I’ve never really been one for New Year’s Resolutions. It tends to be something which, for all intents and purposes, I fully plan to stick to, yet when it really comes down to it, is left behind in January to fester in it’s own pool of ‘there’s always next year’.
2015 has been a weird one. I’m not someone who subscribes to the ‘New Year New Me’ philosophy, because I am quite comfortable in my bizarre skin; ‘stay quirky, stay unique’ is a wonderful piece of advice I was given by an amazing friend recently. I would not want to ‘reinvent’ myself, or mould myself into a state of societal conformity. I am outspoken, I am often fundamentally weird, but I know that the people around me love me and frankly, who am I still trying to impress at 25? However, 2016 will need to be a year of change. I lost sight of many things in 2015, and became someone that I hope never to be again. 2016 will not be the year of ‘new me’, but the year of regaining myself, taking care of my wellbeing and finding the ‘old me’ again.
As always happens in that period between Christmas and New Year, articles pop out of the woodwork, ready to pump you into the gym for 40 hours a week, or strip away everything delicious in your life and replace it with pulverised kale on a bed of mediocrity. Although these things can be hugely beneficial to the right people, I can’t help but feel that, in order to take care of those things, you need to begin with your head, and your heart. Amongst the heap of dieting advice and exercise regimes, I came across two articles from Buzzfeed, which really helped me put things into perspective and come up with ideas for ‘resolutions’ (a word I use very loosely) for this coming year.
23 Things to Do To Improve Your Mental Health In 2016 by Anna Borges and 68 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Help You Own Your Twenties In 2016 by Maggy van Eijk are seriously worth a read if you have felt like you need some guidance in how to regain control of your life. If, like me, you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at times, it’s extremely important to take that step back and reevaluate. I’m clearly not going to list everything that is in here (you can read it yourself, lazy buggers…), but I thought I would pick out a few key things that I have taken away from reading them:
- Make your bed every day – I have never been a tidy person (Mum and Dad can attest to this), and making my bed is not part of my daily to do list. I hope to rectify this in the coming weeks; there really isn’t a better feeling than seeing your room in order in the early hours of the morning. It might seem like a small thing, but it definitely does help you feel like you have your sh together. (Plus… there’s not really the ‘BUT MUUUUM’ excuse when you are 25…)
- Commit to less negative self talk – This is a big one for me; I have always seen myself as quite a positive, upbeat person, but I realise that over the last few months, I have lost that optimistic outlook on life. When an opportunity arises, I immediately pen myself as unworthy and talk down my talents. This year, I will try to big myself up a little.
- Treat emotional pain like physical pain – If I had broken my leg, nobody would expect me to walk around like nothing had happened. If I had a cold, people would suggest a Lemsip, or some honey and lemon, or a Chinese herbal remedy to soothe that sore throat. It will always mystify me why we, myself included, don’t see mental health issues in the same way. Traipsing around every day, feeling crushed, on the verge of tears, hopeless, or lost, is not the way you should be living your life. You can’t take a Lemsip for depression, and you can’t bandage up a bout of anxiety. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it, and doesn’t mean you should hide it.
- Share what you’re going through with friends – Sometimes, you don’t need any other treatment than a fresh perspective and a shoulder to cry on. If you fail to give yourself that in the first instance, things become harder and harder to manage. Your loved ones, friends, family, are all there because they want to be. LET them be there for you.
And, on the whole, the ’68 Resolutions’ article is just rather fabulous; it gives real life, practical solutions to manage every day life and balance the negative with the positive. I will probably be working through this list throughout the year; I’ll update you on my progress this time next year… I’ll even try to document some of it with photographic evidence. It’s easy to forget how good a walk in the fresh air can make you feel, or how much you love that hobby you gave up three years ago, because it didn’t fit in with your new work schedule.
Thanks Buzzfeed for helping me make some… ‘changes’, for next year. I am excited for 2016. New Year never ordinarily bothers me, but I will be glad to see what happens going forward.
I will leave you with this; the best thing about New Year… The opportunity to play and share my absolute favourite Youtube video:
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi
Happy New Year everyone.