If I could describe 2018 in one word it would be: busy. It seems like every aspect of my life has been chaotic at some point this year. That’s not to say that this year has been horrible, if anything it’s been the complete opposite, but even some really positive changes have felt overwhelming at times. I’m getting to a point in my work life and in my personal life that I finally am starting to feel settled. I also feel like this time of year is generally a reflective and a slower-paced one, which I want to make the most of seeing as this year has flown by. In the spirit of holding myself accountable, I wanted to write this blog post to keep myself in check for the last couple of months in 2018 and really make the effort to take care of myself.
Exercise - I know its incredibly clichéd to make exercising more a goal, however I’ve always been an active person, but between work and moving, my fitness levels have gone down significantly. I’m not looking to lose weight or make any drastic change in my body, because I still do a good job taking care of myself by eating well, etc. However, I do know for a fact that exercising and just being active in general always has a positive effect on my mental health, as it does for most people. I’m not going to do a complete 180, and start going to the gym five times a week, however I want to start implementing smaller bouts of exercise that don’t necessarily feel like exercise just to ease myself into it. Things like taking walks and doing yoga are so easy to do and don’t require spending money, which is definitely a great jumping off point for those of us who have fallen of the fitness bandwagon.
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule - Being very Type A means that I love and crave structure, and to be completely honest, for the last year and a half I really haven’t had much structure. My life has been in a state of flux for the better part of the last year, and while I’m not at all afraid of change (and luckily so many changes in my life have been for the better), it has added to my anxiety and stress levels to not have any sort of routine. I realized over the past year, while I’ve been out of school that a big reason why I was so productive in college is because almost my entire life was scheduled out. I love using my planner to keep track of editorial deadlines I’ve set for myself and keep track of important dates but I don’t really use it for my hour-by-hour schedule. For me, I do far better when I write something down on a physical piece of paper, versus putting something in my Google calendar, and I want to start planning my days off from work far more so that I’m held accountable to do things such as exercise, write, etc.
Spending Conscious Time Alone ~ I am a introvert through and through, in that, being around a lot of people drains my energy levels severely. That’s not to say that I’m a hermit, and if anything I have learned this year, more than any other, that sometimes when I am feeling my most introverted and wanting to withdraw is precisely the time to reach out to others and surround myself with people I love. However, with the holidays coming up and being in a job that is very social, I need to take more time by myself that is both productive and restorative. I have a tendency, as I’m sure a lot of us do, to spend any and all alone time on the couch watching Netflix and maybe doing a face mask on a Sunday night. While those lazy couch moments are nice and definitely necessary sometimes, they aren’t the most restorative ways to spend time alone. Things like reading, doing yin yoga, or going on a long walk with your headphones in listening to your favorite music or podcast, feel far better in the long run than lying on the couch for hours on end. Finding the balance between over-exerting yourself in our busy day-to-day lives and being completely complacent and checked-out is not necessarily easy and something that I am constantly reminding myself of and want to get better at.