Improving My Mental Health in 2017.

Improving My Mental Health in 2017.

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!

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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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