Stage 1. Be honest with yourself

‘Just be yourself’ – such an overused phrase, right? And it doesn’t always feel like the easiest thing to do. If you feel unsure of your identity, maybe take some time by yourself to figure out what it is you truly like to do and how you like to dress, regardless of what fashion dictates or your friend’s tastes, or how you think others might perceive you because of these choices. Experiment; remember you don’t have to ‘commit’ to anything – over time your tastes may change! That’s fine too! Contemplate what makes you truly happy – what brings a smile to your face and excites you when you think about it? Identify what it is that you love and enjoy and embrace it.

Stage 2. Work on building your confidence levels and self-esteem

You need to work on yourself if you are lacking inner confidence. This takes time, but the rewards are worth it. Every time you think negatively about yourself, counter that thought with a positive one, or when you feel a negative thought coming on – list three things that you are appreciative of. Analyse your body language too – try and smile more often (even if it is forced at first) it will make you feel better (promise)! Look at your posture – hold that head high when you walk! Make sure when you talk to other people, you hold eye contact too. Believe in yourself. Make it part of your morning routine to compliment yourself when you see your reflection in the mirror. The more confident you are, the more likely you will feel comfortable showing other people the real you!

Stage 3. Express yourself

Now you have learned what it is that makes you happy, and you have built those confidence levels up, express yourself – every day! Whether it is how you dress, a hobby you enjoy, the music you like to listen to, the films you want to watch etc, do it! Own it! Enjoy it!

Stage 4. Try not to care what other people think of you

It might seem impossible to totally disregard other people’s opinions, but really if you think about it, what do other people’s opinions actually matter? If they want to comment, let them! You’ll be too happy enjoying life to notice, and the likelihood is, they are only making such remarks because deep down, they wish they had the confidence to express themselves as you do. Would people who are happy and secure in their own skin feel the need to act negatively towards others? No.

Stage 5. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else

Comparison really is the absolute thief of all happiness! Carry on doing what you are doing regardless of what paths those around you might be treading – each individual’s footprints are unique! Be strong, be kind and find your own way in life.

Stage 6. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself

It is time to ditch the people who don’t make you feel good about yourself. If you spend time with someone and you come away feeling down about yourself, I hate to break it to you, but they ain’t no friend. It’s time to evaluate who you give your precious time to – choose wisely! Be picky! You only have one life, and you want it filled with people who truly love and care for you!

Are you looking to build your confidence and overcome low self-esteem? Read our guide to boosting your confidence here.

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It’s that time of year again. All the shops are filled with gigantic cards covered in love hearts and sickeningly sweet messages to be sent to the person you love most in the world. But what do you do if you don’t really know where you stand? 

So it turns out that there is a name for this. It’s called a situationship, and it is basically a relationship without the label. Now you know us, we are all about ditching the labels that define us as humans. But when you don’t know if the person you spend most of the time with actually feels the same about you, how do you handle it?

Want to know if you’re in one? Take this quiz to find out!

Try not to overthink

Situationships can be great if you are both feeling like you don’t want to commit to a full on relationship, especially the pressures that come with them. When it’s all basically like hanging out with a best friend that you hook up with occasionally, it’s hard to see what could possibly go wrong. But as soon as that balance gets thrown off, it can be an anxiety-inducing mess for the person who wants to move things along. 

If you are in a situationship and you think that you might want something more, try not to overthink. Every detail of what they say, do or don’t do can become fair game for your mind to pick over. For tips on how to not overthink, read this article

Think about what you want 

The thing with this type of non-relationship, is that they can change pretty quickly for good or bad. The best thing to do is to take some time to yourself and really consider what you might want out of it. Do you want a relationship when they don’t? Maybe it’s the other way around? Do you want something casual? Will you be able to stay friends if the situation changes and you are no longer hooking up? These are all things you might want to have a bit of a think about. 

Try putting them down on paper and weigh up what you really want out of it. If you are happy for now, then put them away somewhere and forget about them. But when the time comes to think about your future with or without the other person (and trust us, it will) get them out and give them a read. It will help, trust us. 

Be brave

So you’ve decided what you want, maybe you’ve taken a little time, and now the time has come to put thoughts and feelings into action. Situationships are never that great for in-depth talking, and you probably find yourself discussing Netflix or pizza a hell of a lot more than you do anything meaningful. But, being brave and asking where this is going is not a bad thing. 

Sure, maybe it won’t work out and you won’t get the answer that maybe you want this time around. We’ve all been there and you are not alone. For help getting over someone, read this article. 

Need some help dealing with rejection? Read this. 

[full-width-figure image=”https://www.ditchthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/zelle-duda-bLmHo2x6tog-unsplash-scaled.jpg”]

Know your worth… 

The  most important thing in all of this is that it can be really easy to forget how valuable you are. You are an amazing person with so much to offer the world, and so much to offer a relationship if that’s what you want. When you spend a lot of time in this type of situation, it can be easy to forget that, and instead imagine that perhaps this is the closest you are ever going to get to the real deal. Well, that’s simply not true, and you need to know that. 

…And know when to walk away

Finally, knowing when to call it a day can be the toughest thing of all. Situationships can give you a hell of a lot of good times, and the idea of letting go, especially when you’ve invested more emotion in it than you thought you would have, can be very difficult. But, knowing when to walk away is powerful, you deserve something amazing, and if this person can’t give it to you, it might be time to give it up and move on. 

Need to talk to someone about your relationship? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here for confidential support and advice. 

Sometimes, you just can’t get them off your mind. No matter how hard you try, they stay stuck in your head like an Ariana Grande song.

Dealing with a break-up can be really tough and often we find ourselves still stuck on someone long after the sympathy has dried up from everyone around us.

We know that it isn’t always that easy, and getting over someone takes a lot of work. That’s why we have put together a list of ideas for you to get your mind on you and off the ex. #ThankUNext.

1) Learn a new skill

Easier said than done right? But there are hundreds of videos out there that are just waiting for you to learn something you have always dreamt of knowing, so get on YouTube and start exploring.

Some examples to get you inspired include learning to knit or sew, taking up a new language, how to cook or bake, photography, videography, drawing, a new instrument, even learning to DJ. The internet is a big place full of knowledge – so use it!

2) Reconnect with friends

Your friends are the cure-all method to getting back to your usual self. Why not suggest a group day trip, a short break, or even just a meal out? Even if you feel like you might have grown distant from them when you were in a relationship, true friends understand this can happen and will want to help if you ask them.

3) Deal with your emotions

So we know we have said this is how to take your mind off your ex, but sometimes you just need to deal with your emotions in order to do this. Take a moment to really think about why the relationship ended and about what you have learned from it. It may not be taking your mind off them right this moment, but it will in the long run. Need some more help on this? Take a look at this.

4) Get active

We know that sometimes you really don’t want to go for a jog or a walk when Netflix keeps playing the next episode straight away. But getting out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to get active is a great way to take your mind off the ex, and counting reps in the gym or steps on your FitBit is a great way to fill up your brain space.

If these aren’t your thing, why not try a team sport? Being part of a team is a sure fire way to build your confidence and, combined with the happiness inducing effects of regular exercise, you will be your best strong single self in no time. If your talents lie with football, rugby, cricket or hockey, you can see if there is a team in your area looking for players here.

5) Start a new project

Now is the time to get on your way to becoming the next Zoella, Shroud, Charli D’Amelio or Shane Dawson, as working on a project is a great way to think about something else. Yeah sure, a big project can take time, but putting in the hours to plan and execute it to a high standard will take focus – something that will leave no room for keeping your ex on the brain. You never know, YouTube, TikTok and Twitch fame could be only a click away!

6) Do some good

Getting a bit of perspective might be a really good thing for you right now, and volunteering in your free time for a cause that matters to you definitely get you walking through life feeling like an absolute boss whilst filling up time otherwise spent thinking about the ex.

7) Start fresh

It might seem like a cliche but a good spring clean will have you feeling like a new person. Clear out any of their stuff you have been holding on to (and give it back to them of course).

Get the rest of your family involved if you feel like you don’t want to do it solo, or sell some old things online to make cash as well as space. You will feel better for having less in your life, and all the while, you haven’t given them a second thought. So make like Marie Kondo, and get you some joy from cleaning.

marie, kondo, tidying

If you need some advice on dealing with life, love, relationships, or about anything that is bothering you at all, reach out to us here.

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:

Whether its because things haven’t quite gone your way, you’re feeling down in the dumps or just need a little happiness boost, here’s 15 surefire ways to get you back on that happy train:

1. Gratitude

Be grateful for all the awesome things you have and all the awesome people you are surrounded with. The more you think about how lucky you are, the more you’ll appreciate things.

2. Treat Yo’ self

We all deserve a treat from time to time: book that holiday, get that massage, eat that cake! You deserve it!

3. Surround yourself with good people

We are a product of our environment. If we’re surrounded by negative people, that negativity is going to get passed on! Hang out with people who make you feel good!

4. Get Silly

Try not to take yourself too seriously. We all need a good amount of fun in our lives, its what keeps us going. Access your silly side for a while, we guarantee you’ll feel better after clowning around for a bit…

5. Get mindful

Your mind will be blown when you realise how mindfulness affects your mood. Getting more in touch with yourself and the things around you will noticeably increase your happiness.

6. Be nicer

When we’re nicer to other people, we feel better about ourselves. Do a selfless act every day starting from now and see how you feel about yourself in 2 weeks time, that’s a challenge.

7. Smile more

When you get on the bus, smile at the driver. When you pay for your lunch, smile at the shopkeeper. When you see someone in the street, smile at them too! Studies have shown that smiling actually does make us feel happier, so turn that frown up-side down.

8. Don’t hold grudges

Grudges are bad for your body and your mind. Holding a grudge means you’re stopping yourself from moving forward. Similarly, if you’ve done something wrong, just say sorry! you’ll feel 100% better for doing it!

9. Laugh more

Laughing has actual, real-life health benefits. It releases endorphins, which make us happy, it boosts our immune system and even burns calories: win, win, win.

10. Have a digital detox every once in a while

Social media makes us doubt ourselves. It can make us feel inadequate and leaves us feeling like we’re not good enough. Take a break, get some perspective and turn it off for a while.

11. Do what you love

Don’t let fear of being laughed at stop you from doing what you love. Find what you’re good at, find what you enjoy and do it til’ you’re an expert.

12. Get active

Exercise makes us feel good. Doesn’t matter what kind, just get that blood pumping and those endorphins flowing!

13. Get enough sleep

Our mood is heavily affected by how much sleep we get. Make sure you’re consistently getting around 8 hours of sleep every night. You’ll feel healthier and happier for doing it!

14. Dance

Studies have shown that dancing connects with the emotional centres in the brain promoting an emotional release. This, coupled with the endorphins our bodies produce when we get our hearts pumping make dancing the perfect recipe for that happiness boost that you’re after.

15. Don’t hold back

Finally, don’t let anyone stop you from being 100% you. We’re at our happiest when we’re comfortable and relaxed, we can’t be these things if we’re always pretending to be someone that we’re not – love yourself.


Wanna talk about it?

If you’re feeling low and want to talk to someone who gets it, join the Ditch the Label community:

Sleep is great. Really it is the best damn thing around. We love sleeping. It gives you energy, makes doing stuff easier, gives you a break from daily stresses and struggles, helps your body repair itself, and makes you remember stuff. Science. But we know that there are times in life when catching the ZZZs becomes less of a priority or just downright difficult.

That’s why we have put together a super-easy guide to follow to getting your sleep routine on fleek for 2020 and beyond. Do these things in order, and you’ll be the most chilled out well rested person you know. 

Step One: Think about how many ZZZs you actually need

We are all pretty guilty of thinking we actually don’t need that much to function. The thing is, the NHS says that one in three of us suffers from poor sleep. It might not seem like too much of a big deal if you’re in the habit of doing it, but not sleeping enough can lead to poor memory, lack of concentration, overeating and even anxiety. So maybe have a think about how you’ve been feeling lately and make some changes.

Step Two: Set up your room to be good for sleep

Your bedroom is your haven. But if you use it all day for working, playing video games, or other stuff, the chances are it’s a bit of a mess by the end of the day. Take ten minutes to make it cosy. Make your bed, tidy up the floor and surfaces. Similarly, if you work from home a lot, try to do it somewhere else in the house than in your bedroom. It might not sound like a big deal, but keeping your room for sleep related activities is a great way to separate your daily life from when you need to get some shut eye. 

Step Three: Set a bedtime 

Ok, we know you aren’t six, and that maybe you think that the whole idea of having a bedtime should have gone out the window as soon as you left Primary School behind. But having a bedtime routine of some sort has been proven to improve the quality of your sleep, as well as the time it takes to actually drop off. No one is saying it has to be teeth at 7pm and bed by 8pm, but having some sort of loose structure to the end of your day instead of binge-watching true crime documentaries until 4am is always going to help you get the rest you need. 

Step Four: Put down the phone an hour before 

So you would have almost definitely heard by now about the detrimental effects that screen time has on our ability to catch some ZZZs. Well, they ain’t lying. Blue light in screens tricks your circadian rhythms into thinking it’s still daylight, meaning your natural bodily response to the fading light at the end of the day gets stopped in its tracks. This makes it much harder to fall asleep naturally, and then to get good quality sleep. Good news is though, putting down your phone an hour before the end of the day should sort you out.

Step Five: Get your ohm on 

So what are you gonna do without your phone in that hour before bed? Well, have a think about the kind of stuff that you would find relaxing that doesn’t involve a screen. Try meditation or mindfulness, art, colouring, reading, even just chilling on your bed listening to music. Whatever you think might do the trick, give it a go! Why not try one for a few nights and see how you get on – if it doesn’t work, try something else. There is no one right way to do this – and it’s going to be down to you to see what works.

Trying to find more activities that you can do when you’re struggling to sleep? Here are 50 different things to do.

Step Six: Breath deeply to calm anxiety 

If you find your brain is still going like a runaway train after all this, get under the covers, get super comfy, and just lie there. Breathe deeply in and out and try to focus on the rise and fall of your chest and the covers around you. Keep a notebook by your bed so you can jot down anything that might be roaming around your head so you know you won’t forget the important stuff. Put some chilled out classical music on, and just breathe. You will fall asleep soon, we promise. 

And there you have it, six simple steps to building the best bedtime routine. Not only have we got your back with this post, but we also have a downloadable sleep planner and tracker here so you can sort your life out and get those forty winks when you need them. 

Download our sleep planner and tracker here

Button doesn’t work? Click here: Download our sleep planner and tracker here

Need to talk to someone about anxiety? You can reach out to one of our Digital Mentors here, who will provide confidential support and advice. 

January, amiright? We are only two weeks into the new year and it already feels like it’s been several months, and we all know this can make getting motivated to be good at life really damn hard. Long nights, short days, no funds and no social life can make actually getting stuff done feel pretty pointless, but we are here to tell you that you can definitely get your shit together and boss January like it’s any other month of the year. 

1) Set realistic goals 

Ahh the season of the million new year’s resolutions. This time around, set yourself some goals you know you can achieve in a short space of time instead of big things you have to do over a whole year. It will make you feel like you are achieving stuff and that will definitely help keep motivation levels up. When you set goals that can only be measured in twelve months time or even longer, you’re much more likely to sack them off and then feel bad about it. 

2) Don’t do everything at once 

It can be tempting to try to sort everything possible you don’t like about your life in one fell swoop at the start of a new year. The thing is though, a lot of this stuff will mean big changes and long term work on yourself. Trying to do it all in one go means that a lot of what you want to do will end up getting sidelined, leaving you feeling like a failure. Do bits and pieces, and take your time with it. You are awesome, and you don’t need to change everything about yourself to have a great 2020. 

3) List list list 

If it’s life admin you need to get sorted at this time of the year, make like Amy Santiago, Captain Holt or Monica Gellar or whoever and get organised. Put a list on your phone of small life admin things to get done, whether that’s job applications, redoing your CV, getting that project finally finished or even just doing your laundry. Being able to tick something off will give you a sense of achievement that means you won’t be beating yourself up about not doing something or forgetting about it. 

4) Try bullet journalling 

2020 is the year of the bullet journal. One of these handy little journals will help you stay on track with goals, but also let you write a little each day that can help you keep track of your mental health. Low motivation is linked to low self-esteem and emotion focussed coping, which basically can mean you ignore problems and tasks because a bit of your brain hopes they will eventually just go away. The thing is, they won’t. Doing this can help you keep track of why you are procrastinating and what things you are avoiding. With this, you might be able to see a pattern emerging and can come up with a plan to do something about it. Check out our guide to keeping track of your mental health here

5) Don’t beat yourself up too much

So you haven’t got it all done in the time you gave yourself? Well, so what?! Sure, sometimes you might have a few things to do that are time sensitive, so make these a priority and let the rest of your stuff take a backseat. The key thing is to not beat yourself up about not getting stuff done or for maybe spending just a little too much time watching Netflix instead of cleaning or whatever. Basically, if you do, you’ll find it pretty hard to justify even trying to get the stuff done because if you don’t, you’ll feel rubbish. So it seems easier not to try. Trust us, cutting yourself some slack is the way to go. 

6) Give yourself a break 

Time might be tight, but you need a break too. The festive season might have given you time off of your obligations, but it doesn’t leave much room to chill. If you overwork yourself too much at the beginning of the year, you could be looking at being burnt out even before ther end of the month, and that’s no way to set yourself up for 2020. Work some time into your busy schedule to chill out, and stick to it! You’ll thank us for it. 

7) Get some good stuff in the calendar

Similarly, the lack of social stuff at this time of year can be a bit of a bummer. Well get some things in the calendar to look forward to, and make this your goal to work towards. Like if you have a chill hang out booked in with a buddy, then try to get all your life admin done beforehand so you can really enjoy it. It’ll give you something to look forward to, which is motivation in itself. 

8) Don’t compare yourself to everyone else

We all have that one friend that made all their revision mindmaps seemingly before they even learned the stuff that could come up on the exam. Or the person who has had 20 different versions of their CV ready to go since the day they finished their final exam. Well, you don’t have to be this person. That level of organisation will put us all to shame, and the most important thing to remember is that we all work at our own pace. So don’t compare, and just get stuff done your way. 

Need some daily motivation in your life? Follow us on Instagram @ditchthelabel

It’s World Mental Health Day! We know that talking about yours can be rough and pretty scary, so we have come up with this quick guide about how to talk to your friends about mental health.

Talking to your pals about anything remotely serious can sometimes be a bit of a tall order, especially when you guys are pretty much living life in your own personal sitcom. But sometimes, when the laughter stops and you go off home, some in your friendship group (or even you) might be having a pretty tough time.

That’s why we think it’s pretty important that everyone be able to have a chat with their buddies about mental health – so that everyone has someone to go to. We know it’s awkward though, whether you go to them or they come to you, which is why we put this speedy guide together on how to do it.

If they come to you…

1) Don’t judge

This one might sound obvious, but lots of us can quite easily slip into thinking “what do they have to be depressed about?” or “they’re just being dramatic”, even when it’s a close friend that is coming to us. Try to reprogramme these thoughts when someone comes to you by thinking about how hard it must have been for them to come to you and what you can do to help. It might be that you or someone else is going through stuff too, but that doesn’t make what they are dealing with any easier. Remember that this person has confided in you because they trust you and they might just want someone to talk with now.

2) Just listen

If your mate approaches you with something they want to talk about and you’re not sure what to say, just lend an ear and listen. You don’t have to know everything about everything, and whilst it is super nice that you want to help, telling them to do the wrong thing could make a sticky situation worse.

If you really want to help, you could suggest that you both do some research about the next steps to take or find someone who can help. Alternatively, you could just be honest and say “I’m not sure how to help, but I’ll always be here to listen.”

3) Don’t make it all about you

Sometimes you can use your own personal experience to help someone else and that’s fine. But if you’re just changing the subject to talk about yourself when a friend is trying to talk, this is pretty unhelpful for them. If you can genuinely relate to what they’re going through then there’s no harm in telling them that, but always be mindful of the fact that they chose to confide in you.

If you go to them…

1) It doesn’t have to be face to face

Talking face to face is the best way of communicating for some people, for others, it can be literally the worst thing in the world. Instead, try sending a friend a quick message explaining what you are dealing with – you might find it much easier to talk about their feelings over text or by writing it down because it gives you more time to think about what you’re going to say. You could even start a group convo with some trusted mates and create a space where you can all talk about your wellbeing in a group chat.

2) Keep it casual

If you’re worried about a mate or want to talk a friend about your own mental health, you can do it in a casual way to avoid things getting too intense. You could bring it up when you’re playing a game or doing something else so that it’s not the main topic of conversation. This kind of conversation is great because it normalises talking about mental health. The more we talk about it, the less stigmatised it becomes! Here are some things you could do together whilst talking:

  • Go for a walk
  • Play a video game
  • Do something creative like drawing or painting
  • Do each other’s hair/makeup
  • Go to the gym

3) Give this a read

We know that having the conversation about something big in your past or what’s going on in your life can be really difficult, and being worried about getting it right can be a huge added source of stress. We put together this list of tips on how to open up about your past to someone in your life, and it should give you a bit of guidance on how to do it right.

Most importantly…

Always take them seriously

If they ever say that they’re feeling suicidal, or words to that effect, it’s really, really important that you take them seriously. You can help them by:

  • Notifying a trusted adult ASAP (parent, older sibling, teacher, family member)
  • Encouraging them to speak to someone at The Samaritans. You can speak to someone over email, on the phone, in person, or even by post 🐌 – find out more here or call 116 123. If they don’t want to speak to anyone, you could call on their behalf to get some advice.

Look out for each other

The best thing to do is just look out for each other everyday. Know the signs. If your friend is acting a bit off, it can be as simple as just asking them ‘are you okay?’.

If you or your friends are struggling and need someone to talk to, head over to the Ditch the Label community and we will listen.


Related:

For more information on talking about mental health, check out Time to Change 

Attitudes towards appearance are one of the main reasons why people are being bullied. In fact, in our 2019 Annual Bullying Survey, 59% of young people said that their appearance was the reason they were bullied.

It comes as no surprise then, to find out that one of the most popular questions entered into our search bars on our phones was ‘Am I Ugly?’

In fact, if you type “am I” into Google, the first suggestion that is offered to you is “am I ugly?”

This is not a new question. Unobtainable beauty ideals have us questioning our self-worth, based on our appearance, on a daily basis probably since the beginning of time.

In 2013, a YouTube trend emerged called “Am I Ugly or Pretty?” whereby, teen girls uploaded videos of themselves asking viewers exactly that. Following this, the internet answered the question in all its force and pulled no punches. Even in 2020, these questions are often asked on places such as Instagram, Reddit and TikTok.

@davidpostman

♬ original sound – sidthesciencedik

This question is one that matters and is something that nearly all of us will ask ourselves at some point during our lives.

So, let’s answer it!

Are you ugly or pretty?

Am I ugly because people keep saying it to me?

No, the danger is when you are called ugly enough times you start to believe it might be true.

Am I ugly because I’m single?

No, you are not single because you are ugly, and being in a relationship doesn’t make you beautiful.

Am I ugly because I keep thinking about it?

No, so please stop telling yourself you are, our thoughts very quickly become our reality.

Am I ugly because I was dumped?

No, you were NOT dumped because you are ugly, the relationship ended and that’s ok – give yourself some time and space to heal.

Am I ugly because I’m looking different?

No, your body is just changing and you are still growing into it.

Am I ugly because I have bad skin?

No, having bad skin does not make you ugly and is totally normal.

Am I ugly because I don’t look as pretty as a model?

No, it’s ok to not look like a model. Turns out they are the only ones that do and they make up a teeny tiny amount of the population.

Am I ugly because I’m big?

No, your dress size does not determine your beauty, case in point: Tess Holiday.

Am I ugly because my friends keep saying so?

No, they are telling you that because they are scared that they aren’t good enough and have their own fears of being ugly, this doesn’t have to be your fear as well.

Am I ugly because I feel it?

No, your self-esteem has just gotten a little too low and needs rebuilding, have a look at our support guide for tips on how to begin rebuilding your self-confidence here.

Am I ugly compared to everyone else?

No, when we compare ourselves we always come off feeling worse, to compare is to despair so stop comparing.

Am I ugly because I am fat?

No, your weight is how much your body physically weighs full stop. Every single object, mineral, plant or animal on this planet has a weight. It is what we as humans equate with this number that forces us to connect beauty with weight. There is no such thing as a ‘beautiful weight’ or an ‘ugly weight.’ There is a healthy weight and that is different for everyone.

Am I ugly because I was rejected?

No, everyone experiences rejection in all its painful forms and it does not make you ugly. Looking for ways to deal with rejection?

Am I so ugly?

No, even if you have never ever felt anything but ugly your whole life right up until now that is still not proof that you are. Here’s the secret and I know because I am talking from experience, just like happiness it is all an inside job. So if you want to start changing how you feel we have some tips to help you start here.

If you aren’t feeling great about your appearance right now and need someone to talk to, Ditch the Label is here for you. Join our community and talk to us here

Do you need some inspiration for your New Year’s Resolution?

We’re bored of the old new year’s resolutions that tell us to lose weight and look perfect, so instead, we created a list of alternative (and realistic) New Year’s resolutions to make your 2020 as awesome as can be…

1. Make a bucket list

Start ticking off all the things you want to achieve this year and then make a separate list of all the awesome things you want to do before you’re 30.

2. Learn a creative skill

Woodwork, knitting, embroidery, cooking, painting, sketching, dancing, creative writing, brass rubbing, game developing, website building…. there really is a creative outlet to suit everybody, it’s just a case of finding it!

3. Say yes more

You don’t have to say Yes to everything, that could get you into some awkward situations, but just say yes more – you’ll be surprised at the cool things you’ll end up doing! Trust us on this one…

4. Make a new friend

This is a new (more realistic) take on an old classic. Some people find it hard to make new friends, so just focus one at a time for now! You got this…

5. Exist more in real-time (aka limit your social media usage)

60% of people admitted that they can’t go more than a day without social media. Think of all the everyday things you’re missing because you’re too busy scrolling through your news feed, don’t forget to look up from time to time – you’ll thank us later.

6. Read 50 books

Bit of a challenge this one admittedly, but it’s not unrealistic. Reading has endless benefits, it’s good for relaxation, vocabulary, imagination and its proven to make you smarter (true story).

7. Start a blog

Doesn’t really matter if no one reads it, think of it as a digital diary, only it’s published online for everyone to see. In all seriousness though, blogging is good for improving your writing skills, it looks great on your CV and is a really great way to get involved in different online communities.

8. Complete a 30-day challenge

The options are endless: Veganury, Movember, Stoptober (or make up your own…)

9. Meditate every day

Don’t worry if you’ve never meditated before, we can help you get started. It’s easier than you might think and trust us, you’ll feel so much better for it!

10. Face a fear

Hold a spider, do a bungee jump, swim in the sea – if you slowly build yourself up to facing it you’ll feel really proud of yourself once you’ve conquered it!

*Disclaimer* Some fear is good… if your fear is something like ‘being chased by a pack of hungry lions’… maybe it’s best to not face that one?!

11. Learn a new word every day

Not only will you genuinely expand your vocabulary by 365 words, but you can also ‘befog’ your friends in a group chat, see what we did there.

12. Write a gratitude list every week

What are you grateful for? It’s easy to get bogged down in the negative sometimes so it’s always good to appreciate the good things in your life! You’ll feel noticeably happier for doing it, that’s a guarantee.

13. Keep a bullet journal

It’s fun, creative and a great, alternative way to track your year without having to write endless paragraphs in a diary or blog. If writing isn’t your thing, give this a try!

14. Learn a badass magic trick

Not just your everyday card trick, but why not spend some time learning something that will actually leave your mates baffled. It’s a great icebreaker and you never know, you might be the next Houdini!

15. Volunteer

Lastly, this is a great one for a whole bunch of reasons: you get to support an organisation who could do with the extra help; you meet new and interesting people; its a great addition to a CV; its good for improving your self-confidence; you get to help people and make a difference; you get work experience; you’re making a good use of your spare time; you’ll feel good about yourself; you’ll learn new skills; you’ll probably get a cool t-shirt… (the benefits are endless).

Psssst, here’s the secret …

The secret to sticking to new year resolutions is this: Well… there isn’t one (sorry!) Just being yourself is enough.

You don’t have to reinvent yourself this New Year, just understand that everybody is a work in progress. Do what you love and love what you do!

What’s yours?

We want to hear what you’re planning for 2020, head over to the community to see what others have lined up this New Year…

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

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