your bestie or hang with the family, or really anyone you really value. Putting the people above the thing, no matter what it is, will help you feel more grateful for the memories you are making right now. 

7) Make the most of your alone time 

Spending time alone can be pretty liberating. If you are dealing with FOMO on the daily, the chances are, you haven’t found that out yet. Schedule yourself some time alone to do a few things just for you – films, pampering, exercise – whatever it is, make the most of it. That way, if your FOMO is coming from not being able to afford that big trip away that all your mates are on, your time can be spent seriously chillin’, and you’ll be cool with that.

Feeling left out? Dealing with anxiety? Friends got you stressed out? Whatever is going on with you, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here, and we will listen to you.

When you are having a tough time, asking for help might be the last thing you want to do. Society has spent years telling us that when things go wrong, we need to have a stiff upper lip and just carry on, because someone somewhere in the world probably has it worse. 

Well we think that’s total crap. So here is why asking for help is always a good idea. 

A problem shared is a problem halved

Even if you don’t think the person you are talking to can do anything to help you, talking will make you feel better. Sure, it might not bring you a solution, but at least you won’t feel alone in this. Having someone to go to when everything hits the fan is good for all of us. 

All problems are relative

It might be that you haven’t asked for any help yet because there is someone in your life who you think has it worse, and making a fuss seems selfish. Let us tell you, this is NOT TRUE. All problems in the world are relative to how we usually live our own lives, and whatever is going on with you should never be compared to someone else. 

You don’t know what’s around the corner

Have you ever heard that saying – “when it rains, it pours”. Well although we can never tell what’s going to happen in the future, there’s always a chance that something else can go wrong. We aren’t saying this to make you feel worse, but it’s a good reason to ask for help now. If you feel like your plate is already full, then the next thing that comes along could leave you feeling a hell of a lot worse. So ask for help now, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Someone will have a different perspective 

Sometimes, when we are really close to a situation, we can’t see the wood for the trees. Everything can feel so much worse, and we can catastrophise everything and pretty soon, everything can feel like it’s never going to get better. Asking a friend for advice or help can bring a fresh set of eyes to the situation, and they might be able to help you see that this might not really be as bad as you think it is. 

Or can just give you a chance to relieve some stress

It’s been proven that sharing your thoughts and feelings about whatever is making you stressed or anxious can help relieve that anxiety, even if the problem is still there. If something makes you feel better in the short term, it’s always worth giving it a go. 

Or they might know exactly how to help 

Whether they have lived this before, or know where you can go for more support, advice and even answers, you never know what another person can do to help you unless you ask them. Simple as that. So give it a try, you never know what they might be able to do to make things a little easier for you.

If you feel you need help, you can reach out to our community here, for confidential support and advice.

The Dos and Dont’s:

In our research, we found that almost half of us have experienced bullying at one point or another. Given what a high number of people that is, it is still very common to be on the receiving end of advice that although means well, isn’t always very helpful.

We also know that an alarmingly high number of us never report it and suffer in silence instead. If a friend or loved one does decide to open up to you and share what they are going through, sometimes it is hard to know how to appropriately respond.

With this mind we have compiled a list of things to avoid saying to them, as well as a helpful alternative:

1. Don’t say: ‘Ignore it’

This old chestnut can be very damaging. Being told to ignore something that is causing you stress and anxiety is not helpful. Ignoring the bullying unsurprisingly doesn’t actually work and saying something like this might stop them from sharing anything else in the future. This could have a serious effect on their mental health and lead to things such as depression, and more extreme outcomes.

Do say: ‘Let’s talk about it’

This is a way more helpful and compassionate response. Feeling like your voice is being heard is extremely important as it makes us feel less alone. It also lets us know that someone cares and is interested in what’s going on in our life, without looking to fix or dismiss the problem.


2. Don’t say: ‘It’s just a part of growing up’

Whilst experiencing bullying growing up is all too common, it does not mean you have to accept it as a rite of passage. Saying this also offers no advice on how to deal with the problem at hand.

Do say: ‘What’s been going on?’

This question gives the person the opportunity to talk honestly and openly if they wish to get what’s bothering them off of their chest.


3. Don’t say: ‘Stop being so sensitive’

This piece of advice is particularly harmful. It implies it is their reaction to the bullying that is the problem, and that if they were less ‘sensitive’ the issue would magically disappear. This is not the case. You also might embarrass them by referring to their reaction to the situation as ‘sensitive’ as it implies they are overreacting. This might stop them speaking up and seeking help in the future.

Do say: ‘It ok to feel upset/angry’ etc

You need to reassure them that whatever they are feeling is perfectly normal and natural. Try and make them understand that there is no right or wrong when it comes to feelings – all we really need to do is acknowledge them.


4. Don’t say: ‘Just stand up for yourself’

As a piece of advice, this doesn’t work for a few reasons. It can make the person feel powerless as they might not feel able to stand up for themselves or know how to go about standing up themselves. They might also be fearful of the consequences.

Do say: “I’m here for you, what do you want to do about it?”

This lets the person know you care and that you want to help them through this tough situation and most importantly, it is not their fault.


5. Don’t say: ‘Fight back’

Bullying isn’t always something you can meet with force as it can very easily spiral out of control. Often reacting in an aggressive manner can make the situation worse and can put them at risk of physical harm. If they feel it is a safe and appropriate action to take, maybe encourage them to try talking to the person who is doing the bullying.

Remind them to challenge the behaviour, not the person – so instead of accusing the person of being a ‘bully’, explain why their actions or words are causing distress.

For example, instead of saying “you’re upsetting me”, they could say “what you said/did has upset me”. It might be appropriate to suggest that a teacher or responsible adult hosts a mediation between them. A mediation can feel scary for those involved but is often incredibly powerful; it is essentially a face-to-face conversation between the person who is being bullied and the person doing the bullying in a controlled, equal environment.

Do say: ‘How can we deal with this together?’

Understandably it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you are being attacked and therefore they might feel like they are facing the problem alone, with no one they can depend on for support.

Your friendship could make all the difference to them right now. Spend time with them, make sure they know they are not alone and try to do things that will boost their self-esteem and confidence. It’s important that they still look after their health and maintain a good diet, exercise and things like meditation and yoga. It is also important that you remember to look after yourself as well and don’t take too much on.

what to say to someone who is being bullied

6. Don’t say: ‘Just avoid them’

By saying this, you are minimising and undermining the problem. It is also not realistic to think that these situations can be easily avoided. It is better to acknowledge what is happening and try to think of ways to combat or resolve the bullying.

Do say: ‘You don’t deserve to be treated like this’

Remind them that they deserve to be treated with respect. Often people who are bullied can feel like a ‘victim’ but it’s important that they don’t disempower themselves and let the bullying dictate who they are. They need to find ways to regain control, confidence and self-esteem – we have a great guide on how you can rebuild your self-esteem here.

Remind them as often as you can that they are worthy, in control and that things will get better. Head to our blog to read stories of how people have overcome similar situations and gone on to do great things, it will help reassure them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


7. Don’t say: ‘Telling someone will just make it worse, so don’t bother’

Almost 1 in 2 young people who experience bullying never tell anybody for this very reason. A mixture of embarrassment, fear and a lack of faith in the current support systems stops people reaching out. Please don’t encourage someone to suffer in silence.

Do say: ‘Talk to someone you trust.’

It can feel exposing and uncomfortable talking about our experiences of being bullied, that’s why talking to someone we trust can make a difference.  

It is important they share with someone what they are going through – they shouldn’t go through something like this alone as it is extremely stressful, and can be emotionally draining to endure bullying.

This stress can have an impact on all areas of your life, including your mental well-being, ability to communicate with others, performance in school/work, self-esteem and confidence.

It is therefore incredibly important that they tell somebody they trust about what they are going through; it doesn’t even have to be an adult – it could be a friend or somebody at Ditch the Label. It is vital, during a traumatic time, that they have a support system and people who they can rely on when they are feeling low, or unable to cope.

Join the community to talk to digital mentors or other people who are going through bullying – you do not need to go through it alone anymore… 

We can’t lie, times are tough for everyone. Whether you’re getting bogged down with politics, coronavirus, or literally just life in general, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you’re struggling with your mental health.

You’re probably feeling fed up and like you’ve tried loads of things to make it better which haven’t worked. 

However, we want to know, have you tried a gratitude diary? If not, here are all the great things you need to know about them ☺ 


What is gratitude?

In a nutshell, gratitude basically means being thankful and ready to show your appreciation for absolutely ANYTHING.

What are the benefits of gratitude? 

Psychologists have been researching gratitude diaries for years now and the studies often suggest they may play a part in:

  • Improving your mood and making you happier overall
  • Making you feel more connected to people 
  • Giving you a more positive outlook on life 

What is a gratitude diary and how do I do it?

So, are you still interested? If so, great! Gratitude diaries are really easy to keep and people all over the world love them. 

To keep a gratitude diary, every day or every couple of days, you can make a list of at least two/three things that you’re grateful for. You can write this down or keep it in your head, heck, you could even draw them!

People usually find it best to do this at the end of the day. You can write down just a short sentence if you like (people tend to find it easier when they keep it short!). If you want to do more, you could write down why you are grateful for whatever you’ve listed. 

When you’re listing what you’re grateful for, try to write down different things each time. You might find this easy at first, but as time goes on, you’ll probs find it harder. The aim of writing different things is that you have to really dig deep to see what you’re thankful for.

By doing this, we begin to notice and appreciate more and more positive things. For example, at the beginning, you might say more general things like ‘I’m grateful for my family’ and ‘I’m grateful for my friends’, and then, as time goes on, you might focus on really small things like ‘I’m grateful that I didn’t stand on that snail on the way to school’ and ‘I’m glad that my friend had a spare pen for me in class’. 

Do you see what we mean? As time goes on, we become more positive and grateful for our lives. We look to the tiny little things that we probably wouldn’t have noticed before. When we are grateful, we are happy ☺

By the way, with a gratitude diary, you probably won’t see the effects of it for a while and this is perfectly normal. It can often take a while to see how helpful a gratitude diary is, so it’s important to stick with it. They are more of a long-term thing.

Why don’t you give it a go for a month and let us know how you found it in the comments?

Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, someone to trust and confide in, someone to spend time with and talk through their favourite things. Sometimes, we all just need a friend.

So how can we tell if somebody needs a friend right now? Here’s six ways.

1) They get stuck on the negative side of things

If someone in your life is being overwhelmingly negative about stuff that’s going in their lives, they probably need a helping hand to see the brighter side. Sometimes, if there is a lot going on with us, we might only want to stew on the negative stuff and when this happens, finding the positive becomes almost impossible.

If someone is being overwhelmingly negative about what’s going on, reach out and see if they need some cheering up. Chances are, just the gesture of this will make them feel a bit more connected and cared for.

2) They might try really hard to chat when you see them, even if they have nothing much to say

You might think they are just waffling for the hell of it, but when someone feels lonely or like they need a friend, they might just be talking because they really haven’t had the opportunity to say much to anyone at all recently. 

3) They might be spending a little too much time on social media

The thing with social media is that it really isn’t all that social for a lot of us. Sure, the group chat is great, but the rest of it is actually kinda isolating. If someone feels a bit lonely and like they need someone, they might be spending a lot of time on social media because they want to feel connected to something. But watching stories or liking photos doesn’t necessarily mean they are OK, and it actually might be making them feel worse. 

4) You might not hear from them a lot 

This might seem like a bit of a contradiction. Like, if you’re feeling lonely, why would you spend so much time alone? Well it could be that a few symptoms of depression are coming on. Maybe they don’t want to feel like a burden to you and your other pals, and so the only solution in their head is to stay away. They might turn down a lot of offers to hang out in big groups of people as well, which we know can be frustrating when you’re trying to help. Check out this article on how to help a friend who’s isolated themselves. 

5) They might tell a few half truths 

Obviously lying is not a great trait to have in a friend, but sometimes people tell a few half truths when stuff isn’t going great for them. Whether it’s to escape what’s happening, feel better about it or even just get a little bit of love and attention from those close to them, people do it. The important thing is that these are not hurting anyone and that someone speaks to them about how damaging it can be if they carry on with this kind of behaviour. 

6) Overreacting to cancelling plans

If a mate of yours is feeling lonely or isolated, they might really overreact to you cancelling on them. We aren’t saying you should have to do something you can’t or don’t want to all the time, but it’s important to remember that they are probably getting mad at you because it might be the only plans they have had in a while and need someone to talk to or hang out with

Need to talk to someone? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors in confidence here.

A healthy relationship will always make you feel happier and safe – filled with trust, love and good communication. Relationships are also different for different people, with differing levels of commitment expected and individual ways of showing love. The age you are will also change what is expected in a relationship.

While no relationships are perfect, these are all signs that you should aim for in a relationship.

And did you know that up on average, a third of women and a quarter of men have experienced abusive relationships. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline in the US, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States alone.

If you are in an abusive relationship, please contact Refuge in the UK and the National Domestic Violence Hotline in the US.

So let’s look at the 10 signs of being in a healthy relationship.


1. You aren’t afraid to say what you think.

Being able to speak your mind in front of your partner without fearing their reaction is incredibly important. Respecting each other’s opinions – even if they differ – means that you will minimise time spent arguing. If you can share and discuss with one another the good, the bad and the ugly, then you know you can truly be yourself in each other’s company.

2. You have your own space.

As Kahlil Gibran once said of relationships: “Stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” Giving yourselves the opportunity to grow individually as people will only help you grow together as a couple. Checking up on one another constantly or needing to be in each other’s company every second of the day might be a sign that you are lacking trust in the relationship…

3. You trust each other.

This is probably the most important factor in any healthy relationship. Trust is the foundation which any successful relationship is built upon and it takes time to earn. If you trust one another, then you are able to give each other freedom without awakening the green-eyed monster that lies within, you are able to be vulnerable in their company because you know that instead of judging you, they will be there to support you.

4. You compromise.

There are ups and downs in any relationship, romantic or platonic. You are not always going to agree on the same things and there will be times where you will need to compromise; if you can meet in the middle then you know you are both mindful of each other’s needs and your shared desire to make the relationship work far outweighs any need for personal gratification.

5. There is common ground.

As important as it is to have your own sense of identity and set of interests, it is also vital that you and your partner share common ground. Having a mutual love of something creates a bond and means that you can simultaneously take pleasure from the same thing, rather than having to ‘endure’ your partner’s hobbies, passions or lifestyle.

6. You let things go.

Rather than cause an argument or hurt each other’s feelings, you both choose to let things slide. This does not mean that you are pushovers however, it just means you don’t make mountains out of molehills. Life’s too short. Even Rose let go in the end.

7. You get along more than you argue.

Fighting is an inevitable part of being in a relationship, but it should by no means be a regular occurrence. If you find that time spent arguing is more than, or equal to the time you spend enjoying each other’s company, you might want to consider whether you are well matched.

8. You support and encourage each other’s ambitions and passions.

You may not find one another’s endeavours interesting or appealing but you would never dampen each other’s enthusiasm by saying so. Instead you support and encourage each other’s pursuits and are not threatened by the possibility of either one of you achieving success.

9. You are accepting of each other’s pasts.

Everyone has one. Rather than continually delving into each other’s pasts or getting jealous of each other’s exes, you have acknowledged what went before and appreciate that it has shaped you both into the people you are today.

10. You regularly make the effort to show each other you love one another.

And not a grandiose way. It’s the little, everyday things that you both do to show each other you care.


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