2016 held a lot of promise- what with 6 being my lucky number… although many would say it didn’t live up to such promise. The world lost a lot of its stars and suffered a great deal of violence, and we can only hope that things become a little more cheery as we move into 2017.
For me, 2016 held some difficult times, some sad times and a lot of stressful times (though I have only myself and my susceptibility to stressing at minor things, to thank for this last one.) But it also held a great deal of excitement, adventure and friendship. I’ve travelled widely and seen some incredible places, and I’ve written about as many of them as I could, take a look at my Travel posts! So really I have very little to complain about, but I’d still like to make a few improvements for the next 365 days, and hopefully beyond.
Ultimately, this is a very personal post, it may seem pretty narcissistic to declare my New Year’s Resolutions to the world. And in a way it is pretty selfish; I feel like if I put my targets down in writing for the world to see, then I HAVE to stick to them. But also, I urge that this post might help others too. We all suffer with stress. I’ve mentioned this before. If you don’t, you’re doing something hugely and remarkably well, and please please do enlighten me as to what that is. But managing this stress can be difficult, especially for those of us prone to spiralling into meltdown. So 2017 is my year to focus on this, and I hope it might help to inspire you too. After all, stress causes premature ageing and makes us fat, and I quite fancy avoiding both of these.
So I’ll explain the photos I’m using, since they don’t really apply to the content all that much. They are my holiday snaps from a trip to Sardinia in the summer, a trip that I didn’t write about because I was too stressed by uni work to do so. Oh the irony.
Anyway, this holiday was a truly stress-free time, a week of indulgent girl time with some beautiful ladies. So it seems appropriate that I should remind myself of this calmness as I write my post about de-stressing instead of tackling the two massive assignments currently looming over my every move.
Also, its the 1st of January 2017, I’m maintaining optimism for the year ahead but the weather is grim and grey… so a bit of sunshine can only brighten that up.
So overall my New Year’s Resolution is to stress less and be more organised. We have all experienced that rubbish situation where you try and have a little fun (and you deserve it) but your mood is completely dampened by the guilt of the work you should be doing instead… even though you work stupidly hard anyway. This needs to stop. This year, I will separate my uni work from everything else and allow time for it all.
I used to feel guilty writing a blog post when I should be reading some essay or other. But that’s ridiculous, my blog is my creative outlet, my portfolio and the part of my life that will continue beyond university.
The time I spend on it is a valuable investment and I intend on setting aside several hours each week to do so. By choosing to see this time as valuable and necessary, and separate from uni work-time, I wont stress over feeling guilty about it. So hopefully you can see me sticking to this one as I start to post more regularly!
This whole time management thing needs to improve. Most of us have a diary, but we don’t use it to its full potential! I am going to be on top of what work needs to be prepared for when, by writing it in my diary and by checking it every day. This way nothing can take me by surprise or initiate a chaotic, unnecessary explosion in my head.
I am also going to give myself permission to have fun and to relax.
As I mentioned in my last post, this is my year for spreading my wings and throwing myself at opportunities to try new things and meet new people.
I am going to attend meetings for the university paper and get more involved, because that is what I love to do. And what I love to do should not be sacrificed for the sake of stress. University is not just about the degree, its about developing as a person and this won’t come from just reading books.
Similarly, I will continue to focus on eating healthily and allocating an hour each day to exercise. This hour is crucial for allowing my head a break.
I can’t recommend any higher, a workout, dance, run, etc for clearing the head and gaining a bit of perspective. Exercise, healthy food and sleep are crucial to a calm mindset. See this old post for how to eat healthy at uni, even if you’re in catered accommodation.
Keeping clarity and perspective is something else I’m going to focus on. Cliche as it may be, meditation and mindfulness are a perfect way to view the bigger picture of a situation.
So often a stress-out derives from narrow-mindedness, from seeing a relatively tiny issue as the end of the world… but I’ve come to realise that actually everything seems to work itself out in the end.
So 2017 is the year for releasing tensions, climbing higher and embracing both opportunities and problems.
I’m going to work hard. But I’m also going to try and care about things slightly less. I want to explore the world around me and see how much bigger it is than any tiny stress I might have.
I’m going to arrange my diary so that it is clear and easy, so that everything fits perfectly. I am going to take on more but stress less. 2017 is the year for looking forward and moving upward with no stress to pull me down into wrinkles and fatness.
I hope you all take this on board, because we all deserve to enjoy ourselves alongside working hard.
I’d like to add that my inspiration for these resolutions is my friend Alex. I aim to follow her lead in staying under control. Take a look at her blog to see where I’m coming from.