Self Improvement

3 Things I’m Leaving Behind in This Decade

posted on December 19, 2019 | by Sanhita Mukherjee

3 Things I’m Leaving Behind in This Decade

You know how every December you look back and wonder where the year went? Well, this year, it’s hitting me especially hard because we’re not just entering a new year — but a new decade altogether!

While the years did seem to fly by, I realize that it’s not all been in vain. So much has happened — some of which I’m happy about, others, well let’s just say I’m happy they’re over. But looking back, I see that there are 3 things that I am extremely happy to be leaving behind in this decade. And if you would like to leave them behind too, I hope this goes a little way in helping you do that.

Worrying about my weight

This was a bizarre thing for me to have been worrying about because I was absolutely scrawny as a kid. But much as I dislike blaming everything on the media and the unrealistic body images it promotes, I guess it did get in my head a little bit. I used to keep a strict eye on the scales and I’d get extremely stressed out if the numbers were even a little bit higher than the week before. This was also discouraging me from working out and staying active (“What’s the point if I still weigh that much?”).

Eventually, I realized that this was causing way too much stress than was good for me. I decided to skip weighing myself for a while — and it was so freeing, I ended up loving the change. Now I never step on the scales unless I’m at the doctor’s office!

If you don’t have any health issues that require you to monitor your weight, this is something I highly recommend you try! It is normal for your weight to fluctuate a certain degree depending on your health or time of the month, so getting super stressed about that random number is not worth it. Instead, try listening to your body and paying greater attention to how you feel. Watch which foods make you feel tired and bloated and have less of those. See how you feel after different kinds of workouts, and do what makes you feel better. Take note of how your clothes fit you, and change up your routine if they feel noticeably tighter or looser in certain areas. Above all, cut yourself some slack. No diet or lifestyle change is worth it if it becomes a constant source of guilt, stress or insecurity.

Worrying about being perceived as ‘too quiet’

Another decade has come and gone, and yet, “Why are you so quiet?” continues to be an acceptable question at parties. This always used to put me in a spot and make me feel really awkward when I was younger. Cringey and annoying though this question is, I realized it was making me feel awkward because of my own insecurities. And that’s another thing I’m glad to be leaving behind in this decade.

If you are a quiet introvert like me, I’m sure you’re familiar with questions like this too. But how freely you interact with strangers is no measure of how interesting you are as a person, so it’s really unfair to judge yourself based on this. Do what you have to do to make social interactions easier — whether it means taking frequent breaks at parties, skipping the small talk or leaving by a certain time. Give yourself enough downtime every day, and don’t make plans back to back, just because others make it seem like that’s the ‘normal’ thing to do. Trust me — parties and gatherings become a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable once you accept yourself the way you are.

Caring about other people’s opinions about what’s cool

You know how in those high school movies from the ’00s, there were these specific ideas of what was cool? Sneaking out, partying every weekend, getting drunk — you know what I mean. And if you stayed in on a Saturday, you were (gasp!) a geek and, you know, really uncool!

While the specific activities may have changed, there is still a certain idea of what’s considered to be ‘cool’. This may be traveling to an exotic beach every other month. This may be attending a (super expensive) concert every weekend. This may also be dressing or looking a certain way. While I do enjoy some of these things myself, in this decade, I’m happy to have stopped caring about what others will think about how I spend my time. Not every moment of your day has to make for a good story to tell others. Not every activity has to be Insta-worthy. If you are happy spending a quiet evening at home, then go ahead and enjoy it — even if it doesn’t involve candles or face masks!

So here’s looking forward to a happier, more confident ’20s! What are the things you’re happy to be leaving behind?