Improving My Mental Health in 2017.

Lifestyle University

Enough of the ‘new year, new me’ bullshit. Stop blaming 2016 for all of your problems, hoping they’ll all just disappear in 2017. They won’t. You have to make 2017 your year, and no, I don’t mean by suddenly getting rid of all your things claiming to be ‘minimalist’, starting a YouTube channel just because everyone else is, or joining the gym for two weeks before giving up. I’m talking about long-term, achievable goals.

My goals for 2017 are quite simple:

  1. Get good grades at university.
  2. Improve my physical health.
  3. Improve my mental health.

The first two are quite self-explanatory – I’ve gotta study, eat better, and exercise less sporadically. But how am I going to improve my mental health? It’s not like I can just switch off the anxiety and low moods, right?

Firstly, I think that working towards my other two goals, like focusing on my university work, will help me feel more positive in general through a sense of achievement, and improving my physical health with exercise and better eating will definitely assist my mental worries too. A lot of my stress is caused by university essays (I’m currently working on one, and clearly procrastinating by writing this blog post), but if I give myself more time to read and learn about the topics, I’m sure I won’t feel like the world is going to implode on deadline day.

I’ve decided to go back on medication for anxiety (propanolol to be specific), which my doctor advised to take 40mg up to 3 times a day. At the moment, I’m content with only taking it once a day, but I may increase it depending on how stressful university gets. It doesn’t help with my overthinking, but it does lower my heart-rate and stops my body from panicking so often.

I’ve applied for a couple of part time jobs, because I only have lectures on Tuesdays, so being stuck in the house / library 6 days a week will definitely not help my overactive, stressy mind. I also think having a job will help my lack of confidence, and of course help out with my money worries (how the hell am I going to fund my master’s year?!), so it’s a win-win-win really!

mental-health-2

I wrote a blog post a few months ago about self-care at university, and I’ve really been trying to follow my own advice, by looking after myself more. I asked for some books and bath products for Christmas, so my Mum got me some lovely bath salts and things from Joules, which I think will really help me to relax. I also decided to get a few positivity, mindfulness and general self-help books, because I need all the help I can get. Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight, author of the famous Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck book, is the one I’m enjoying most at the moment, but I also picked up This Is Not A Diet by Bee Wilson. I’ve been slowly working through my Start Where You Are journal by Meera Lee Patel, which is absolutely wonderful, and reading The 20-something Guide to Getting It Together by Mary Traina, as well as How To Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh. Many people roll their eyes at self-help books, but I find that they honestly do help my mindset and anxiety.

Journaling and blogging are also very therapeutic for me, especially when I have the time to sit down with a cup of tea and just write about absolutely anything I want, like today. I can hear the noisy London traffic outside, but it’s very peaceful to sit here and write, with a view of the park. It gets dark early, which encourages me to get up earlier in the morning to make the most out of the daylight, so my sleeping routine has improved. I think I suffer from SAD a little, or maybe it’s just the lack of vitamin D, but I’ve recently managed to counteract that somewhat by remembering to take vitamin supplements, and I’ve also been using my softbox light (that I usually use for blog photos and YouTube videos) in the evenings to feel more awake.

I’m not setting any blogging or YouTube goals because I simply don’t know what the year will bring! I could exceed beyond my wildest dreams, or not grow at all for months. Either way, I’d rather enjoy the community, creativity and writing aspects of my blog and YouTube channel than get caught up with the fact I don’t have thousands of followers. Instead, I have some lovely friends I’ve made through blogging, many wonderful experiences, and some great gals I can chat to if I’m feeling down – I know which I’d rather have!

What are your goals for 2017?

Thanks for reading,
Emily

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  • I started taking meds for my anxiety last year [sertraline 50mg] and I can say it has seriously helped me to the point I can now do all the things I never use to be able too, with ease. It has took me a few weeks to get here but I’m so glad I started meds and of course it is not right for everybody, but it has really helped me and so I hope it helps you too! And I also find blogging so therapeutic it really helps. Good luck with it all and Happy new year 🙂

    Lotte | http://www.lottebeautybox.blogspot.co.uk

    • That’s amazing, thank-you for sharing! I’m glad things are going well for you, I find blogging therapeutic too! I hope 2017 is going well for you so far. x

  • This is a brilliant post and good luck with your goals. I’m working on my mental health too, it’s hard but worth it. I’m starting CBT monday so that should help! I have had three in the past and they were brilliant! Having PTSD is a hard one but I want to overcome my triggers and sort my GAD and OCD out as well!

    Fix Me In Forty Five – A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    Blog Lovin’ // Instagram
    xx

    • Thank-you so much! I’ve never tried CBT, but it sounds like something I should check out. I hope everything goes well for you! x

  • What a wonderful post, and a fantastic set of goals! I’m working on my physical and mental health this year, too. I want to get fitter, and lose some weight. And I want to try and kick anxiety’s butt. In fact, I have a Dr’s appointment to discuss going back on some form of medication to help as I am having panic attack after panic attack at the moment. Good for you for going back on the meds and for doing what you can for your mental health. I know you’ll do great in 2017! x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

    • Thank-you so much Aimee! I hope your anxiety gets better too, and good for you for trying to help it! I hope 2017 is amazing for you. x

  • Kat

    It’s definitely good idea to look for a part time job. That really helps to keep your mind busy and not to worry too much. And that’s great you’ve got something that you really love (writing), it’s something you can focus on. I wish you all the best.

    • Thank-you! I’m still currently looking, but hopefully I’ll find one soon, I definitely think it’ll help. I hope 2017 is a great year for you.

  • Allison Kelley

    This is an awesome post! You have great outlook on how to take on New Years resolutions, my resolutions are very similar so it is inspiring to see someone else working towards the sales goals as myself. Good luck on all of this girl and great book recommendations!

    Xo
    Allison
    Butwhatshouldiwear.com

    • Thank-you so much! I hope you’re having a great year so far.

  • Hannah

    Love this post, positive outlook. I didn’t realise Sarah Knight had another book – I’ve read How not to give a F*** and I absolutely fell in love. My goal is to look after myself, mentally and physically trying to get healthy in every sense!

    Han xx

    http://hannahelizabethblg.blogspot.com

    • Thank-you so much! I haven’t read her other book, I should definitely give it a go.

  • These all look like books I should probably read! I definitely need some help in the self-care department. Thanks for your recommendations! x

    Lexie
    nailgirl.net

  • I love this post and I think your goals for this year are amazing, I really hope you can achieve everything you’re aiming for! Your 3rd new year’s resolution is on my list as well, I really want to work on getting better this year. I will hopefully start working soon and I like the idea of reading self-help books, I’ll have a look at the ones you mentioned. I find journaling and blogging very effective as well as reading and going for a walk. I especially love going for a walk on Sundays, it always make me feel like I’m living in a small town instead of London and everything is so calm and peaceful xx

    113thingstosay.com

    • Thank-you so much for your kind words! I definitely recommend the books I mentioned, and I really enjoy going for walks too. I hope 2017 is wonderful for you.

  • Good luck on all of your goals! I think it’s a great idea to do things that would tick off two or more goals at once – makes the load seem a lot lighter.

    I’m also aiming to improve my physical health by incorporating more of a vegetarian lifestyle, and so far so good! I’d love to grow my confidence more as I have horrendous self-doubt at the moment… I’m intrigued by that book you mentioned “get your sh*t together” – will you be doing a blog post on it?

    Lizzie Bee // http://www.hellolizziebee.com

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