How To Practice Self-Care After Coming Out

The anxiety around coming out can really take a toll on your wellbeing. It’s not as easy as running out into the street, arms wide open, screaming “I’M GAAAAAYYYYY!” and calling it a day. Chances are, you sat down with someone you trust and had a super personal, vulnerable conversation about it. Which is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, by the way! But remember all of those feelings and nerves that were building up over time? The sleepless nights you spent tossing and turning, wondering: How will my life change when I come out? Yeahhh… that was a lot, huh?

Now that you have officially come out, maybe you just wanna move on with your life and be your true, authentic self. We get it! Buuut hold on a sec. You’ve been holding that part of you inside for so long, and it wasn’t easy. Maybe you doubted yourself, questioned how you really felt, and dealt with a lottttt of negative self-talk while coming into your sexuality. On top of that, you might have also struggled with how and when you would finally say those words. Not to mention, what your friends and family would say. Ughhh SO. MANY. EMOTIONS.

Speaking of this emotional rollercoaster, it’s time to look after YOU and practice some self-care. You might be thinking: Thanks so much, but what self-care will help me take care of myself mentally while coming out? We’re so glad you asked!

Here are some ways to practice self-care after coming out.

1. Keep Your Support Team Close

Sooo, you’ve come out. Not sure what’s next or where you fit in now? That’s okay! You have loved ones who accept you and love you for who you are, no matter what. They’ll be there for the ups and downs, and won’t make you feel any different after coming out. There’s no need to bury anything deep inside anymore. You can finally share things with them that you’ve been holding back, making your relationships that much stronger. And that’s pretty great! Give them a hug and talk to them about that stuff that you’ve always wanted to.

2. Set Boundaries When Needed

Even though you might feel super lucky to have the people in your life show support after coming out, their support can also feel totally overwhelming. Ah, the flip side of the coin! If there are things you’re not ready to talk about yet, or you’re not comfortable with your bestie setting you up with their gay cousin (even though they are pretty cute), guess what? That’s okay! You, and only you, get to decide what you’re comfortable with right now. Just because you’re technically out, doesn’t mean you wanna focus on it 24/7 or jump head-first into the dating scene. So make the people in your life aware of your boundaries!

3. Try Not To Take All Reactions Personally

This is a tough one, because some reactions might suck more than others. Maybe there was an awkward silence that dragged on foreverrr. Or they might have been like, “Duh, I knew that!” and then conversation was over. They might not have really shown any reaction at all, meanwhile you were sitting there thinking: Wait… they heard me say that I’m gay, right? 

It can be weird, but sometimes people need time to process what you’ve told them. They might have been surprised, or just didn’t know in the moment what to say. That doesn’t mean they don’t support you and that your relationship with them will change. Some people aren’t the best at communicating their feelings, so try not to take it personally. Coming out was still brave of you, and we’re so proud!

Also, any negative reactions you get? Don’t take those personally, either. Those are not people you need in your life. And the ones who do accept you are gonna be there, always.

4. Keep A Journal

If you don’t journal already, we highly recommend it! (Did we mention we have an app for that?) Write about your experience with coming out: who you told, when you told them, and where. Put down how it felt to say the words out loud and how they reacted. Whether the experience was what you hoped for or not, it’s gonna feel great to put those emotions on paper. Maybe one day, you’ll wanna look back on those entries to see how far you’ve come! Grab a pen, a journal, and let. it. out.

5. Find A Mentor

Maybe there is someone in your office or class who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, or maybe there is someone in your local community who you’ve been following on social media. Finding someone who’s been out for longer than you have can be really helpful when you’re navigating this new journey. As their protégé, they’ll give you advice, share their experiences and introduce you to other people in the community. We could all use a little guidance. So don’t be shy! Reach out. They’ve been in your position and would probably love to help you out.

6. Move At Your Own Pace

Now that you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, maybe you’re not sure where you fit in. Reading up on the history, the culture, the movements, and participating in events like Pride Month can be a lot to take in as someone who is newly out. There’s a whole new world and group of diverse people that you’re aligning with, and that’s super exciting! But it can also be really overwhelming and intimidating so we want to make sure that you move at your own pace. Keep checking in with yourself to see how you’re feeling about all of the excitement and give yourself time to process all the emotions coming up.

7. Keep Learning About Yourself

Now that you’re open with your sexual identity, you might be feeling like: Okay… now what? Good news! This is a great chance for you to try new things that you never let yourself do before you came out. Maybe you’ve always wanted to rock a rainbow knit sweater or express yourself by styling your hair a certain way. Or maybe there have been clubs and hobbies you’ve been wanting to join, but you held yourself back until now. You weren’t ready to draw attention to yourself or have anyone draw conclusions about your sexuality based on your looks, the music you like, or what you like to do for fun. Not that anyone should be doing that, but you know people. If you feel comfortable exploring those interests now, we’re so so excited for you! 

8. Meet New People In The Community

If you don’t have anyone one in your life who can relate to you, expanding your friendships to the LGBTQ+ community is a great idea! Plus, you might be able to have conversations you’re not ready to have with your straight friends yet. You’ll learn so much about yourself when you’re surrounded by people who make you feel 100% comfortable as you are. Honestly, self care after coming out can also look like this. It’s about asking yourself what you might need in that moment and then doing your best to give yourself that. This could be meeting a new group or it could be spending time with yourself! It’s your call!

We hope these post-coming-out self-care tips help! Remember: we’re rooting for you because you deserve the best and nothing less.

How To Support Someone Who Comes Out To You

Ok, so someone in your life has just made a huge step in owning their sexuality by coming out to you. Good news: they clearly trust you A LOT. It can be a really scary experience (and really brave!). Maybe you’re even the first person they’ve told! In that case, you’re probably someone who means a lot to them, and who they trust to support them on this emotional journey. YAY! So what can you actually do to support someone who comes out to you?

Let’s talk about that! We’re sure there are a billion questions swirling around your brain right now, especially if the news is fresh. Like how do you know what to say when someone comes out? What if you say the wrong thing and hurt their feelings?? Or what if you blurt out something that you thought sounded supportive in your head, but instead it comes out awkward and forced??

We got you. Here are a few ways to support someone who comes out to you, like a true ally.

1. Thank Them For Telling You

It doesn’t matter whether you were surprised to hear this news or not. They came out, and that’s a big deal! First and foremost, try saying something like: Thank you for telling me, I really appreciate that you trust me enough to share this. It shows you recognize how hard it was for them to share this part of themselves. Anddd don’t forget to tell them that they’re amazing AF. A little empathy and encouragement goes a looong way. 

2. Remind Them That You’re Always Gonna Be There

*Cue Friends theme song* I’ll be there for yooooouuuuu…

Part of them probably knew you would be accepting of them no matter what, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t nervous as hell to come out to you. A lot of people might worry that things will change if they come out, or worst case scenario… lose someone close to them forever. That must be suchhh an isolating feeling. Saying the words: I’m here for you and I’ll always support you is a must, even if you think they already know. Say it.

3. Be Serious But Not Tooooo Serious

What they’ve told you is important and took a lot of courage. Maybe there were even some tears… orrrr a lot of tears. Hey, we encourage crying here!! But that doesn’t mean you can’t lighten the mood, right? Being your normal self and throwing in a joke here and there (when the moment is right, of course) will make them feel way more at ease. Make ‘em laugh, ‘cause that shit is the best medicine.

4. Ask What You Can Do To Support Them

If you feel like maybe words aren’t enough, ask how you can help them or what you can do to support them. Maybe they want you by their side when they tell the rest of your friends, or even their family. Or they might just want to go get some chicken nuggets. That works too. Offering to help in any way, shape or form will mean so much to them!

5. Let Them Come Out To Others On Their Own Terms

A suuuper important thing to check once someone has come out to you is whether or not they have come out to anyone else and if not, when they will be. You NEVER want to out someone before they’re ready. That can be traumatic and devastating on so many levels. Just don’t do it. If someone else questions you about your friend/family member’s sexuality and you know they’re not out yet, you keep that info under lock and key.

6. Ask Questions

Maybe you’re worried about coming at them with too many questions like it’s a pop quiz, but it’s okay to have a few! Just be understanding that this person might not have all the answers yet. It could still be very new to them and it might take some time for them to sort out their thoughts and feelings. Remind them that it’s okay to not have all of the answers right now, and that you can figure it out together.

7. Treat Them The Same That You Always Have

One of the biggest fears a person has when they’re coming out to a friend is that the relationship will change or be different. Make it clear that is NOT the case! They’re still the same friend, sibling, roommate, or whoever they might have always been to you. The only real difference is that they’ve shared their true self that they might have kept inside for so long, and we think that’s pretty awesome. So remind them how much they mean to you.

8. Learn More About The LGBTQ+ Community 

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community, its culture and its history. It could make you and your friend grow even closer than before! It’s a win-win for everyone. Also, add RuPaul’s Drag Race to your watchlist if you haven’t already. You can thank us later.

“Help! I Didn’t React Right When I First Heard!”

Maybe you’re here because someone came out to you and your reaction was… bad. Whatever you said (or left unsaid) ended the conversation on a bad note. You upset or hurt them. You feel awful. And now you’re worried you’ve ruined a relationship that means a lot to you.

We all make mistakes and sometimes say or do the wrong thing in the moment. What matters now is that you try to rectify the situation so that you don’t lose this person for good. Coming out to you was already a big deal for them, so if it didn’t go well, they are probably not feeling great right now.

But you can turn this around! It’s never too late to acknowledge your mistake and start a conversation around it. Be humble and honest in how you try to open up a dialogue but here are a few things you can say to someone if you didn’t react properly when they first came out to you:

I want to apologize for how I reacted.

I’m really sorry. The news caught me caught off guard and I didn’t know what to say.

I will always support and love you, no matter what.

I hope you can forgive me, but I understand how much I hurt you.

You’re really important to me and I don’t want to lose you. Can we start over?

Taking ownership over the situation will show how much you regret your response and want to do better. It’s also important to spend time listening to this person and allow them the space to express their feelings, including how your reaction made them feel. This makes your apology more about them, not you. ‘Cause remember, this is all about their experience! Ultimately, this is a major event in their life and your reaction shouldn’t overshadow that. Make sure to follow the tips we mentioned above, so that they know they have your full support.

We hope this article will help you as you try your best to support anyone who comes out to you! 

How To Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns In Conversation

Using gender-neutral pronouns can be a bit of an adjustment. We are taught in school that when we are talking about someone, we should refer to them as he/him or she/her. These rules become part of our everyday vernacular and have made it challenging to use and encourage the use of more inclusive language.

Here are just a few examples of common titles and phrases that are said a lot and aren’t inclusive, like… at all.

Policeman.

Fireman.

Mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Fight like a girl.

That’s women’s work.

Fathers babysit their children.

Man-made.

The more you start to think about how gendered our language is, the more you’ll begin seeing it all around you.

 For many of us, we have only ever spoken about or referred to people with gendered language attached to them, so making a change to using gender-neutral pronouns can be a little tricky. But we’re happy that you’ve clicked on this article because that means that you’re willing to learn!  

 So, how do you start using gender-neutral pronouns in conversation?

If You Don’t Know Someone’s Gender, Use “They”

If you’re talking to a friend and she mentions that her cousin just had a baby, you can ask, “What did they name them?” That way, the gender of your friend’s cousin and the baby aren’t assumed.

If you’re out for a walk and you meet a puppy, you can ask the owner “What’s their name?” instead of, “What’s her name?” That way, even though it’s a puppy, you’re using gender-neutral language and getting used to it in every situation!

There is some debate around the use of they/them when referring to a singular person, but we’re here to tell you that even if it feels weird, DO IT ANYWAY! It’s a really easy way to show respect for nonbinary and agender individuals, and they’ll definitely appreciate the effort.

Switch To Plurals

Instead of using “his or her” when talking about a group of people, try to use they, them, or their(s) instead.

For example: Every student must put his or her cell phone away before taking the test.

 You can change that sentence to: All students must put away their cellphones before taking the test.

 See? Super easy.

If someone you know uses the pronouns they/them and you don’t know how to use those pronouns correctly just yet, you can repeat their name: “I was talking to Sam yesterday. Yes! Sam is doing really well.”

 It might sound funny at first, but if you’re having a hard time incorporating they/them pronouns into your language, this is a really easy way to start being more inclusive!

Refer To Someone’s Significant Other As A Partner 

A lot of us in relationships call our significant other our boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband.

If someone is dating another person whose gender you don’t know, you can refer to this person as a “partner.”

For example: “Did you meet Matilda’s partner at the Holiday Party?

Some of our team members here at DiveThru already refer to their significant other as their partner. It’s an easy change if you want to be more inclusive with your language when a person you know is settling into a relationship. Plus, calling someone a partner makes it sound super cool­­–like they’re a pair of detectives.

Correct Yourself

If someone uses they/them pronouns, you’re probably going to slip up and use their old and gendered pronouns. That’s ok! It can take some getting used to, especially if you knew this person before they changed how they identify.

What matters most in this situation is that you say, “Whoops, sorry!” Simply correct yourself, and then keep moving on with the conversation.

Many trans people don’t like when you make a big deal and hullabaloo over accidentally messing up their pronouns. Just apologize, make the correction, and keep going. That way, you aren’t focusing on their old gender and making a scene about it. Trans people will appreciate your correction because that means that you’re trying and learning!

Here’s a little list to get you thinking about how you might be incorporating gendered language into your vocabulary:

Do you refer to a group of people by one gender?

Do you use he/him/she/her when talking about someone whose gender you don’t know?

Was the mention of their gender necessary?

Did you stereotype someone based on their job or any other factors?

 You don’t have to change your whole vocabulary overnight. Even small changes can add up and eventually make a big difference! But if you’re ever unsure about which pronouns to use when talking to or about someone, just ask them if they feel comfortable sharing them with you. Easy, right? You got this!

Choosing To Be Child Free: Why No One’s Opinion But Yours Matters

So, you’ve thought about it. Having kids. Maybe your whole life you’ve imagined getting married and immediately starting a family with five kids, three dogs, two cats, plus a hamster. You might have even had baby names picked out since middle school! Hey, we don’t judge. Unless you think Khaleesi is actually cute for a baby… then we might judge a lil’ bit. And now the words child free are closer to your heart than before.

Because as you got older, your dreams started to change. The thought of having kids doesn’t align anymore with your goals. Maybe instead, you wanna throw all of your time and energy into growing your own business, travelling the world, or opening your own art gallery. And you can’t imagine accomplishing those dreams on top of the huge responsibility of raising kids. Orrr, it could be you’ve come to realize the simple fact: you just don’t want to have kids. You’ve decided to live the child free life.

For so long, becoming a parent was expected of pretty much everyone. Like we saw with our grandparents, settling down with a partner and starting a family was considered the norm. Nowadays though, choosing to be child-free is way more common for tons of different reasons. But guess what? Both choices are valid! And it’s YOUR choice to make.

If you’ve decided to not have children, you might worry about what others will say, or if it’s gonna be a big deal for the rest of your life. Totally understandable. But here are 8 things to consider when deciding to be child-free that we think will help you feel validated! ‘Cause we’re here for youuu.

1. You’ll deal with people who don’t ‘get’ your decision.

When you decide to be child-free, you’ll probably hear a LOT of this:

But who’s going to look after you when you’re old?

You’ll change your mind. It’s just because you’re young.

Don’t you want to keep the family name going?

I don’t get it, you’re so great with kids!

You might think you don’t want them now, but you’ll regret not having kids one day!

Excuse us, who asked?! First of all, you don’t have to validate your choices to anyone. Ever. Ultimately, it’s your life. But hearing these kinda comments will definitely get old after a while, so it’s probably for the best to shut them down sooner than later. When you’ve had enough of explaining yourself over and over to Aunt Helen at Thanksgiving about your choice to be child-free, set those personal boundaries! It’s okay to say: This is my choice and I don’t want to explain myself to you anymore. Please respect that. Drawing that line will make you feel 1000x less on edge at family gatherings. Just pass the gravy boat and MYOB, thanks!

2. You can enjoy spending time with kids.

There’s this misconception that people who don’t want to have kids, hate them. News flash: you can still like hanging out with kids without wanting to raise one! WILLDD concept, right? You probably love spending time with your niece or nephew, or babysitting your neighbour’s kids. You might even want to coach for a kids’ soccer team or volunteer at the after-school program. Being child-free doesn’t mean your whole life can’t include kids at all!

3. You still have a family.

“But don’t you want a family?” is probably one of the worst things to say to a child-free person, ever. Actually you DO have a family. Not only do you have your parents, siblings and all of your relatives. But there’s also your partner, your best friends in the whole world, plus their families who treat you like one of their own. Family doesn’t just mean procreating. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re pretty great.

4. You can focus on having a strong relationship with your partner.

Sometimes people have a baby to save their relationship, or they think that having kids will bring them closer together. Yikes. Babies aren’t a band-aid, and they shouldn’t be used to improve your relationship with your partner. Since you’ve decided to be child-free, you’ll actually have more time to work on things with your partner when problems do come up. Plus, you won’t have to give up your quality time together! Your Friday night ritual of Netflix and sushi is here to stay.

5. You won’t deal with as much financial stress.

Making the decision to be child-free will reduce sooo much extra financial planning. All of your hard earned money can go towards vacations, growing your business, or any self-care needs like a gym membership or hair appointments. You can also put more money into savings for retirement or any possible emergencies in the future. Spend those dolla bills however you please!

6. Your time = yours.

Being child-free means you can make plans when you want, where you want for the rest of your life. Pretty sweet, huh? Nothing about your life is gonna have to change. You can still go on weekend getaways with your besties or have a spur-of-the-moment date night with your partner, without having to worry about who’s going to take care of the kids.

7. You don’t have to handle the extra pressure.

Parents can deal with a LOT of pressure to be perfect and raise their kids a certain way. If you’re child-free, you’re eliminating a ton of unsolicited parenting advice and the crazy amount of decisions parents have to make on a daily basis. Who knew there was so much debate over breastfeeding vs formula?! Or how much screen time is acceptable before you completely rot a child’s brain?! You probably have enough decisions to make for yourself as it is.

8. You can still live a fulfilling life.

Another thing you might hear a lot when you decide to be child-free is that you won’t be truly fulfilled in life. We think that’s a pretty messed up thing to 1) say to someone and 2) think in the first place. Maybe you’re working on publishing your own novel, starting a charity, or finding a cure for fucking cancer. Or maybe you just want the simple things in life, like stopping at your favourite coffee shop every morning. Those all sound pretty fulfilling to us!

A Closing Thought

Here’s what our in-house writer, Olivia, shared with us about her choice to be child-free:

“I’ve never wanted kids. I’ve known that since I was 6 years old. People give me funny looks when I say that I want to remain childless, but I couldn’t imagine my life with a child. I’ve never made a list of baby names, I’ve never looked at nursery decor, or even baby outfits like other people do. It’s just not in me.

I’ve been called selfish for not wanting a kid, but I think it would be selfish if I did have one. I wouldn’t be able to give them the kind of love that they deserve and would need. It also wouldn’t be fair to me because I wouldn’t be able to do everything that I want to with my life. I want to travel, I want to have a million pets, I want to explore every facet of my life and I don’t see a child as being part of that exploration. 

I was really nervous to tell my partner that I don’t want kids, but he has been so amazing about it. He said that being able to love me means more than having a child and that got rid of all my fears. We plan on having a full and colourful life together. A child just isn’t part of that plan.”

Keep in mind that every person is different, and we support whatever decision makes you happy. There’s pros and cons to every decision! We hope this list reminded you that your choice to be child-free is valid, no matter what anyone has to say about it.

Parents Separating: An Adult-Child Survival Guide

So, your parents have been together for 30ish years, then all of a sudden, they decide to call it quits! Maybe you saw it coming, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you understand exactly why they’re separating, maybe you don’t. But what you know for sure is that they’re calling it … and that a whole wheel of emotions is about to hit you. You could say that’s a pretty standard result of parents separating.

 But you’re an adult now. You should be able to handle this, right? You’re mature, you have a career, and a good head on your shoulders, so why is it getting more and more complicated by the second? 

These are new waters that no one really talks about navigating. Some of us feel that if our parents had split up when we were kids, it would have been easier. Decisions would have been made for us and we would have had years to get used to sharing holidays, birthdays, and major celebrations. We would have known how to navigate those waters because, while growing up, we saw our friends go through it and figure it out.

But we aren’t kids. We’re full-on adults! In a way, it’s better, and in a way, it’s worse. We get to make the decisions now, and OOF! These decisions aren’t fucking easy.

Nothing about the situation is easy. So, here are some things no one really tells you about when your parents separate.

Your Relationships Will Change

Regardless of how the cookie crumbles, your relationship with your parents is going to change. They might try and keep you out of the nitty-gritty, but it’s hard not wanting to be informed about what’s happening in your childhood home.   

If one parent is hurting more than the other, you might become their support system. During this supporting process, you stop being a child and become more of a friend. Even in this role as a “friend,” you might end up parenting your own parents. You’ll be offering them advice and walking them through some really hard times. So be prepared! 

Alternatively, maybe one of your parents really sucks! Your relationship with them might change because their actions were harmful to your family, and you don’t know how you want to move forward in your relationship with them.

There is going to be a lot of shifting back and forth between the roles of parent, friend, child, or no relationship at all. Wherever you stand with your parents right now, know that it’s ok. It’s also ok if and when your relationship with them changes again. There are going to be a lot of emotions that come up over the next little while and they’re all going to impact how you move forward in your relationship with your family.

You’re Going To Feel A Lot Of Things

There are… *sigh*… so many emotions when it comes to this kind of situation.

You will experience grief about the home life you knew coming to an end. You’re going to feel sadness and pain for your parents who are hurting. You’re going to feel anger at someone or something and be so mad that you’ll just want to explode.

As adults, we often think to ourselves, “I’m old enough that I should be able to rationally think about this. I should process this in a healthy way, right?” Well, even if you think you should feel a certain way, your emotions might betray you! That’s sooooo much fun. Sometimes you get smacked with a tidal wave of emotions in the middle of your workday and you end up having to cry quickly in the bathroom.

 Your emotions are going to be jumping all over the place for a while and that’s ok. An entire way of life and a whole familial system is changing right before your eyes! You’re going to need to cry.  

It’s also not going to be easy if/when your parents have a new partner in their life. Let yourself adjust and take your time with accepting this new relationship. You were raised with your parents only ever loving each other, but now there is this whole new person in your life who has a relatively significant role. It might feel like you’re betraying your other parent if you’re even remotely nice to this new person.

 

Forgive yourself for your feelings and don’t push it. The more fake you are, the less you’ll process how you feel and become bitter.

No matter what happens, it’s going to take some getting used to and emotions are going to totally get in the way of every rational thought you might have. Just roll with it if you can and give yourself time!

You Will Become MORE Responsible

If you’re an older Gen Z or a Millennial, you’ll understand when we say that the concept of adulting evades those of us in this age range. But once your parents split up, you reach a new level of responsibility that you might have never felt before. 

You might be taking notes for your parents while they are on the phone with lawyers. You might be offering to help them out financially to fix up the house and sell it. You’re rationalizing actions, you’re mediating, you’re a therapist, you’re caring for your siblings… there’s a lot of new responsibility placed on you as an adult child.

Maybe this responsibility is self-appointed because you feel like you have to fix everything and support everyone, but it’s a sense of responsibility nonetheless.

Hard Conversations Are Gonna Happen

You’re going to have to put some boundaries up. This might be for your own mental health and wellbeing, or just because you can’t emotionally take on any more of their baggage. This might hurt your parents because your relationship before all of this might not have included many (if any) boundaries.

Maybe you decide to take a break from a relationship with one or both of your parents while you figure out your boundaries. It’s a hard pill to have to swallow! But if it’s going to benefit you and your mental health in the long run, you might have to do it.

None of this is easy. And if you’re anything like us at DiveThru, we have a lot of feelings. We’re basically that girl who crashed the assembly in Mean Girls.

 

Just remember that even though you have a ton of feelings, your feelings are still valid!

5 Ways To Cope With Your Parents Separating

It’s important to look after your mental health as much as possible right now! Listen to yourself and your body and try to understand what you need in order to take care of yourself in this moment. 

But what kind of things can you do to work through all of these emotions? Adult children with separated or divorced parents don’t really talk to each other about how to cope with such a tough situation because we’re expected to be emotionally mature enough to handle everything. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need help or advice. Good news for you, we have some things that can help you out during such a hard time.  

1. Therapy

 Go to therapy. Please. You’ll need it!

2. Journal

You can journal to get all of your thoughts and feelings down on paper. It can be helpful to look at what you’ve written and see your thoughts on a page. We have our thoughts rolling around in our heads all day and it feels overwhelming if we can’t take the time to sort them out.

3. Take An Emotional Step Back 

Sometimes we have to protect ourselves. We have to remove the emotional part of a situation for our mental health and that can be hard to do. But it’s necessary! This lets you see the situation from a more objective point of view and allows you to imagine the kind of relationships that you want with your parents in an ideal world (post-separation of course).

4. Find A Support Group

Going through this kind of familial trauma is really hard and it’s not a super unique experience. There are probably a ton of people around you who have experience with the same or similar situations. There are also many online groups that you could join, or you could even start your own support group if you can’t find any that you really vibe with.

5. Give Yourself Time To Heal

If you’re just at the beginning of this journey, get ready for a long road ahead. It’s going to be tough, so be gentle with yourself and give yourself the kind of time and space that you need. It’s going to be hard. But to quote Glennon Doyle, “We can do the hard things.”

Ultimately, however you’re processing things is totally valid and completely understandable. It’s a lot to go through! Things are changing for better or worse and it’s scary! But we believe in you. We don’t have all the answers, and unfortunately, no one ever will. Just take care of yourself as much as possible and do some of the things that we suggested. 

This is hard. Holy shit is this hard. But we know that you’re an amazing and strong person who is capable of getting through even the most difficult of times. Go to therapy, get some support and love, and give yourself the space and time that you need to heal. You’ve got this! 

Feeling Overwhelmed: A Guide To Your Emotions

It’s not easy to cope with feeling overwhelmed. You’re probably thinking: “Uhhh, no shit. I feel like I’m totally losing my mind, can’t get it together and everything is falling apart around me! Because i am so fucking OVERWHELMED and don’t know how to not feel like this.” Okayyy, let’s take a moment to pause here. 

You’ve got a lot going on right now. But it’s gonna be okay! It’s important to recognize where exactly your overwhelmed feelings are coming from in order to get them under control. It could be that you’ve got too many responsibilities on your plate and it’s been a struggle fest trying to manage them all at the same time. The list of things in your life that have become overwhelming just keep piling up, like that huge stack of laundry you’ve been avoiding… 

It can be too much to handle on your own sometimes, but you’re not alone! Everyone feels overwhelmed now and then it’s part of being a human being. Let’s dive thru feeling overwhelmed and how you can get through this emotion like a pro!

A Deeper Look At Feeling Overwhelmed

According to GoodTherapy.org, being emotionally overwhelmed is “a state of being beset by intense emotion that is difficult to manage. It can affect your ability to think and act rationally. It could also prevent you from performing daily tasks.” Okay, so obviously there’s lots to unpack there.

So, what causes us to feel emotionally overwhelmed? It turns out, a lot of things! The most common one is stress, which can be a result of a busy schedule that you’re struggling to keep up with, a demanding workload, relationship problems and even trauma that you may have experienced. When all of these stressors build over time and become too much for you to manage emotionally, it causes you to feel totally overwhelmed.

Feeling overwhelmed can be caused by so many different events in our lives. Maybe you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, and you’ve suddenly had to take on a ton of new responsibilities at the same time. Or maybe you have started a new job in a new city, and you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing and worry that you’ll mess something up and everyone is gonna hate you. It could be that you’re just trying to juggle so many things at once, but you’re burning the candle at both ends. And not the good kind of therapeutic, lavender scented candle. Just an emotionally overwhelmed candle. Okay, that was a really bad metaphor. But you get the idea!

No, you’re not a freak or a total failure for feeling overwhelmed. Again, we all feel this way sometimes! It’s virtually impossible not to get overwhelmed, ‘cause let’s face it — life can be rough. Our emotions can act as signals, reminding us when we need to make some changes and remove those stressors. Preferably before we completely lose it! But if you do lose it, that’s okay. We’re still here for you.

How Feeling Overwhelmed Shows Up Mentally

Your mental wellbeing can definitely be compromised when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You’re expelling so much extra energy on everything that’s making you feel this horrible emotion. After a while, your mind gets really tired! Overcoming overwhelm isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination and it can end up hurting your mental health. How exactly? Let us count the ways… 

  • Increased anxiety
  • Feelings of anger, irritability, guilt, or fear
  • Struggling to complete tasks
  • Difficulty thinking clearly or focusing
  • Withdrawing socially from family and friends
  • Panic attacks

Feeling emotionally overwhelmed for a long period of time can be a sign of anxiety or depression. If these symptoms continue, we highly recommend seeking the help of a mental health professional.

How Feeling Overwhelmed Shows Up Physically

Since feeling overwhelmed and stress are closely linked, it’s no surprise that their physical symptoms look pretty similar, too. They’re basically like a pair of mean siblings that like to go wherever the other is. They can’t seem to be apart (and we wish that they just wouldn’t show up in general). Here’s some physical signs you might experience when you’re overwhelmed AF:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache/digestive problems
  • Heartburn
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping/insomnia
  • Weakened immune system

Being overwhelmed isn’t healthy for your mind or body, so stop that shit! Just kidding (but not really), we know that it’s not simple. But we just want the best for you and for your body and mind to be ok. 

5 Ways To Cope With Feeling Overwhelmed

We know that feeling overwhelmed can be… a lot. That’s probably the understatement of the frickin’ year. But we’ve got some coping strategies for you, so don’t worry! You’re gonna get through this. Try ‘em out and see for yourself!

1. 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise

Engage all five senses and mindfully notice five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Go in any order that makes sense for you and your current situation no pressure

2. Find a positive distraction

Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Watch an episode of a show that never fails to make you laugh. Clean out your closet. Listen to a podcast. Break out a puzzle. Do whatever takes your mind off things and sparks a ‘lil joy! You deserve it.

3. Engage in compassionate self talk

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to fall in the trap of being not-so-nice to yourself. Instead, turn that negative self talk around and say some positive things to yourself! Remind yourself that this emotion is temporary and that you’re gonna get through it, because you’re a strong and capable human. I feel overwhelmed at this moment, but I can get through it. I have overcome challenges before. There is no doubt in my mind that I am strong.

4. Practice deep breathing

Try it with us! Breathe innn… and breathe outtt. Taking a moment to focus on your breathing has actually been proven to lower anxiety and reduce stress. Plus, deep breathing slows your heart rate and provides your brain with enough oxygen to chill out a bit… which you could use right about now.

5. Reach out for support

You don’t have to work through this feeling alone. When you need to talk through this whirlwind of emotions you’re experiencing, lean on the people you trust. Sometimes just having someone to listen to us and validate how we’re feeling makes all the difference!

Trust us, we know how hard it can be to feel overwhelmed. But hang in there! You can get through this feeling, one step at a time! We believe in you, friend.

Feeling Discouraged: A Guide To Your Emotions

It’s hard facing the world every day and trying your hardest, only to be met with results that crush your poor little heart. Eventually, after trying and trying for so long, you start feeling discouraged and begin to question yourself. Sometimes you think “Wow, is it even worth trying?” These negative thoughts keep running around and around… and around in your mind. 

When we feel discouraged, it’s hard not to think that certain situations are hopeless and that we’re stuck in our lives with no way to move forward. Maybe you’ve been passed over for the jobs that you’ve applied for, or maybe the last few people you went on a date with didn’t work out. It’s also hard not to feel discouraged when it comes to your mental health. We can go to therapy, take medication, do self care, and still struggle with our mental wellbeing. Whatever you might be facing, know that it’s totally ok to feel discouraged about it!

If you think that you’re alone in feeling this way, you are definitely not! We all feel discouraged about what’s going on in our lives–big or small! We can’t all be positive about everything ALLLLL the time, you know? That’s just unhealthy. So give yourself a big hug and be nice to yourself. We’re gonna help you through this, don’t worry. 

A Deeper Look At Feeling Discouraged

When we feel discouraged, it can sometimes feel like we’re lost. We’re roaming through life without a compass. You see people you grew up with accomplishing amazing things, and you feel like you aren’t where you “should be” at this point in your life. This way of thinking can introduce a little nugget of self doubt that becomes bigger and bigger the more we think about it. All of a sudden, this self doubt has changed from a little nugget to a whole 10 pack of chicken nuggets!

With every rejection, every milestone we haven’t yet reached, every task we have to redo, we can start to feel lesser than and damage our sense of self-worth and self-esteem. We can also feel really discouraged when we feel that we don’t have a support system to fall back on. It’s like we’re forced to navigate uncharted territory on our own. 

We then start to feel more and more that life is just too hard. It’s like every single day, we’re forced to get up and push a boulder up a mountain, only to have it roll back down to the bottom of that mountain at the end of each day. Then, in the morning, we have to start pushing that same boulder up that same mountain all over again. 

We can end up dwelling on our past, dwelling on our mistakes, and reliving those same feelings day in and day out. Eventually, we just become resigned to the idea that life is really hard and the pessimism takes over. 

But even though it feels like there is so much working against you at the moment, it is totally possible to overcome this feeling of discouragement!

How Feeling Discouraged Shows Up Mentally 

The feeling of discouragement is totally and completely valid! We’re faced every day with challenges that can become overwhelming and too much for one person to handle on their own. It can bring up a looooot of other feelings that go along with it, not just the one emotion of discouragement. It likes to bring along its group of nasty little emotion friends with it, and personally, we just find that to be RUDE: 

  • Low self-esteem 
  • Low sense of self worth 
  • Victimization 
  • Sensitive to criticism 
  • Feelings of rejection 
  • Unable to make strategic decisions

All of these things can exacerbate the feeling of discouragement. It’s like a shitty cycle that you can’t seem to get out of. So, give yourself a little break because you deserve some kindness and love from yourself. You’re going THROUGH it! 

How Feeling Discouraged Shows Up Physically

It’s hard not to want to scream into a pillow when we’re frustrated as hell. If you feel like you need to do that too, we won’t stop you! Sometimes it’s super wonderful and cathartic to just scream. You’ve been trying so hard over and over, but still, get knocked back each time. If you didn’t think that your actions were common, think again! Here are some of the ways that frustration can manifest itself physically: 

  • Crying 
  • Screams of frustration 
  • Needing a vent session 

Sometimes seeing a list like this helps us feel like we aren’t alone. We hope that it’s helped you a little bit because you definitely aren’t alone in feeling like this. Want us to prove it? Well, you’ve got us here with you, so BAM! Facts!

How To Cope With Feeling Discouraged  

It’s hard to feel like we’re worthy, confident, and capable people when what we do isn’t valued or appreciated. But, don’t fret! We have a lovely little list of things that you can try to help you move through this feeling of discouragement. Unfortunately, overcoming discouragement can take time and work, but with the help of these tips, we know that you can do it: 

1. Reach out for support

If you feel like you can’t dive thru what you’re going through on your own, reach out to someone who can help! Our loved ones are there for a reason! We bet that they’ll be more than happy to lend an ear and give you their advice. If you don’t think that you can tackle your problems on your own, ask if they can help you! Sometimes, having a second brain, extra set of hands, and an open heart is all you need to come out the other side. 

2. Comfort yourself as you would a friend or family member

Be gentle with yourself. You’re trying your hardest and facing the hard shit every. single. day. We applaud you for that! Give yourself a round of applause too. You deserve a little bit of love from yourself. 

3. Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing can be a wonderful way to calm down a nervous system that’s working overtime. Try and find a breathing technique that works for you! One of our favourites is called belly breathing. Put your hand on your stomach and inhale a deeeeeeep breath. Feel your stomach push your hand away from your body. Hold it for a second, and then exhale and use your hand as you gently push the air out of your stomach. Keep doing this as many times as you need to ground yourself. 

4. Journal 

Sometimes all we need to do is see our fears and frustrations on a piece of paper. Once we see them in front of us, it’s almost easier to figure out what our next steps will be. We might feel discouraged because we have these negative thoughts rolling around in our heads allll the time! So take a minute to journal and take away their power by putting them on a physical space and taking them out of your sweet little head. 

5. Give yourself a pep talk 

Sometimes all we need to do is hype ourselves up! Think about what you would say to your best friend if they were feeling the way that you do in this moment! Give yourself the pep talk of a lifetime and go crush your goals! 

We know that feeling discouraged is a heavy emotion to carry around. It can feel like it weighs a ton sometimes! But we know that you are one tough cookie who is going to come out stronger than ever before. We hope that this article helped you feel a little less alone and a little more encouraged that you did before. WE LOVE YOU!

Feeling Helpless: A Guide To Your Emotions

Unfortunately, feeling helpless can’t always be spun into a positive feeling like the super cute song from Hamilton. “Boy, you got me helpleeeeeessss! Look into your eyes and the sky’s the limit!” We wish it was always this adorable to feel helpless! But when you’re not part of a musical and experiencing this emotion, you feel frozen in time, paralyzed, devastated, and unable to change what is happening right before your eyes. This isn’t a feeling that you can just wish away. It’s not like feeling bummed out where you can just watch your favourite movie, maybe cry it out a bit, and then move on. If only! 

Helplessness pops up when we feel defeated and pushed to just accept our fate. You might feel helpless for a number of reasons. The stress and anxiety of whatever is affecting you can start to feel like it’s just too much for one mind and one person to bear. We feel like we’re trying to find facts, reassurance, answers, but we’re left feeling like we’ve fallen off the edge of a cliff and are just grasping at the air. 

A Deeper Look At Feeling Helpless

Some experts call helplessness, learned helplessness. You’re probably thinking, “I’ve never heard of that term before. What the heck is that?” Well, learned helplessness is when a person is repeatedly exposed to uncontrollable stressors or traumatic events. They’ll eventually feel that they don’t have any options or control over what happens to them, so they stop thinking that they can change what’s in front of them, even though they do in fact have the ability to help themselves. 

But even though we say that helplessness can be a learned behaviour, don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s toooootally normal to feel this way. It’s most definitely a natural response to stressful situations, no matter how small. 

Helplessness is also rooted in our biology as humans. If you know a little bit about the brain, you’ll recognize the hormone serotonin. When we feel helpless during a stressful situation, serotonin spikes to help us try and handle what’s happening to us in that moment. But then, as soon as it spikes, it drops right back down. The amygdala also starts working overtime as well because it’s the decision-making centre of the brain. But unfortunately, despite our brain’s best efforts, we still feel helpless. 

How Feeling Helpless Shows Up Mentally 

The brain is a very resilient yet sensitive part of the body. Go ahead, give your noggin a little pet because your brain does a lot of work for you. In a traumatic instance that causes you to freeze and feel helpless, the problem-solving part of your brain says “Umm, this is a little bit too much for me right now,” and takes a little nap. When you feel helpless, you can also feel a bunch of other emotions and sensations at the same time:

  • Lack of motivation to get through challenging circumstances
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Feeling like a victim 
  • Panic
  • Low self-esteem 
  • Frustration 
  • Giving up 
  • Procrastination

Unfortunately, feeling helpless isn’t always as lovely as the song from Hamilton the Musical. It brings up a lot of negative feelings. We know that it isn’t easy to work through these intense feelings like panic and anxiety, but if anyone can, it’s you!

How Feeling Helpless Show Up Physically 

The physical manifestations of helplessness are a bit elusive. They’re connected to how you’re doing mentally and if you’re having other feelings that accompany the helplessness. If you’re anxious as well, you might be experiencing some of the physical symptoms of anxiety. If you’re depressed too, you might have some of those symptoms. It allll depends on what is going on in your mind. Here are some ways that helplessness might show up physically on its own:

  • Crying
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Repeat behaviours 

This is a hard emotion to work through. We’ve been there too, friend. We know that you’re having a hard time, but we know that you’ll get through it. We believe in you!

5 Ways To Cope With Feeling Helpless

We’re on a mission to help you DiveThru this feeling of helplessness! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We’re gonna ask you to do something for us right now. Are you ready? Ok, take a deeeeeep breath in. Ok now relax your shoulders and let it out with a nice big exhale. Alright, now we have a little list of things that you can do to help cope with what you’re feeling. Read it over and see if one, two, or all five suggestions are techniques you connect with.

1. Journal 

Starting a journaling practice can be an amazing way to work through your emotions. Sometimes the problems we face aren’t as hard to overcome when we see them written on a piece of paper. When we take these problems out of our minds and put them in a place where we can look at them, we can then make decisions about how you want to tackle what’s ahead of us. We take the power away from our negative thoughts when we can get them out of our heads. 

2. Reach Out To A Support Person 

You might not think that your friends and family can help you get through a time like this, but they are actually fantastic people for you to lean on. If you don’t think that you have anyone in your immediate circle that you can talk to, don’t be afraid to connect with a therapist or a helpline that you can text or call. Here is a website that has a list of mental health hotlines you can contact depending on your country.

3. Engage In Compassionate Self-Talk 

Be nice to yourself! You deserve to receive the same type of compassion and kindness that you give so freely to other people. You’re going through A LOT right now, so give yourself a little bit of a break. You’re doing amazing!

4. Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is an incredible way to help reset your body and calm down your nervous system that’s working overtime at the moment. So take a deep breath in for four counts, hold for four counts, then breathe out for four counts. Keep doing that over, and over, and over to calm yourself down a bit. 

5. Positive Distraction 

Positive distractions could be anything you want them to be! What do you think would help you out right now? Would it be cooking a meal? What about watching your favourite TV show? Like we said, a positive distraction can be whateverrrrr your little heart desires!

Well, that’s all the advice that we have for now. Remember, you aren’t alone with how you’re feeling. You’ve got a million people in your corner who are ready and willing to help you out–including us!

Feeling Cheerful: A Guide To Your Emotions

When you’re feeling cheerful, it feels like you’re radiating sunshine. Maybe you even feel like you’re walking on sunshine and have a bounce in your step! There’s a permanent smile on your face and you’re cracking jokes left and right so that you can get a smile out of the people around you. Feeling cheerful can turn you into the life of the party! You just wanna pass along all of your good energy to everyone else so that they can get on your level. And it feels like no matter how much shit is thrown your way, it’s not so bad. ‘Cause there’s so much to be cheerful about, nothing and nobody can take that away from you!

The world can be such a negative place so when we do feel cheerful, it’s nice to appreciate the feeling to its fullest. Let’s talk about feeling cheerful and how it improves your wellbeing, ‘cause even if it’s obviously a positive emotion, there’s always more to learn! That’s why we’re here, friend: to talk about allll the feels, all the time.

A Deeper Look At Feeling Cheerful

Being cheerful is obviously rooted in the core emotion ‘happy,’ but what does it really mean to feel cheerful? Great question! Dictionary.com defines cheerful as: “adj. full of cheer; in good spirits.” Pretty straight forward, right?

You could be feeling cheerful for so many different reasons, because life is full of things to be happy about! You could be having a really good day thanks to the weather being great, so you’re enjoying fresh air and getting some exercise at the park. Or your boss gave you props for all the hard work you put into a project that took a lot of your time and effort to make it so great. It could even be something as small as getting a nice ‘good morning’ text from a special someone. Maybe you’ve made some positive changes to your life that have caused you to feel super cheerful. That’s pretty amazing of you to look after your mental wellbeing, btw! Proud of you!

You could be feeling cheerful for no particular reason at all, and that’s totally cool, too. Whatever the reason is, it’s got those happy neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin firing in your brain, causing your mood to be 10/10 amazing.

Fun fact: did you know that there are ways you can actually trick yourself into feeling more cheerful? No, we’re not messing with you. It’s backed by science! When you smile, even if it’s not based on real emotion, it can trick your brain by boosting your mood and lowering your heart rate. Plus, smiling reduces your stress levels! So go on and fake it til you make it. Maybe even tell yourself a corny joke to make yourself laugh. Sure, you might feel weird at first. But we all could use a pick-me-up now and then, so why not give it a shot?!

How Feeling Cheerful Shows Up Mentally

It’s safe to say that feeling cheerful does wonders for your mental wellbeing. It’s like a giant ray of sunlight is shining RIGHT on your brain. Ok, weird image, we know. But being cheerful really does benefit your mental health. It impacts so many other areas of your mind, and you probably didn’t even realize it was doing that for you! But let’s look at the specifics, ‘cause they’re awesome and we want you to know that:

  • Lifts your mood
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Increases attentiveness and focus
  • Boosts productivity
  • Sparks creativity
  • Improves analytical skills
  • Promotes good thoughts
  • Increases motivation

See? We told you! There are so many awesome reasons why being cheerful is such an amazing emotion to feel. Your brain is basically lighting up with happiness and we couldn’t be happier for you! Wow, this is making us cheerful just thinking about how great you feel right now. 

How Feeling Cheerful Shows Up Physically

Feeling cheerful has some great physical benefits, too. Yup! If you’ve read some of our other emotions articles, you’ll know that the body is super aware and tuned into our emotions. If you want your body to be feeling a certain kind of emotion, you’d probably want it to be this one! Here’s a few physical symptoms you might experience when you’re in good spirits! Spoiler alert: we think they’re pretty worthwhile.

  • Reduces cortisol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Provides better sleep
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces pain
  • Lengthens lifespan

So, basically our heart is happy when we’re happy! Isn’t that kind of cute and sweet? We think so. But we hope that these give you some more reasons to be even more cheerful than you were before! The reduction of cortisol levels makes everyone happier, right? Right? 

5 Ways To Embrace Feeling Cheerful

Feeling cheerful is simply the best. So what are some ways you can embrace this emotion and enjoy it while it lasts?! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Try out some of these simple but effective ways to embrace your cheer to the fullest:

1. Do something creative

Use your favourite creative outlet to channel those cheerful feelings. Get artsy by drawing, sketching, doing calligraphy or painting. Write poems or try blog writing. Practice an instrument, sing, dance! Feeling cheerful can really put you in the right headspace to get creative, and the possibilities are endless. Try it out!

2. Journal

Try writing out exactly how you’re feeling and what made you feel this way. Can’t stop smiling because you received a nice compliment? Feel on top of the world thanks to your amazing test score? Expressing your feelings can give you clarity and feels really great, so jot it all down in detail! Your hand might start to cramp, but so what? Totally worth it.

3. Connect with a friend

Our true friends are there for us when we need them most by making our day a little brighter. So why not connect with a friend and pass on the good vibes you’re feeling?! Ask to go out for a coffee, a nice stroll in the park, or even FaceTime just to catch up. Spending time with our friends is a great way to maintain our good spirits!

4. Practice gratitude

Ya know what feels really good? Showing gratitude for the things that bring joy to our lives! Gratitude can look like acts of kindness, including giving your coworker their favourite drink to thank them for all of their hard work.

5. Practice meditation

Meditation is a method that’s been used to relieve stress and improve mental clarity since, like… forever. This practice allows us to slowww down and shift our mindset. If you’re not sure how to meditate, start out with a guided practice. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere!

That’s it! That’s all for now, friend. We hope you keep on feeling cheerful and spread some of that positivity to the people around you. ‘Cause we could all use a boost now and then, right?

Feeling Confident: A Guide To Your Emotions

In the wise words of Demi Lovato: What’s wrong with being confident? The answer is simply, NOTHING. It’s safe to say that feeling confident is a-m-a-z-i-n-g and makes you feel on top of the world. It’s that feeling you get when you feel like you have your shit together, know what you’re doing and are 100% secure in your abilities. You’re way less likely to care what other people think, spend time worrying they’ll judge you or think you’re not good enough. And puh-lease, making a mistake or looking ridiculous? Those thoughts aren’t even on your radar. ‘Cause you’re feeling so good about yourself, all of that self doubt or negative self talk is totally drowned out. As far as you’re concerned, you’ve got this! 

Confidence doesn’t always come easy. In fact, feeling confident can be a major struggle for most of us. A lot of the time, we might question our worth or put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect. But when we DO feel confident, it’s the BEST. We feel on top of the world, like we can do anything and accomplish all of our hopes and dreams. We can recognize all of our strengths and put them to good use without worrying so much about failure (Failure who? Never heard of her). So let’s talk about feeling confident and how it contributes to our wellbeing, ‘cause this feeling deserves some recognition!

A Deeper Look At Feeling Confident

What does it really mean to feel confident? So glad you asked. Dictionary.com defines confident as: “adj. sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness, successfulness, etc.; self-confident; bold.” Ummm, that sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? This is the feeling we all want more of in our lives!

Feeling confident is something that you can experience every now and then, like when you’ve practiced an important presentation for your class so many times that you just know you’re gonna nail it. Some people just have a more confident personality where this feeling comes more naturally for them. But where does confidence come from, though?! How do you stay confident when you struggle with self doubt? Asking for a friend…

Where Did Your Confidence Come From?

Remember how as a kid, you would do or say the most outrageous things because you just didn’t give a shit? What’s up with that, anyway? Well, it’s because kids don’t have the same filter or fear of judgement that we adults have. It’s like kids have this sort of blind confidence that allows them to fart in public or sing their heart out in the grocery store without a second thought. Okay, so a lot of that probably has to do with the fact that their brains aren’t fully developed or whatever… But you can’t deny that these tiny humans also have a LOT of self-confidence! Nobody has told them that their drawings suck, or that they’re not the next Justin Bieber. They just do what they like because they think it’s fun! That’s it. Worrying about what other people think or about their abilities isn’t really an issue for them yet.

Then we grow up. We become a lot more self aware and the stakes become higher. Suddenly, we care about impressing our friends, family, boss, and romantic partners. We have to prove ourselves more than ever before, and it can be really hard to stay confident under all of that pressure. Like, really hard.

Another important thing to note is that feeling confident and having a high self-esteem are linked, but slightly different. How we measure our self-worth and value as a person = self-esteem. How much we believe in our abilities = confidence. Makes sense, right?

How Feeling Confident Shows Up Mentally

It turns out, feeling confident is super great for your mental wellbeing. You’re probably thinking, no shit – confident people are always so happy! And ya, you’d be right. But let’s break it down and get a little more specific. Here are some ways confidence can be positive for your mental health:

  • Higher self-esteem
  • Positive self image
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Lower stress
  • Feeling more productive
  • Feeling empowered to achieve goals
  • Stronger interpersonal relationships
  • Better communication skills
  • Drive to succeed

Confident people are like the honey badger meme from 2009. They don’t give a shit about what other people think about them, so they use allllll of this extra energy do whateverrrr they want! That sounds awesome, right? Well, it is because doing what they want makes them happy, and when they’re happy, they feel more confident. What an awesome circle of events to be part of!

How Feeling Confident Shows Up Physically

Feeling confident can also be really great for your physical health. Say what?! It’s true. Confident people really are out here living their best lives. This includes you! Wow, you’re just winning this whole life thing with an emotion like confidence. Here’s some physical signs of confidence:

  • Increased energy
  • Better cardiac health
  • Improved sleep
  • Less muscle tension/better posture
  • Developing healthy habits like staying hydrated, eating balanced meals, physical activity, etc.

So, there you have it! Not only are you well rested, and have good health, but you’re happier too! You have worked hard for this awesome emotion, so good on ya! We’re really proud of you and we’re happy to see that your body and mind are CLEARLY thriving at this moment! GOOD JOB, FRIEND! 

5 Ways To Feel More Confident

Confidence is a feeling that comes and goes. So whenever you need a pick-me-up, don’t worry! We have some fun little exercises for you. Try ‘em out when you could use a confidence boost, or if you just wanna enjoy this badass feeling to its fullest!

1. Give yourself a pep talk or use a helpful statement

Confidence is all about recognizing your abilities and knowing your worth. Let’s face it, that’s not always easy to do. So whenever you start to doubt yourself, remember: I’m strong, capable and deserve to be here. I earned this! Feels great, doesn’t it?!

2. Engage in compassionate self talk

Sometimes, we could use a reminder of all the things that make us so amazing. And there’s nothing wrong with giving ourselves the pep talk we need to hear! If your confidence is low, go ahead and tell yourself how amazing, talented, and hard-working you are. Remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes and they don’t define you as a person!

3. Practice gratitude

Showing gratitude is a way of counting all of your blessings in life and showing appreciation. Maybe it looks like grabbing your co-worker their favourite drink from Starbucks on your way into work to show them how much they’re appreciated. Or you could write a nice thank-you note to your fitness instructor for pushing you to meet your goals every week. Whatever it is, spreading the positivity will always feel good for everyone!

4. Reach out for support and connect with a friend

Sometimes, we could use a little extra support and validation for our feelings. If you’re feeling not so confident, reach out to someone you can count on to be there for you! Venting feelings can be a huge weight off our shoulders. And your support person will remind you how great you are!

5. Journal

This practice is a great way to explore your feelings and understand where they’re coming from. When you’re struggling with your confidence, try to reframe and counter your negative thoughts so that you can build yourself up! Putting your thoughts down on paper can give you a lot of clarity, trust us. Just beware the hand cramps when you start writing up a storm!

There you have it, friend. We hope that you keep on feeling Demi Lovato levels of confidence, because we think you’re pretty great. Remember that this feeling can come and go, and that’s okay! No matter what, we’re rooting for you.