My advice for a young person would be to slow down. Especially if you feel like you didn’t have the most supportive home life then you are probably looking for love, safety and belonging in all of the wrong places. I know that I was.

Take time to know and learn to like yourself.

I do believe that a lot of young people get to try things and explore new hobbies and ideas but a lot of people don’t get that opportunity. Once you are able, make sure to do that. There are a lot of things in life that can bring hours of pleasure and learning and they don’t cost a lot. Take time to think about what you really like rather than just going along with what others want just to make them happy. Do you like scary movies or prefer romance? Do you love classical music or are you more of a metal head? Does spirituality call to you and if it does then how does that express itself with you. Once you sort some of this stuff out make time for the things that you love. Don’t let them fall by the wayside.

Find people that you care about and respect and build a support network.

If you were raised in a dysfunctional home chances are you have experienced a lot of isolation. While that may be what you are used to, having friends and people to encourage and support you is an important thing in life. Along with the encouragement that this network can provide for you, it will also allow you to interact with others and see other peoples struggles and how they deal with them. Sometimes knowing other peoples problems can help put your own into perspective and if you take time to help others in their time of need it will help you feel good about yourself. That doesn’t even take into account the good juju that you are gaining for yourself.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Its easy in the world today to feel like asking for help is a weakness. The truth of the matter is that strong people know when they need help and they seek help even when they are afraid or ashamed to. One of the big secrets that I have learned in life is that people often like to help others and sometimes-that opportunity to help, to feel important and needed is just what someone else needs. You don’t know what a gift you may be giving someone to turn to them in your time of need.

Sometimes doing nothing is the right thing to do.

When stress is high sometimes our instinct is to push harder. My motto used to be “I can do anything for a week (or a month or a year). Well sometimes I could and sometimes I couldn’t. Even when I managed to pull that stuff off I paid for it. I paid for it with anxiety and my health suffered. We need days off. We need down time. I am a big fan of mental health days. If you need one, take it.

Learn to love yourself and your life alone.

I know that a lot of people believe that there is someone out there for everyone and maybe that is true. Maybe its not. Maybe some of us need to find ourselves and love ourselves alone before we ever consider trying to build a life with someone else. I know things may look easier when you have someone there all of the time. That isn’t always the case. Struggling through lifes challenges with someone that is not a good match for you (and you won’t know who is a good match for you until you sort your own self out) makes the challenges even more difficult.

Always remember

We are all doing the best we can. Even when our best doesn’t seem very good. This is true for you but also for others and it is a good thing to keep in mind when times are hard.