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Adele's post about self-validation resonates with us all

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Anna Brech
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The singer Adele

As she turns 31, Adele shares some deep-rooted insights on what it means to love yourself through life’s ups and downs

Adele has taken to Instagram to share a heartfelt message around self-acceptance and growth, on the evening of her 31st birthday.

It’s the first time the singer has spoken publicly since announcing her split from husband Simon Konecki last month. The couple were married for three years and have a son, Angelo, together.

In her latest post, the Grammy-winning artist admits that she is glad to have closed a chapter on being 30, saying the past year “tried me so hard”.

But, alongside snaps from her retro-themed birthday bash, Adele also reveals a series of hard-won life lessons on validation that have given her buoyancy during the tough times.  

Here’s a closer look at the wisdom shared by the Hometown Glory star – with insights we can all relate to:

Own your feelings

So many of us try to minimise or deny the feelings we have, in love (“I’m wrong for wanting more”) or life in general (“I’m angry but I mustn’t show it”). Adele makes the case for ownership of the full gamut of emotions – from good to dismal – saying she is trying to “lean in to it all”. Like holding an inflatable ball under water, if you suppress your feelings, they will only bounce up again sooner or later. So, acceptance is the first step to building emotional resilience, and asserting who you really are.

Spend time on yourself

Women, in particular, are prone to giving every last inch of time and energy to other people. Many of us internalise centuries of cultural demand to be the go-to caregiver. And yet, without first allowing time to yourself, your ability to give to others can erode completely (along with your sense of identity). You need to clamp on your own oxygen mask before helping others. As Adele indicates, a break-up or another major life change can be an excellent prompt to focus entirely on yourself. It’s not selfish – it’s the only way to thrive. 

Slow things down

The slow living movement has hit home right now for a reason. We are all busier than ever before, and more miserable. As humans, we didn’t evolve to be hooked to an iPhone 24/7, or to have every last minute of our time locked down into routine and To Dos. So taking time to “go slow, put your phone down” and “look up for once”, as Adele says, can do wonders for the soul. By doing so, you get to appreciate the small things – a central tenet of gratitude and happiness – and invest time in the things that really do stoke wellbeing (namely, relationships rather than jobs or money).

Be kind

“Learning to REALLY truly love yourself” is the root of self-validation, according to Adele. So many of us spend our lives knee-deep in a toxic internal dialogue. We beat ourselves up about the things we did or didn’t do. It’s a habit so manifested, we barely even notice we’re doing it. But if you can learn to treat yourself with compassion and kindness, it’s like an elixir for self-esteem. Many therapists suggest starting this process by treating yourself as you would a child or a friend; be patient, generous and supportive. That will be your foundation when life gets complicated, or when you go through major change, as Adele found.

Main image: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.