Sometimes we think we have to do it all on our own in order to do well. But there’s no shame in having someone to catch you when you fall, to offer you words of wisdom, or to give you a hand. There is a difference between support and reliance. To rely on someone is to depend on them. And there may be times when we need that. But we can still be independent and self-made with support. We don’t have to do it all alone to be strong and successful. The more people we have rooting for us, the higher we’ll go.
Take some time to think, to breathe. It’s not easy in a world that pushes us to stay busy, physically and mentally. But if we don’t, life will be exhausting and it will take its toll. Take a bath or a long shower to wash away the dirt of the day. Take a walk outside to air out the pollution clogging up your lungs. Take a journal and pour out all negativity with the ink of the pen. Take to the floor and meditate to let go of your worries about the future and bring yourself to the present moment. Invest some time in yourself. Take time to be with your own thoughts. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
… don’t do nothing. Because doing nothing is still something. And we might not understand the gravity of standing by. Bullying can range from name calling and teasing to violence, intimidation and harassment, and can manifest at school, at work, or online. So if we do witness bullying, here are a few ways of doing something about it:
- Don’t make assumptions about the bully’s motives or the victim’s feelings. It might seem as if the bully’s words are meant as a harmless joke and it might seem as if the victim brushes them off, but that may not be the case. And even if it is, that’s not an excuse to ignore it.
- Don’t encourage the bully. It might be tempting to laugh at a bully’s remarks or gossip about someone behind they’re back, in an attempt to fit in or avoid being bullied ourselves, but if we keep encouraging it, we keep normalising it. And bullying has too serious consequences to ignore.
- Call it out. If you see the bully in action, in person or online, and you feel safe enough to do so, confront them. Sometimes a bully needs their sense of power to be stripped away. They can thrive on the idea that nobody can stop them. Tell them that they’re wrong. But be careful not to confuse calling out the bully with becoming a bully yourself.
- If standing up to the bully is too frightening, focus on the victim instead. Ask them how they are. Listen to them. Offer them the support they ask for. Befriend them. Invite them to sit with you at lunch times. Whatever you can do to make them feel less alone. There’s strength in numbers and it gives the bullied something to look forward to in a usually hostile environment.
- Tell someone. Sometimes we might lack authority over the bully, for example if we’re classmates or colleagues. We need find help from someone else, like a teacher or someone in human resources – whoever you feel comfortable talking to and who you can trust. Just make sure you’re sensitive and careful about anything you share about the victim.
Got any other advice? Leave it in the comments!
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We might sometimes find ourselves alone. But that doesn’t mean we have to be lonely. Sometimes we have to be our own biggest cheerleader:
- Celebrate your victories – we don’t always give ourselves enough credit when it comes to our achievements, sometimes because we don’t think they’re good enough and other times because we’re too busy thinking about the next big thing. But don’t get into the habit of letting success pass you by. Any victory is one to be celebrated. Praise yourself.
- Cut yourself some slack – we cannot always be our best, let alone always be perfect. Sometimes we’re going to trip up and make a mess. But it’s all a part of life. What matters the most is what we do afterwards. We shouldn’t waste our time beating ourselves up, demotivating ourselves or crushing our self-confidence. Instead, take responsibility, learn a lesson and move on.
- Stop comparing yourself to others and love who you are – we all find it hard to be comfortable with who we are, where we are, and what we have. We look at others and envision a better life if we were more like them. But the truth is, everyone has insecurities and problems. We all have different stories. Focus on your own and you’ll go much further – if you don’t, it will go on without you.
It’s ok to want to be alone, to take time to process and to understand our thoughts and feelings. But if we ever feel overwhelmed, if we feel anxious, scared, hurt or depressed, it’s ok to reach out. Don’t be afraid to express yourself; it might be hard to put everything into words, and sometimes we just need to cry or be held by someone instead. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable by opening up. We don’t need to, and shouldn’t have to, face things alone. And if we do find ourselves alone, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re not alone. Everyone feels alone sometimes. Everyone has felt those same feelings or feels those same feelings as you right now. You’re not alone in this. And you’re going to be ok.