I am finally going to admit it to myself that in the last couple of years, I have been stuck in a bit of a rut. The more I reflect, the more I realise that I actually had been struggling a lot to fit into my university life, find motivation to better my livelihood and to deal with past issues I had with myself.
2020 really has been an eye-opening year. The pandemic has had a tremendous knock-on effect in regards to daily life and has made everything just that little bit more difficult for everyone around the world. I was away studying, having the time of my life when the pandemic struck. Just like everyone else experienced, life changed so fast. Straight away I had to say bye to all the people and experiences I had become super attached too. Like most, I was not the best at dealing with what was going on at this time. Although I was one of the lucky ones who stayed, the whole thing really made me think. Things can change in a blink of an eye and I felt so grateful to be where I was at the time.
During the lockdown period of March and April, I finally made the often difficult but important first steps to make some drastic edits in my own life. Lockdown put my life on a halt which I didn’t know I needed. In this time, I took on counselling which proved to be so valuable for me as I was able to talk through and readjust my perspective on many aspects of my life alongside creating coping mechanisms to combat my past negative thoughts and energy. It made me realise that it really is ok to ask for help, even if you don’t truly believe you need it.
After this, I started to give myself more time. More time to pursue passions that I had neglected in the past. I started to look after myself better, in a variety of ways. I cooked more, I created a proper skincare routine, I took very long walks each day to clear my head and curb my thinking. Recently, I began a daily workout routine, something which I would have been too lazy to get up for in the past, but the routine has made me feel a lot better about myself. Additionally, a good friend of mine told me about his tactics of giving himself ‘positive affirmations’ each day, this tactic was also useful in reframing my state of mind.
All of these things seem so simple, so miniscule, so pointless? well… that’s what the ‘past’ version of me would have thought, but in fact they proved to be important life-changes.
Incorporating positive changes in your daily life has been the thing that has helped me ‘get it together’. By ‘get it together’, I mean working on improving myself, loving myself and loving my future. Easy things like writing my plans down in a diary at first glance seems pointless but actually it has helped me gain motivation and plan my life a little bit better, leading me to think positively about where I am in my life right now. Having honest and open conversations with my friends and facing harsh truths has also helped me grow as a person. Understanding how I can be a better person; in the presence of the people I love most also gives me the determination to stay mentally strong and healthy.
It’s ok if it takes time. Looking out for yourself and personal growth is not really a linear thing, it’s not clear cut or easy, it’s just kind of something you take step by step. I don’t think there is a quick fix solution. It’s also ok if you make mistakes along the way. For me, it has been best to start incorporating better habits slowly but surely rather than all at once. It is also about celebrating the small successes, for example, if I can only complete 1 out of my 2 workout routines — it’s about praising yourself for getting up and doing one and not bashing yourself for not doing the other.
It may sound like a cliché, but it really is all about romanticising your life. You are the main character of your own film and if you see life like that, it suddenly feels so wonderful. You feel unstoppable.
Side Note: I just wanted to mention one of my favourite YouTubers, Amy Lee. She has a great series called the ‘AM with Amy’ where she talks about an array of topics regarding mental wellbeing and how to begin your journey of self-growth and love. Here are some of the ones I highly recommend!
- ‘My Personal Journey, Get in Loser, We’re Going Self-Actualizing Ep. 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAbungTfYqg&t=24s
- ‘How to Let Go of the Past’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6jwVRyv05g
- ‘Why I hate myself… on self loathing’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og7y6MsHDyg&t=1335s
Header Image Credit: The Bottom Line