10 Oct 2015 80 comments

5 Things: Becoming More Independent.


One thing I’ve always been proud of is my independence; I’ve been a true adulting adult for almost ten years now, and I’d say I’ve got some good advice to give to others who also want to be able to manage on their own.

This advice sort of stems from coming out of an unhealthy relationship a few years ago; I remember clinging on to this hopeless union in part because I was terrified of going it alone. As we all know, that’s definitely not what relationships are all about, and after the inevitable breakup, I made a vow to myself to never be that clingy, unhappy person ever again. What’s more, I promised myself that I would take charge of my own life, be my own person and live a life that makes me happy and a nice person to be around.
Hopefully you’ll learn a little something from these pointers…

Get Comfortable With Being Alone
I think the first step to being more independent and generally a stronger person is to work on feeling comfortable being alone. It’s all too easy to feel FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) thanks to social media – all of your friends hanging out and no ones thought to tell you? – but this becomes a thing of the past once you’re at one with your own company.
Admittedly, I am a homebody who enjoys nothing more than a night of blog reading and Lush-laden baths, but I do think it’s important to be totally a-okay with being by yourself. This applies to everyone, from singles ladies to those in long term relations and long-distance thangs – a good balance of alone time and socialising is what it’s all about.

No more moping about at home, scrolling through Instagram endlessly while feeling sorry for yourself. Pick yourself up and work on you – go for a walk, make a dream ASOS basket, take up pilates or start a blog. Life is what you make of it!

Be Financially Independent
This one has always been incredibly important to me – being able to survive on my own without help from anyone, be it parents, brothers or boyfriend, is a must. I grew up in a small village in Aberdeenshire so I was always eager to move to a city. It finally came a few months before my 17th birthday, and here I am at age 24 still living away from home! I had a lot of hard times along the way – I didn’t apply for a loan and didn’t qualify for any student support for university, and I remember my parents had just started up a business and had no help financially, so I was surviving on something ridiculous like £30 a month, until I got a job working 25 hours a week on top of my classes. I ate a lot of rice and soy sauce during those times.
Even after university, life was a struggle – I worked in retail for a while and my wage barely covered my rent and bills, and I can still remember that feeling of anxiety come payday. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s taken me a while to be at a stage where I can afford nice things without having to live in fear of not being able to pay my bills. I am, however, awesome at budgeting and those hard times were a life lesson I’ll never forget!

Take control of your finances – this is especially important if you live with your other half, or if you’re still at home. Use internet banking to keep track of your spending and watch over Direct Debits, and keep an eye on what you spend each month. Make sure you understand how to pay council tax, gas and electricity bills etc. – even if you’re not the one paying them, it’s helpful to understand how to do it.
Don’t be ignorant when it comes to your finances, once you’re clued up on what’s going in and out, you’ll feel like you’ve got this whole adult thing down.

Have Interests + Hobbies
I think humans are needy by design, we really have to work at feeling strong and confident. One thing I think helps a lot when it comes to feeling happy on your own is to have other interests from your other half, friends or whatever. It’s easy to feel clingy in a relationship, or even if you’re single – but being your own person will ensure you’re never feeling that sinking feeling when you don’t have plans.
Your own happiness is your responsibility, so don’t wait around for someone else to improve your mood. As much as I love spending time with my boyfriend, I have a life of my own. I no longer feel sorry for myself when he heads out with his friends, because I’ve got so much going on with me too.

Healthy Relationships!
Of course, healthy relationships make a huge difference to your quality of life. I’m a big believer of cutting ties with toxic friends, and as I age I’m all about a few awesome pals rather than an overwhelming amount of questionable friendships.
Relationships, whether it be with friends, family or your other half, should be about love and support. A good network of loved ones helps you to stand on your own two feet.

Be Good To Yourself
Remind yourself that you can do anything. There is a solution to every problem; start the job search if you’re unhappy with your career, break off that unhappy relationship if things aren’t feeling right, and always remember to work on you.
We spend too much time putting ourselves down, getting caught up with people who don’t treat us right… take charge and promote positivity!
Eat well, get enough sleep, avoid making rash decisions, and take care of your appearance – little things like this contribute to a better lifestyle.

What are your tips for feeling more independent?