Two weeks ago I turned 23 years old, which is funny because I still say I’m 21 when people ask how old I am. My birthday has always been one of my favorite days of the year. I feel that a day of celebrating just you is so special and important. Unfortunately, this year my birthday did not feel as special and exciting. With obtaining a fellowship, getting into graduate school, and graduation I felt something similar to a burn out.
I felt as if we had celebrated myself so much this year that if we celebrated my birthday as well everyone would feel tired of me. I spent the day by myself celebrating with an all day shopping spree and I had an amazing time but a part of me wanted to spend it with my friends. After my birthday I processed how I was feeling and verbalized it to the people around me and they confirmed that they wanted to celebrate with me. If I had validated my feelings to myself and verbalized how I felt I could have enjoyed one of my favorite days. So today let’s talk about validating our emotions.
The first step to validating our emotions is acknowledging the emotions you are feeling. You can feel more than one feeling at a time. For example, I was feeling scared, upset, and lonely. The next step is allowing yourself to feel the emotions without judgement and with self-validating statements. This would look like “I can cry if I need to” or “it makes sense why I feel this way”. The next step would be to try to process why you are feeling these emotions. In my situation I felt that if I celebrate myself and my accomplishments people would be tired of me because I have had people in the past tell me I receive praise too often. One person was unable to handle my personal achievements and I led myself to believe others wouldn’t be able to as well. Validating emotions is difficult when it is your own, but learning to comfort yourself is essential. When I took the time to validate my feelings it made it easier for me to communicate them. When I was able to communicate them well others were able to understand how I was feeling as well.