It’s the beginning of 2018, and this year’s January has been one of reflection for me. As other people have been asking me about my resolutions for the new year, I have started thinking about my life and whether there are things I like to change or improve. One thing that has massively gained importance to me lately is health, both mental and physical. As the hectic daily routine flies by, I think many of us tend to sometimes ignore our well-being. Most people would like to be in a good physical shape, if only healthy eating was easier and we could find the time and motivation to do exercise. And as the busy life goes on we don’t have a lot of time to stop and evaluate our mental well-being or happiness. It seems to me like lots of people live their lives on a sort of autopilot, while not really knowing where they’re heading. And to be completely honest with you, I think I might be like that too sometimes. When I feel like I’m on autopilot, it’s like life is living me instead of me living life. I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but I find it hard to describe this otherwise. I feel like there is so much I want to do, learn or experience, while in the mean time I mainly try to keep my head above the water, fighting my way through all the things I need to do for work, studies and my household. At that point there is very little time left to do anything for me, like this blog (which is why I don’t write as often as I would like to). So obviously I haven’t had much time left to think about my health.
Health is something we don’t really think about too much while we possess it, but when things go wrong, people realise how much we take our good health for granted. Over the past year or so I’ve seen more people in my surroundings struggle with a variety of conditions that I would have thought they were way to young for. Chronical diseases no longer seem to be something you risk getting when you’re in your 70s or 80s. All of this has made me feel a great sense of gratitude for the relatively good health I’m in. All I struggle with is breathing issues, and only when my immune system is triggered by colds or in hay fever season. In the past I have struggled with my mental health, but luckily this is something I’ve managed to mostly overcome.
The gratitude I feel has driven me to think about the things I can do for myself to support my health. I have changed little things such as preparing my own lunch instead of buying a packed one, taking healthy fruit or veggie snacks to uni in the evening, instead of the sugary granola bars I used to eat, and having a drink of lemon and ginger in the morning. These are just little things, but if there is one thing I have learned from experience, it is that small steps are much more likely to be a success than big steps that are too ambitious and make you feel like a failure.
Another aspect of health I have been thinking about is my mental health and stress levels. Lately, my main issue has been that I’ve been feeling very rushed in my daily life. I always have so much to do that I don’t feel like I have enough time to do the things I actually want to do. So I have decided to start taking it easy. I no longer expect myself to be perfect at everything, because I just haven’t got time for that! I haven’t posted on this blog for a few months because I needed a break to get myself together and to make sure I would write because I wanted to and not because I thought I should. This is something I do for enjoyment, so there shouldn’t be any ‘shoulds’ when I don’t feel comfortable with it. This is the only area in my life where I’m fully in control and I want to make it so that it’s something I can enjoy. I love writing down my thoughts and my journey to enlightenment and empowerment, because it helps me structure my thoughts and I hope that this can inspire other girls to think about improving their lives as well. Inspiring and helping others is something I find very important, but how can I do that when I feel overwhelmed, tired and numb myself? Taking a step back and quit striving for perfection in everything I do has been a very liberating experience. It has given me the time to reflect more on what I really want out of life and to think about the things I want to be doing and achieving.
So this year I haven’t really made any New Year’s resolutions like the previous year. Although last years project was a moderate success, and I have achieved some of the objections I set myself, this year I wanted to avoid the stress of it all. My goals for this year is to just love myself and my body, take myself the way I am and be grateful for my good health and treat my body with respect, because that is what I owe my life to. After all, there are no goals to be achieved when your body isn’t there to support you with good health.