At the beginning of the year, and throughout, I set some goals for myself. Some of them were more descriptive (like being able to do a pull-up by myself before the new year) and others were very vague (like keeping up with my blog). But then 2020 came and went and I didn’t reach every goal I wanted last year. And that’s totally okay.
I had been seeing a lot of things circulating on social media about how you should be extra gentle towards yourself in regards to what you achieved in 2020. I mean… we had (and are still in) a global pandemic!
I agreed with all the posts I was seeing, but I also think you should be gentle with yourself every year. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t accomplish, instead, focus on all the things you did accomplish – no matter the size of the accomplishment.
So I thought I’d volunteer as tribute and share all the things I’ve been beating myself up about and then all the things I should instead be celebrating.
Goals I Tried to Accomplish
Do One Pull-Up by Myself
I’ve always wanted to be able to do pull-ups by myself. I finally started practicing them every workout in September. Had gyms not closed again in November I’m sure I would have been able to do at least one by myself by now but that’s okay.
Everyone has heard that iconic Friends line from Ross. If you haven’t, spoilers ahead. Ross was dating Rachel, but they decided to take a break and Ross slept with another girl and for the rest of the show, no one forgave Ross. Even all the real-life Friends fans think Ross was in the wrong. I, however, never did.
This is the most popular “break” I’ve seen portrayed in the media and it’s not even a proper break. They didn’t set boundaries so Rachel felt like Ross had betrayed her. It has given breaks in relationships a bad rap.
Almost everyone I know would think their partner wants to break up with them if they asked for a break. But if you’re using breaks right, they’ll actually make you stronger individuals and an even stronger couple. That is if you decide you’re still right for each other in the end.
How do I know? I asked my boyfriend for a two-month break back in February and it was one of the most prominent self-discovery periods of my life. And now? Now I’m happier than I have been in months, maybe even years.
When should you consider taking a break from your partner?
There are many different reasons that could make you think taking a break would be a good idea. Some of the most common ones I’ve heard are:
Starting therapy is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years actually. But it wasn’t until December of last year that I decided it was finally time for me to bite the bullet and start going.
I’ve been sharing a lot of therapy updates on my Instagram because I’ve never seen anyone talk too openly about therapy. The closest I’ve seen is Meghan Reinks on her socials and podcast, Don’t Blame Me. Which was actually one of my biggest motivators to start therapy! Meghan really normalized the idea of therapy for me and made me realize it’s not just for “broken” people and that anyone can benefit from it. And I want to do the same for my readers.
Hopefully, sharing my therapy journey will be as inspiring as Meghan was to me and help people realize therapy is normal. I also want to bring awareness to certain things that I didn’t even know were signs of possibly having anxiety until literally last year.
Even though I don’t go into major detail about what I talk about in therapy, talking about this makes me feel super vulnerable, so let’s keep this a kind place. Alright?
How to find a good therapist for you?
There are two ways going about finding a therapist: referrals from a doctor or by doing some of your own research. My first therapist was a referral from my general practitioner and I found my current therapist on Psychology Today. You can search licensed counselors by city, specialization, and by which insurances they cover! It’s pretty fabulous.
I would recommend making a list of three of four possible therapists you feel like you could vibe with, and afford, and then call them all to get quotes. Or just go with the first one and then if that doesn’t work out go down your list.
Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t find a therapist you vibe with right away. My first therapist made me feel very uncomfortable which made talking to him hard. Part of the reason I’m going to therapy is for not knowing how to have conversations with other people and he would force me to start every conversation, and gave no help on how to do so. That’s not a technique I can personally work with. So I made the effort to find a new therapist who worked differently and I clicked with her right away.
You’re going to be telling this person the darkest parts of your mind and if you don’t feel comfortable in the first sitting I doubt you will a few sessions down the line. Plus, if you’re waiting to get comfortable you’re just paying extra money.
I’ve recently talked about how my mental health has been really bad. At the end of last year, I was lonely and sad all the time. So I started working on things to do to make me live a happier life.
Since then, I’ve found more things that really help keep me in a positive mindset, so I wanted to come back with another post. This time it’s not focused on things you can do to just be happier at the moment but to promote a continued positive outlook.
There are only two things on this list that maybe not everyone will be able to do: going to therapy and getting an animal. But I thought I would include them just in case someone is looking to include those in their life. Especially since I feel like the idea of therapy is not really talked about enough.
So let’s get to the list of items I’m doing to improve my mental health.
Tracking Daily Gratitude
I used to keep a daily gratitude journal a couple of years ago. It was actually my new year’s resolution in 2016 and I kept it up for about two years and then I willingly quit. I decided I had learned that every day had its positives and I no longer needed to document them to see that.
Now I know I was wrong.
I’ve started keeping track of daily gratitude again, but only one thing a day in my planner. Every night before I go to sleep I write down one thing I was grateful for that day. Even if I think of more, I will only ever write one. Because it only takes one good thing to improve your mood.
Keeping a Happiness Scale
Along with my daily gratitude, I also keep a daily happiness scale in my planner. This doesn’t really affect my mood nor is it to help on a day-to-day basis. It’s more of a bullet journal tracker item. I’m doing it to maybe catch a pattern. And to prove that I’m not always sad like my anxiety tells me.
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