Whether you’re in a relationship and you feel like you don’t have as much control as you use to or you’re at the stage in your life where you need to stand on your own two feet, we’ve some ideas for you to take control of your life and feel more independent.
Time just for you
This is especially important when in a relationship as sometimes there are blurred lines between meeting your needs, theirs and the grey haze in the middle called getting through the day. Of course we have to compromise to make being together tolerable but if you’re finding yourself sacrificing too much of yourself or that time is passing considerably fast that you are not feeling fulfilled, it may be time to take hold of the reigns and claim something as your own.
The biggest and easiest way to claim some independence in a relationships is time to yourself. Enjoy a little pampering, reading, watching the shows you love but your partner rolls their eyes at, a fitness class; whatever it is you enjoy doing, carve out some time just for you to do just that.
Take a trip
Often there is a place you want to visit or something you’re desperate to do that your friends or partner just aren’t as interested in. If this is the case, don’t let it hold you back. Take the trip.
There is nothing like a bit of self discovery on a trip away on your own. It will seem like a very daunting task, especially if you’re not use to spending so much time on your own, but you’ll be surprised how much it’ll energise you and give you that much needed boost of self confidence and independence. Plan your trip thoroughly to ensure you know how to get from A-B when in a place you’re unfamiliar with. Select hotels with direct transport links in a busy or residential area, and always be aware of your surroundings. You really are capable of anything you can put your mind to and this is one way to prove it.
On self discovery
We’re inundated constantly with opinions, beliefs and targeted marketing that is exacerbated by technology and relationships. Sometimes it can be pretty hard not to follow the crowd. But in doing so we’re probably giving up a little part of ourselves and in doing this so frequently it can begin to completely transform who we believe we are.
It is important to take a step back every now and then, from technology and people, to reevaluate our likes and dislikes. Take time out from the hype once in awhile and discover things for yourself (namely popular shows such as Game of Thrones, Walking Dead etc.); read more broadly than you did before to explore new things; step outside your comfort zone to try new restaurants, foods and experiences. Not only will this help you to better understand yourself but it’ll help you open up to new experiences and enable you to build stronger relationships whilst remaining true to yourself.
Stop caring what other people think
In order to remain true to yourself and be completely independent, it’s time you took a stance and stopped caring what other people think, say or do. Other people cannot validate you. It doesn’t lead to ultimate happiness and in fact can hinder your ability to be truly happy. You do not need to justify your choices in life. If it makes you happy then that is all the justification you or anyone else needs. It starts with learning to be comfortable with the decisions that you make for yourself about your life.
We appreciate this is a pretty hard thing to do especially if this is so ingrained in your being. But doing the following a bit at a time will make a significant difference. Eventually it will feel like you’ve lifted a ton of weight from your shoulders.
- If you feel you’re over thinking something take a deep breath and tell yourself to stop over analyzing. There is nothing to worry about, everything is fine.
- If someone negatively judges you do not define it as fact. Determine their intention- is it in a caring way that may help you to become a better person or is it an insult? If it is the later you should firmly ignore it. Many things influence why a person says what they do, for example they may be having a bad day or a little bit of jealousy is shining through. If it is the former is it something you want to or can work on?
- Gather your own thoughts and opinions: In hot topic discussions such as politics, contribute to the discussion rather than agreeing with them because of who it is. Read around the subject matter to make your informed decision and contribute to the discussion.
Create a nest egg
Everyone needs their own little nest egg for a bit of financial independence. In fact, you probably need several. We’d recommend the following:
- A rainy day fund for those unexpected events such as a missed bill or for perhaps if/when the car breaks down
- A fuck-off fund: in case of major emergency financial needs like if you need/want to leave your job or you lose it or in case you’ve just had enough and you’ll quite rightly hop on a plane and take a break.
- Building for your future in the form of a pension pot
Building your list of nest eggs, even a bit at a time, will give you peace of mind, better security and total independence.
Find out how you can calm yourself
At times of distress/stress it can be too easy to turn to others in our time of need and although it is important to have these strong and healthy relationships with others it can lead to dependency. For example, if you’re dependent on others to help calm or settle you, if you’re placed in a situation where no-one is available (for example you’ve had to travel for work, crossing time zones and something has gone wrong or just not able to get to the phone at that moment), this can lead to further distress. It can cause you to doubt your ability to get through such times and lead to low mood and depression.
Learning to manage things on your own will give you a whole new level of power you didn’t even know could possess. At a basis, it is worth developing some tactics to help calm you so that you’ve a clearer head to make decisions/get back to feeling more like yourself if you’re just feeling isolated.
Ways in which you can self soothe:
- Practising mindfulness is a great technique which helps you to focus on the here and now. Start by taking a few minutes each day to sit somewhere quiet, take deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth and pay attention to the sites, sounds and smells around you. If your mind wanders, focus it back on the task in hand which is focusing on your breathing and your surroundings. How to meditate in a moment is a great video to help get you started.
- In your workplace, create a moodboard with all your aspirations, goals, motivations and things that generally make you happy. When things get a little tense at work, focus on your mood board to lift your spirits.
- Create a calming playlist: add your most soothing tunes to a playlist on your phone so when the circumstances arise and it is appropriate, take some time out to listen to these.
- It might even be as simple as taking a 5 minute break, grabbing a cup of tea and a few deep breaths.
Take control of your health
A big part of independence is taking responsibility of your health and includes exercise, sleep quality and eating a balanced diet.
If you’re self-conscious it can be a daunting prospect to join a gym or a new exercise class. But everyone has felt this sense of apprehension at some point or another. Sometimes it is good to jump in the deep end and take a chance. But if you’re just not ready, you can start at home by downloading an app, following videos on Youtube, play virtual games and/or create an obstacle course around the house. Building on your fitness at home first can help you feel more capable and equipped to deal with something new. You can then sign up to a class you’ve always wanted to try. And you’ll get to meet new people too which has many benefits of it’s own.
As for healthy eating
It’s all about balance. It’s about not restricting yourself so much that you crave and get sad about what you can’t have. Equally, it’s about being conscious of when you’re just binge eating. Establishing a food routine that is planned in advance can help up to curb bad habits.
When you feel like you need some support
If you feel like you need support from your GP; go equipped with a list of symptoms, you’re feeling as to what may be wrong and your expectations when it comes to treatment. They may be the ‘experts’ but they rely on the information we provide. Equally, we don’t have to accept the one course of treatment they recommend, make it an informed decision collectively.
We hope that this little guide has been inspiring. A sense of independence can work wonders on our own mental wellbeing. It is also true that our own feeling of independence can strengthen our relationships too.
If you’re looking for other ways you can give yourself a boost of confidence, check out our other articles below.