As the countdown until 2019 begins….it is natural to think about the past year: the events, struggles, laughs and lessons. Here at ECBC we like to reflect on what has happened and how far we have come. Every day can be a struggle so at the end of the year it can be a good idea to celebrate our achievements and reflect on our mistakes.
I have learnt a lot this year about myself and how I can react to different problems or situations. I have learnt more about my mental health and how it does not define me but also has made me the strong woman I am today.
Here’s some life lessons thrown at me in 2018, I hope they help or just make you chuckle because some of them I should have known years ago.
Happy new year everyone
Love Emma x
DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE ELSE
Did you hear me shout that? I hope so, because I shout it at myself every morning.
I have a bad habit of looking at my social media in the mornings first before anything else and often can make myself feel shitty about my life or the way I look. Social media tells one side of a story – sometimes it doesn’t show the negative side to what may look like a perfect lifestyle. Everyone has their own struggles so let’s focus on our positives and big each other up.
Age is just a number – we live in our own time and need to focus on the present
Again back to this idea of comparison, just because you are a certain age and there may be pressure to have your life together – doesn’t mean that you should. We all have our own timeline and should be able to take our own time.
Don’t be afraid to say No
An important lesson for us all is allowing ourselves to say no. It doesn’t make us a bad person, we need to put our mental health first and give ourselves time. Covered in our August blog The Power of No, we can start putting ourselves higher on our priority list.
Exercise is good for the soul, not just for the body
I always thought the aim of exercise was all about getting a slim figure, I never understood what wonders it could do for your mind also. Running makes me feel so much better, yoga and swimming is also fantastic for the soul. I ran the 10k back in May and it was a lovely start to my running journey.
Community is the way forward
We have also learnt the importance of having a community supporting you through living with a mental illness. Having people around you, this can be a range of people – friends, family, therapists, new friends from groups – our point is that having a community can help you even in your darkest of moments.
Don’t fight mental illness alone.
You can’t make everyone like you
I have always been one of those people who wants everyone to get on and hates confrontation. However, not every single person is going to like you. We are all so different there are bound to be clashes. Allow this to happen, because otherwise you are going to burn yourself out trying to make everyone like you. Be you. If they don’t like you, they don’t like you – some people just aren’t meant to be friends.
We still have to fight for mental health awareness in the workplace
Sadly I learnt this the hard way during my last job. There is a lack of empathy and understanding in the corporate world of employment nowadays. We are just cogs turning in large place, not seen as individual humans – just someone doing a job that can be replaced. We still have to fight for our human right to have a bad day, to make mistakes and to feel like we don’t want to go to work sometimes. We all have to work to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean we all leap out of bed! Allow yourself to be a human being at work, having a shit job just isn’t worth your time.
Antidepressants are not the cowards way out
Would we judge someone for taking medicine for a physical health issue?Well, I wouldn’t. But there is this stigma that taking anti-depressants are a weaker way of addressing a mental illness. We all have a way of helping live with a mental illness, let’s not judge each other for how we do. If going for a run helps, fantastic. If you choose to have therapy, that’s great too.
I love that people are different but sometimes I find my brain naturally going into judgement mode. Let’s stop judging one another and raise one another up. I see a lot of girl power – this is fantastic example of what we can do for one another instead of being pinned against one another.
Self care is so fucking important
My fave lesson this year. Self-care isn’t just putting on a face mask, it’s so much more than that! Self-care involves getting some life admin done, making the bed or just sitting and having a cup of tea! These are just small things you can do to help yourself get through the day. Put your needs first and you will see results. We ran a campaign in September all about how we can add a little bit of Self-care to our day.
Goodbye 2018, it’s been heavy.