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Monday, May 28, 2018

3 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

How often do you think about what you would do differently if you could go back in time? I have learned not to think that way too often- regret isn't a productive feeling unless it motivates us to change our future behavior- but there are some things that I have learned in recent years that I know would have made life a lot easier and more pleasant if I had figured them out sooner! So here are 3 things habits I wish I had picked up earlier in life- hopefully someone else will read these and take them to heart sooner than I did!

1. Soak your dirty dishes.

Sure, I have always known that if you have a pot or pan that you just can't get clean no matter how hard you scrub, your best bet is to fill it up with water and a little soap and let it soak. But only recently have I gotten in the habit of soaking my dishes consistently, and I am kicking myself for not starting sooner! I save myself some serious elbow grease this way- if it doesn't come off with a quick wipe, I soak it. I don't even try to scrub it first. I have always been a "clean-as-I-go" cook, so if I think of it I'll start soaking dishes before we even sit down to eat so I can finish scrubbing when we clean up, but otherwise I'll soak them overnight and do a quick cleanup in the morning. So much easier!

2. Drink lots of water. I mean a LOT.

Yep, I said it. The same thing a bajillion other people have said already. I wouldn't say that I was bad about getting enough water each day before, but this school year I have really upped my water intake to the next level and it has made a huge difference. It is also my go-to cure for pretty much everything. Feeling sleepy/tired? Not caffeine- chug some water. Headache or stomachache? Water. Cranky or stressed? Water. I seriously have replaced so many things with water now, and it works like a charm! It's embarrassing to say that it took me this long to truly understand how much of a difference water drinking can make, but I am definitely a believer now!

3. Say thank you.

I've made a conscious effort to say thank you to people more often and more thoughtfully recently and I am so glad I did. I was struck several months ago by how much it means to me when people I care about thank me or praise me for something. Not that I want to be dependent on other people for my self-worth, but there is definitely something to be said for feeling appreciated! I've gotten in the habit of writing notes and cards to people randomly to thank them for something specific they did or just for being an important person in my life, and guys, it's totally worth the 5 minutes it takes to write.

None of these are new ideas or epiphanies. These are age-old pieces of wisdom I have been hearing since I was little. But for whatever reason, it has taken me until my mid-thirties to really take the advice to heart! What are some things you wish you could go back and tell your younger self? I'd love to hear your top picks in the comments- it's a great way to reflect!

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