This guest feature has been written by Ankita, who invites you all to become part of her kindness community on Instagram (moments_of_kindness). She has generously opened up about how she didn’t let her “different childhood” – caused by various allergies and conditions – negatively affect her approach to life. Continue reading if you’re looking for some inspiration and positivity today (and make sure to check out some of the other stories here on the Free to Spiel platform!):
Growing up “differently” to my peers
Growing up, I had severe food allergies and an eye condition called allergic conjunctivitis, so I definitely know what it means to be different from the “other kids”. Nine year-old me learned how to take her own medicine in case my eyes flared up while I was at school. I remember having to take my own cupcake to birthday parties because my parents and I were worried that I’d react to the birthday cake, and also packing two times as many bottles of medicines and eye drops as I did clothes when I went to my first overnight-trip in fifth grade.
As a nine-year-old who only sought after acceptance from her peers, I began to doubt myself, my ability to grow out of my allergies and my self-worth. Naturally, my health challenges started to take a toll on my mental health, and I quickly recognized these signs.
Banishing my insecurities
While there wasn’t a specific turning point in my journey per-se, I think a close second is the moment in which I realized that fighting myself wasn’t going to help. I remember starting my mindfulness and meditation practice and working towards health one day at a time. I remember all the support my family and friends gave me while I was going through this tough time. But most importantly, I remember learning to love myself for me and accept myself for who I was. This process took me a while because it seemed like my insecurities and embarrassment towards my health condition always got the better of me. The day I chose positivity and mindfulness over fear and shame was the day I started to get better.
This journey has taught me a lot of things and I could write pages and pages about the little things I came to understand as a young girl combating health challenges. I’ve thankfully outgrown most of my food allergies and am continuing to learn and love as I move through my journey towards positivity and mindfulness. In the process, I’ve become a trained yoga and mindfulness instructor and have made an effort to continue my practice. My hope is to one day combine my interests in mindfulness, neuroscience and positive psychology to create what I hope will be a more positive, inclusive and kind world.
3 things I wish I’d learned sooner
1. One day at a time
Life can be overwhelming at times, but don’t forget how strong and amazing you are. Make every moment count and try to see the good. Before you go to bed every night, spend one minute thinking of three things you’re grateful for or enjoyed doing that day!
2. Don’t forget to love yourself and be proud of who you are
As clichéd as it may seem, this shouldn’t be taken for granted. You are here today and that’s something that needs to be celebrated! You are here, amidst everything life has thrown at you, and you have come so far. Take a moment to appreciate where you started and where you are now.
3. Be kind
Be kind to yourselves, those around you and the environment. Our world needs love and kindness more than ever, so do what little you can to make our world a little kinder.
Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring others, Ankita! For you readers who would like to connect with her, you can do so on Instagram.
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