#3 | Lockdown Life hack: Become your own best friend
Updated: Jan 10
"The best thing about becoming your own best friend is that it’s a gift you will have for life, a gift that no one can ever take away from you."
9 months ago...no one knew what being in 'isolation' or being in 'quarantine' meant.
However, living in isolation was not new to me, as for most part of my childhood I lived in and out of hospital, having to be isolated for long periods of time when I was unwell.
How did I cope?
I learnt to become my own best friend 😊
Most weekends were spent staying indoors whilst watching my brothers playing football and cycling in the garden and every time I joined in my mum shouted ‘Sit down, you’ll hurt yourself’.
So one day I found some bubblewrap (from a parcel). I got my older brother to sellotape it to me ( yes he agreed haha) and roll me down the hill in the garden (no joke) - just to showcase to my parents - I’m human and I deserved an opportunity to live.
I know a lot of my friends and family would like to STILL sellotape me to a seat and tell me to slow down, as I have always lived life at 100mph!
A lot of my time was spent in my own thoughts and pretending I was ok, so I didn’t worry people in my life. As far as fixing a congenital heart defect goes, you never take into account the mental health affect of having to deal with a lifetime of uncertainty. That’s why it was so key that I made friends with myself - because no one understood me better than myself and truth being no one else can save you but yourself!
I’m not much of a talker with all that I’ve been through, because I always believe things happen for a reason - 'keep smiling and just keep on shining' used to be my motto. I've always felt totally blessed to have my heart condition, because I am who I am because of my patched up heart. I truly believe the universe was obviously trying to test my strength as I landed on this planet. I love the saying 'We Grow Through What We Go Through' and life will just keep on going and growing right?
I quickly learnt that I couldn’t live up to societies or wellness industry expectations, because I’ll always be an exception... the black sheep of the communities around me and often the one that’s left out.
BUT listen to this...We all have it in us to give ourselves what we need, without seeking it externally. Of course, it’s great if you have a strong support network, but you could still benefit from becoming more self-reliant and self resilient.
Even though I have some amazing friends, I sometimes still feel... I don’t always have someone to turn to for help. I am great at putting a barrier up and a smile on my face, but also with the current pandemic my support network has not always been able to be there for me and maybe you feel the same? so it became more apparent, on how I had to learn to pick myself up and help myself out more.
Isn’t it far better to know how to support yourself in times of need? Because hey we all need to be our own best mates right now.
Here’s some tips that I have on how you can become your own best friend.
1. Be kind to yourself - The first step is all about treating yourself like you’d treat your friends. So stop beating yourself up and being self critical. Instead fall in love with your traits and all you can offer. Ask yourself would I ever say this to a friend, if not reframe the chat in your mind to be more kind 😊
2. Support yourself, like you would a friend - Learn to support and comfort yourself. The pandemic has put us all in an alien situation. One we could never have prepared for. So it’s easy to forget about you, as you check in with everyone else. Notice the words you’d say to your best friend and then say them gently to yourself. Allow yourself to feel supported, and give yourself what you need on those rocky days. A genuine best friend is supportive and comforting, often knowing exactly what to say or need in those times of distress. Instead of running into self pity and other self destructive behaviour, start to teach yourself how to face any difficult times, instead of running away and looking for an escape clause. This is one of the most essential ways of developing self love.
3. Check in with yourself - Like you’d check in with others. Check in with what you need and start to consider them. Write down on a piece of paper ' What do I need to do for my self care today?' Do you need to take a day off? A walk? Do some yoga? Have a long bath? Catch up on more zzz's - 9pm bedtime! Get a workout in. Watch your fave series on Netflix? Meet a friend for a walk? Call someone? Whatever it is, pop it on top of your list today and make it happen.
4. Reframe your mind as an outsider - When those thoughts come up in your mind, instead of overthinking about what they mean. Can you be an outsider and look at them? Not all thoughts should be explored or acted upon. I truly believe that.
5. Build up your self confidence - Ever heard the phrase "fake it until you make it". Yes I know, it doesn't always work. However, there's a lot from that approach that helps us feel a little bit more confident with the way we live life. But by working on our self confident, especially right now, when we are masked up in life - will prepare us to truly be the best version of ourselves starting NOW. Because who knows when we will go back to reality?
6. Celebrate the small wins - Praise yourself for even the smallest things in life, don't wait for others to do this for you. This has been a huge game changer for me. Sometimes we wait for someone to give us a pat on our backs to help us realise our truest potentials, whether that's in our life achievements or work. But simply, right now, praise yourself for getting up and putting on actual clothes. Praise yourself for cooking your own breakfast instead of heading to Pret. If it's a big win (e.g. getting a new job or starting a passion project) then give yourself the gift that you would wish someone would give to you. Just let yourself celebrate your win, like you would do for your best friend.
7. `Take solo trips and find solitude - The best way to understand who you truly are, is by seeking out time alone and really listening to yourself and your thoughts. This will definitely not be easy for everyone and if you feel like you need support to find comfort within yourself - seek help from a medical professional. Solitude is powerful and has restorative powers to creating a relationship with yourself. If you can't stand being by yourself and enjoying your own company, then you will never be able to be your own best friend or be able to offer this advice to anyone else. When the pandemic allows, take some time away by yourself - even if it's another town or city - go and explore it - by yourself.
8. Learn how to have fun by yourself 😊 - THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! When we think about having fun , we always think about having fun and socialising with others. Sadly a lot of us have learnt to enjoy life through the company of others, but not with the company of ourselves. By finding something that you can do alone e.g. dancing in the kitchen first thing in the morning ( me haha), yoga, listening to podcasts, finding the best takeaway coffee in your local area etc. You will begin to create a stronger bond with yourself and your interests - without external presence.
Becoming your own best friend is not easy - it's a job in itself. But by channelling your energy to 'find your fizz' in life, will help you become your own best friend and that begins with giving yourself the random acts of kindness. With time, life will speak its truth and you will form a deeper and happier relationship with your own being.
The longest relationship you'll ever have in life is with yourself, so make it THE BEST relationship in your life.
The best thing about becoming your own best friend is that it’s a gift you will have for life, a gift that no one can ever take away from you.
Lots of love, Fizz xxx