‘Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us’.
2015 was a difficult year for me – a funny old year. Frustrating, stressful and often downright raw; it was a year that I was quite honestly glad to see the back of.
I started out the year full of optimism and hope – I had just launched my blog, completed two diploma courses, and by March I had secured a role in marketing – a career change I had been working towards for over a year. I was feeling more positive about the future than I had in recent years.
Unfortunately, with the loss of some close family members, health challenges and job losses it went downhill as the year went on and while not a ‘bad’ year it did have more than its share of sadness and trials. The year ended with a real blow, when we lost our beautiful mum after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease on New Years Eve.
Somewhere in amongst all of the sadness and bewilderment of the year goals had been long forgotten, my blog was all but abandoned, and I had completely neglected my health. I was feeling overwhelmed, lost and afraid of what lay ahead.
Its taken a couple of months and while I’m still grieving, I do feel like I will eventually come out the other side of it. It won’t happen overnight as they say – but it will happen. So I’m trying to be gentle with myself and give myself time, while also doing the things that I know make me feel more positive, energised and give me a general sense of well-being.
- Having a creative outlet – I always feel more inspired and connected when I take the time out to do something creative. Whether it be writing a new blog post, working on blog graphics, enjoying some photography or even spending time browsing Pinterest I am trying to put time aside each weekend for creative pursuits.
- Learning – gaining new skills that are valuable either in the workplace or for my blog always motivates me and gives me a sense of achievement. This year I’ve enrolled in an online Graphic Design Diploma, which focuses on the Adobe Creative Suite. I’m really looking forward to getting started!
- Eating well – I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed I have a tendency to comfort eat. I started off last year with such good intentions, but as soon as things started to get on top of me, old unhealthy habits crept back in. I’m trying to get back on the bandwagon this year and be organised with work lunches and healthy snacks to avoid the temptation to go for unhealthy convenience foods.
- Exercise – exercise is one of those things I have always struggled with. Once I get started I love it, but finding the motivation to start and stick to it is the battle! So I’m starting off gently with at least 30 minutes three times a week and I’ll work up from there.
- Reading – over recent years (probably since I discovered Netflix) I have read less and less. It is something I have really missed and have started to get back into this year. As a child, my mum would take me to the library at least once a week and this was what started my love of books. It was a shared passion and something that always makes me feel close to her.
- Having a bedtime routine – I generally find it difficult to get to sleep when I’m feeling stressed and have the tendency to lie awake and allow negative thoughts and worries to creep in. Finding time for quiet reflection and developing a bedtime routine which helps me wind down has really helped (more on this in a future post).
So here’s to a healthier, happier and all-round more positive year. I look forward to sharing it with you through the ups and the downs. 2016, I’m ready for you!