Hi everyone! Seasons Greetings! I hope you've had a lovely time over Christmas. This month has been both a busy and difficult one for me. Between having so many festive preparations to sort out as well as feeling very much under the weather, it's been a challenge for me to blog. I feel so bad for my major lack of posts this month. I've been having a bad mental health day almost constantly for the last few weeks, and it has really taken it's toll on my productivity and energy. I definitely seem to struggle more in the winter months, it's probably related to seasonal affective disorder. Does anyone else experience this? I'd love some tips on how to manage it if you have any :) I'd be super grateful. Anyhow, on with today's post... I thought since it's drawing very close to the end of the year, it would be a great time to reflect on the goals I sent myself back in January. You can read my original post here. I hope you all enjoy reading!
The goals that I didn't complete
Life doesn't always go to plan; sometimes you can't achieve some of the things you wanted to within a desired amount of time. It's important that you remember this and don't beat yourself up if you don't manage to complete everything on your to-do-list, goals or any other kind of plan you've set for yourself. It's difficult not to feel bad sometimes when you wanted to meet goals that you'd set for yourself, but there's other things that can get in the way and limit you being able to do something and that's okay. There were quite a few things I'd liked to have done in 2016, however because of many reasons including health restrictions and lack of money, I couldn't do them. I've decided that I'm not going to look at this negatively and just try again next year.
One of these goals was to dye my hair a bright colour, which didn't happen because I spent money on things I needed for self care or to do fun things with my friends. These are all important things and helped bring moments of happiness into my year so I have no regrets! Getting more tattoos is something that is still at the top of my list of things I want to do, however I'd have to travel quite a bit to get to the studios of the tattooists I would love to do them. Fingers crossed I can plan something for 2017. With so many of my goals, I started to do them but then for various reasons didn't end up completing them. I really wanted to keep a memory jar. I found a great coffee jar for it, tied some pretty ribbon around it and added a few notes throughout January, but then I basically forgot to keep up with it! As for my 'to watch list' which got filled with a ridiculous amount of shows and movies whilst I was at university... I actually managed to work my way throught it quite well for the first half of the year but then I got distracted by other shows I'd found on netflix. Ooops! So much to watch and so little time it seems :)
The goals I checked off my list!
(1) Go to more gigs; this year has been an amazing one for me with regards to live music. Me and my best friend went to see Busted in May which was such a lovely and nostaglic experience! The band Busted are special to us because we both loved them at the beginning of high school and our first ever conversation was about our love for Matt Willis ♥ I also saw Bowling For Soup live for the second time, but this time was extra amazing because after waiting outside after the gig, we got to meet the guys from the band!! Another amazing event that I attend this year was the Eurovision Song Contest. I have been a fan of the Eurovision for over ten years now, and this year me & one of my closest friends decided it was time to watch the fabulous show live in Stockholm, Sweden. I wouldh have ended the year with one more gig, to see Melanie Martinez, but unfortunately she was poorly and had to cancel her shows.
(2) Join in with twitter chats; I have really enjoyed getting more involved on twitter this year! I have had such lovely conversations with fellow bloggers and lots of others through some great chats. My favourite have been #spooniespeak, #letmefemsplain & #thegirlgang, especially the Mean Girls movie night chat which was so fun! It's been lovely to discuss topics that are important to me or on subjects that interest me. One of the things I missed most about university after I graduated was having fellow students around to chat with, so it was great to find this in twitter chats, especially since I spend a lot of time at home nowadays!
(3) Start writing again; I used to love to write short stories when I was a teenager, it was something that found quite therapeutic and so I thought it would be a good way to practice self care and hopefully benefit my mental health. I've started writing again over the last few months and it has been helpful in distracting my mind when I've been overthinking or getting intrustive thoughts. I've definitely going to carry this on into 2017.
(4) Go on holiday with a friend; As I mentioned earlier, my friend & I went to visit Sweden to watch the Eurovision Song Contest live in May this year. We also spent some time sight-seeing around the city. I had a lovely time and it was my first ever holiday going with a friend. It was a big challenge for me due to my anxiety, but I am so happy that I did it! I had a wonderful time and I can't wait to visit more new places with my friends.
(5) Get better at make-up; I feel like I have definitely improved my skills of applying eye shadow and I can now create a nice smokey-eye too although I could definitely improve my skills :) Practice has made almost perfect when it comes to my winged eyeliner game. There's so much more that I want to learn over the next year though.
(6) Get involved more & help people; something that I love about blogs is how important and influential they are for educating people and getting them talking about controversial, taboo or stigmatized topics. I wanted to do my part to help end the stigma around such topics and to discuss my personal experience living with physical and mental health conditions. This also helped me to achieve another of my 2016 goals, to talk more about my mental health, and if reading my posts could help just one person then it would be worth sharing my story. I also got involved with as many charity events as I could via my blog and/or social media, such as Time to Talk Day and the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal. I hope that reading about these initiatives that others might join in themselves.
(7) Travel more around the UK; I did plan on visiting some towns and cities this year that I had never been to before, but I didn't end up getting the chance to. I did go on holiday though with my family to both Rhyl in North Wales and to Southport, which were both awesome trips.
(8) Be more open about my anxiety & depression; this was one of the goals I made this year that meant the most of me to achieve. My mental health has been a major challenge for me over the last five years, and as soon as I graduated from university, I decided it was time to seek help from the NHS mental health services. I am currently taking medication and going to therapy, but I felt that it would be very bebeneficial for me to talk more about how my mental health conditions were impacting my everyday life, to be more open with my friends and family, but also to help myself deal with the symptoms and how isolated mental illness can make you feel I decided that talking about my experiences would be a crucial step in my recovery. It has had a really positive effect on me to be open about my mental health so I am glad that I made this step.
(9) Improve my confidence; blogging has been wonderful wondfor me when it comes to my confidence, and I have all of my amazing readers to thank for that. Your support, your lovely comments and interaction with me via social media has really worked wonders for my confidence. When I first started blogging, I was worried that my posts might be boring and that no-one would want to regularly read my blog, so it's been super super lovely to have so many awesome followers. Thankyou so much guys! Sharing posts on topics that are important to me and writing about my health has also been great for my overall confidence. I have found such a supportive network of fellow spoonies that have helped me feel comfortable talking about mental illness with no fear of judgement. It's amazing how much support there is in the blogging community ♥
Overall 2016 has been a year full of up's and down's when it comes to my health, however its also been a fabulous year in overcoming my anxiety and doing things that I thought would take me years to do. I am proud of myself for the goals that I have achieved even though there were lots that I didn't manage to do, I still feel awesome when I look back on what I have done and how thats helped me in so many ways. Thankyou to all of you guys who always read my ramblings. It means the world to me :) I hope that you've all made some wonderful memories of your own this year, and have a brilliant 2017!
Thankyou for reading!
What's something that you have achieved this year that you are proud of?
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