How do you DO.YOU?
I’ve been given the DO.YOU speech by family and friends alike and the significance of a simple phrase has been vital to the changes I’ve been making in my life. In all my time spent taking care of my mental health, I have heard that there is value in selfishness — that we have to put on our own oxygen masks before we can put them on our loved ones in the proverbial plane ride. I still show my love for others, but I put myself first. And the improvement in my mood has felt amazing.
You may be asking, how do you DO.YOU? Well let me tell you, it is easier than you think! The most difficult part has been starting the mental refocus of my energy towards doing things that are important and enjoyable to me, rather than only to others.
It’s about putting your passions first. And the first step to that is figuring out what it is that you deeply care about, and making that your main priority each day.
Habits form when you make yourself a priority. Healthy habitual practice at a hobby, pursuing a career in a field that you are passionate about, exercising in a fun and exciting way: these are all steps towards the DO.YOU mantra that I practice. Find something you enjoy and pursue it everyday.
For me, writing has become my habitual practice towards putting me first. Writing helps me express myself when I’ve felt silenced by my mental illness in the past. To put my thoughts and feelings onto paper helps me express myself creatively and share my story with others.
DO.YOU for positive self talk!
Think about the things you like about yourself. A few weeks ago I posted about positive affirmations and I took my own challenge by reciting “I am” statements that made me feel good about myself. It felt a little awkward to say out loud, but I felt so good after reminding myself of my good qualities that my mood improved. I continue to recite them daily. If your friends and family say those positive things about you, why can’t you say them to yourself?
DO.YOU and you will see that all the great things others love about you are easier to remember and act on. I’ve been making better choices for my life and have been able to assert myself so that my needs are met. You can too!
Only you can DO.YOU!
We are all responsible for our actions, but mental illness can make it difficult to choose the right paths in life for ourselves, and most of us haven’t chosen to have chronic invisible illness. I see my loved ones telling me to DO.YOU so that I can refocus my attention towards the ways I can better my life, away from the traumatic events that were out of my control.
Only you have the power to DO.YOU — simple as that. And what makes life great is the uniqueness we each have and coexisting harmoniously with each of our differences. If we live to put ourselves first, we are less likely to feel slighted by others, events, and circumstances that we cannot control. We have responsibility to find and follow our happiness. And then we may make strides down our paths towards living our best lives.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. — Mark Twain