Monday, 7 January 2019

Life Lessons From 2018


First blog post of 2019, baby! Not sure why I'm so excited about that, to be honest, but I am. So, 2018 happened. And it may not have been the most exciting, thrilling, brilliant year for any of us. Brexit anyone? But there's always lessons to be learned from every year. And today I wanted to share with you the life lessons 2018 taught me.

1. Health should be a priority. I've spent ten odd years abusing my body. With alcohol as a teen, and junk food and takeout as an adult. And I'm starting to pay the price. My immune system is shocking, I'm overweight and so unfit. So going into 2019, I'm making my health a priority. Healthy eating, regular exercise, and cutting out the unhealthy addictions. Wish me luck!

2. Mental health is as important as physical health. 2018 was the year I really worked on my mental health, starting with group therapy in January and going on to individual therapy till December. It's not news to me, but it was a point hammered home last year, that mental health is just as important as physical health. After all, your body needs your mind to work just as much as your mind needs your body to work.

3. Just say 'no'. It may not always be an easy word to say, but last year saw me say 'no' to things I really didn't want to do. You've got to put yourself first, because no one else will. And if putting yourself first means saying 'no' to a social event, a work project, or a new relationship? Then say 'no'!

4. There will never be enough hours in the day. I am terrified about what life is going to look like when I have a child. Because there aren't enough hours in the day now, childless as we are, to do everything I want to do. But it's the same for everyone. We all only get 24 hours in a day. So accept that you won't get everything done each day, and that you can only do your best, and you'll feel a whole lot better about leaving that pile of laundry till tomorrow!

5. Treat yo' self. Life is short. Buy that little black dress, sparkly handbag, or stack of books. I don't want to look back on my life when I'm on my death bed and wish I'd bought those designer boots or satin sheets. 

6. Nothing is worth getting into debt over. Following on from the above point, don't get yourself into debt with that "treat yo' self" mindset. Nothing is worth credit card balances, overdrafts and loans hanging over your head. If you need it, ask for help from a debt advice company.

7. Pay that shit off. That being said, many of us will find ourselves in debt at some point in our lives. Whether for car repairs, student loans or an unexpected, expensive home repairs. Credit cards/overdrafts/loans do come in handy when there's no other option. But pay them off as quickly as you reasonably can. Think of it like this: A large chunk of your monthly pay will go towards paying off your debt. The longer it takes to pay off, the longer you lose that potential spending money. Incentive? Given!

8. Make time for family. 2018 was such a special time, celebrating my grandfather's 80th birthday with family. And, of course, Christmas was spent with family too. And I loved every minute of it. Family are so important, and you've got to make the time to spend with them. 

9. Do your best. I feel like there's so much pressure on all of us all the time to be 'perfect', whatever that means. But we seem to forget, perfect doesn't exist. And all any of us can do throughout our lives is our best. Our best is always good enough. And I'm carrying that with me into 2019.

10. Ask for help. Something I've been working on in therapy is reaching out to people when I'm struggling with my mental health. I'm so grateful to be surrounded by good friends and great family who are there to support me when I don't feel I can support myself. But I can't expect them to read my mind or pick up on the signs that I'm struggling. I have to ask, and they will help. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You'd be amazed at just how many people will be there to help you when you need it most. 

11. Live life thoughtfully. By this, I mean; slow down. We rush through life so quickly, that a lot of the decisions we make or actions we take, we don't really think about. Press pause on life, take a minute to savour the food you're chewing. Press pause, take a minute to think about whether you really need that pretty blue blouse. Press pause, take a minute to look around you and take in the sights and sounds of nature. Get the picture? 

12. Mindfulness matters. I think mindfulness is a wonderful tool for those of us struggling with our mental health. Actually, I think it's a wonderful tool for all of us! To live life mindfully, is to live a calmer, happier life. In my opinion, anyway. Take ten minutes every day to practice mindfulness, or employ it strategically throughout the day. Mindful eating is one of my favourite exercises.

13. As does self-care. Self-care gets a pretty bad rap, in my opinion. But if it encourages us all to take a bit of time out of our busy days for ourselves, is it really a bad thing? I like to dedicate a whole day to self-care, but if that isn't possible, carving out even twenty minutes of self-care time is vital to your emotional well-being!

14. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. I think the days of specialising in one specific area and sticking to it are long gone. Job roles are so varied now. In my job role, I utilise social media skills, content writing skills, and sales skills. So branch out, try something new. Join a knitting club, start a blog, write that novel, paint a masterpiece. You never know when those extra skills will come in handy!

15. Tea solves everything. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but there isn't much a good cup of tea can't at least help. Seriously, don't underestimate the power of tea!

16. You can't do it all. This is something I learnt the hard way last year, by taking on too much and burning out quite quickly. Recognise your limits, and work within them. Pushing yourself to do more than you possibly can will only result in fatigue and burn out. It's not worth it.

17. Friendship is key. It's bizarre to me to think that three/four years ago I had zero friends anywhere near me who I spent any regular time with and could rely on in times of crisis. Now I'm surrounded by friends, both near and far, who I can rely on for anything. Friendship is so important. And remember, it's not a one-way street. Make time for your friends, make an effort with your friends, otherwise you could find the relationship failing.

18. We have the power to change the world. We're irrevocably changing the world right now, but not for the better. We're destroying the world with climate change, global warming, and plastic waste. And we only get one world. Each of us has the power to change the world, by reducing our carbon footprint, cutting down/out plastic waste, and being more environmentally aware. There are some great tips here. Let's make 2019 the year we turn the tides and start changing the world for the better!

Phew, 18 life lessons from 2018! Last year was really a growth year for me. Nothing much happened outwardly. But thanks to therapy, friends and family, I learnt a lot about myself, my needs, and my emotions. Which is definitely no bad thing! 

What was an important life lesson you learned in 2018? 

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1 comment

  1. These are so helpful! I really need to learn to say no more and to focus on my health!

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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