Don’t Waste Another Year: 7 Valuable Lessons I Wish I’d Learned Sooner

Nathalie Martin, Olay sun lessons leanred_8933.jpg

I was asked by my therapist, “If you could say anything to your younger self, what would it be?”

Wow. That felt like a loaded question that had a lot riding on it. I thought for a second and then responded, “That everything will be okay and to believe in yourself.”

My childhood was ridden with bullies, anxiety, and fear. Not a day went by where I thought someone was harassing me for being me.

Overcoming negativity is never easy, but what you can do is focus on taking care of yourself, in and out. Eat well, keep your mind active, exercise, and take care of your skin! Moisturizer and SPF are key in preserving the health of your skin.

Nathalie Martin, Olay sun lessons leanred-2.jpg

One of my favourite products recently has been Olay Sun Face Sunscreen + Shine Control with SPF 35. It’s effective in protecting skin and best of all, it’s lightweight and oil free formula makes it easy to apply over top of moisturizer. It absorbs quickly and keeps skin shine-free all day so makeup doesn’t budge. Now you really don’t have any excuses to skip SPF every day! LOL.

I’ve spent the better part of last year focusing on self-care, for my mind, body, and spirit. I know that looking inward and being happy with myself will ultimately help me find peace and guide me to the next steps of my life. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes bad things happen and in order to keep plowing through and come out smiling, one has to be strong.  

Below you’ll find my life lessons that I wish I could tell my younger self. 

Nathalie Martin, Olay sun lessons leanred_8866.jpg

Seven Life Lessons Everyone Needs To Know

1. Surround yourself with people you love because life is too short for anything else. 

Toxic people don’t have a place in my life. As much as I wish I could help everyone, I’ve come to realize that not everyone wants to be helped.

For example, if a family member is always picking fights and is never satisfied unless things are done on their terms, and never see the error of their ways, then that is toxic behavior.

If you have a serial manipulation or liar in your life, that is toxic. Bye. Instead, I focus on the friends and family that love life and exude positivity.


2. Be kind to yourself and to others. 

Regardless of status, gender, age, race, treat people with kindness. We’re all humans on this amazing planet together and we deserve respect (as do our animal friends and the environment).

Just as someone flipping you the finger behind the wheel of a car might spiral you into having a bad day, kindness and a simple smile can have a similar, yet opposite effect. 

Do something nice for a friend today, or pay for the coffee of the stranger behind you in line. True story, this happened to me once at the drive-thru and it made my day, so I bought coffee for the person in line behind me! It was actually pretty cool!

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

We’ve all heard it before - ‘this too shall pass’. It does ring some truth don’t you think?

For the heavier stuff that life throws at us, Oprah said it best, “So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground.” 

Nathalie Martin, Olay sun lessons leanred_8899-2.jpg

4. Always be yourself. 

Another of my favourite Oprah quotes, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” 

Or, as RuPaul says, “If you can't love yourself how the hell you gonna love somebody else."

5. Take care of your body. 

Eat well, exercise, meditate. It’s the only body you have. 

6. Sunscreen is key to preserving your skin. 

All I have to say is SPF! Long term sun exposure can prematurely age skin and cause spots and wrinkles. I use SPF daily (whether sun or cloud) to protect my skin from the sun.

Olay makes my favourite one right now with their Olay Sun Face Sunscreen + Shine Control with SPF 35. It’s awesome under makeup or on its own.

7. Happiness above all else. Everything else will follow. 

Hands up if you’ve heard of the rule of attraction. I always find it amazing that when I’m truly happy (vibing at a high frequency) that good things seem to happen out of the blue.

A stranger will buy my coffee at the drive-thru, maybe I’ll win a free chocolate bar, or will get a last minute freelance job completely out of the blue.

When you focus on happiness, it exudes from every pore in your being and sends good things your way. I mean, if you’re truly happy, not even the rain or missing a delayed flight can get you down. 

Nathalie Martin, Olay sun lessons leanred_8951-2.jpg

This post is sponsored by Olay. 
All opinions and photos are my own.
Street style photography by Geoff Martin.