Over all these years, I have been making the same New Year resolutions. To be healthy, to become more fit, get summer body ready before summer actually comes.
But whilst I was thinking about what my New Year’s resolution was going to be, I had a Kylie Jenner moment and realized that all my resolutions have been about my outer/physical appearance. Never once has it been about my internal/mental health.
Over the past few years, towards the end of year 9 which was 2012 I suffered from major anxiety. I didn’t know this then, i thought it was puberty just being a real bitch to me and screwing with my emotions. That was until I sought professional help and advice.
Since then it has always subconsciously been a quest of mine to have better mental health but I never actually implemented it. I always told myself I would tomorrow or the next day but honestly, tomorrow never came and neither the next day. It was either today or never.
Towards the end of December I began thinking about what my resolution could be, I thought of some, asked people what theirs were so I could maybe get some ideas, I even trusted old google over here to help me out but I was stumped so I thought, you know what – I’m just not going to have one. That way there are no pressures of sticking to one or being disappointed when you eventually fall through and have that chocolate or skip that gym session.
But then I thought to myself (actually lectured myself) and said that if there’s one way I thrive, it’s in setting myself up with challenges throughout the year and so that’s when I had a light bulb moment and came up with my resolution.
For my mental health to be healthy.
Although it’s not multiple separate challenges for myself, it’s one big thing with a whole bunch of challenges within itself and I knew i could do it.
It’s now two weeks into the new year and quite honestly, my mental health hasn’t been this good for a few years and I am so proud of myself.
I always found it so difficult to find ways to improve my mental health and so I did some research, made sure I implemented certain things and focussed a lot more on my thoughts both negative and positive.
I want to share a few of my ways that helped me improve my mental health:
ORGANISE – The first thing I did was organise myself. Sort things and clean things that needed sorting and cleaning for a few months already that I kept on putting off. My room, my cupboards and I did a minor (actually major) spring clean. You know what they say, clean room, clean mind and boy were they right!
CHALLENGE JAR – I created a challenge jar. Basically, every night before I go to bed I write down the date and one thing that I accomplished from anything that challenged me that day and pop it into a little jar. Can be a mason jar, even a tupperware, anything that is at your disposal. Not only does it make you reflect back on your day and allow you to analyse it and help you figure out ways to make the following day better but it also makes you so proud of yourself. I remember, on one of the days I wrote “Didn’t get angry once.”, and I was so stoked with the fact that I actually managed to control my feelings and how I felt.
WRITE IT DOWN – The first thing(s) I purchased in 2017 was a bullet journal and a 2017 diary. If you’re anything like me, I absolutely love notebooks, writing things down, ranting, making things look sophisticated or quirky – just basically wasting my time on things that I like wasting my time on. I was reading a post on BuzzFeed (here) about 23 ways to improve your mental health and one that I really was so eager to try was a bullet journal. SO the next day I went out and got one, now i’m not going to give you a full 2000 word essay on what it is all about because to be quite frank, i’m not even sure I understand it fully yet. Essentially it’s a notebook that is for you and you only, and you can write down your monthly habits, things you are grateful for, create done lists, rant boxes, ABSOLUTELY anything you want it to be about, it can be about. It works and I am obsessed! Two other posts I read also from BuzzFeed (here + here) explain what it is all about a lot better than I ever could and they give out some great ideas and tips!
I also bought myself a 2017 Diary, for my daily reminders and things I need to do or birthdays to remember. Now, if you already have a bullet journal, you don’t need to go out and buy yourself a diary as well because the bullet journal can be used for that too – I just didn’t do enough research beforehand and bought myself one anyway. (Good going, Jeanna) So in 8 words – If you feel something, write it down! I can almost guarantee you will feel better afterwards.
THINK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS – One thing I never focussed on was what I was thinking. I always believed that if you have a negative thought, ignore it or if you have a positive thought focus on it more. But in reality, negative thoughts are bound to happen sometime throughout the day and you have to be okay with that. Think about it, see what you can do about it, find a solution, implement that solution and instantly your negative thought, that you thought you couldn’t handle – has been handled and is no longer negative. Your mind is such a powerful tool, you just need to use it to its advantages rather than disadvantages. As with a positive thought, think about it just as much and acknowledge the fact that you have a positive thought. You might just find yourself smiling with gratitude at the end of it!
When you have a healthy mind, a healthy body will follow. You have control over all your thoughts and actions so every time something not so great happens, think of it as a way to learn on how to fix the issue rather than allow it to swallow you.
I hope you learn from these things as much as I did, everyone’s mind and body works in its own way but just tweak these ideas to suit your taste and voila! Happiness!
May 2017 be a year filled with luck, success and so many healthy and happy thoughts!
Chat to you soon!