I am always trying to be hopeful when it comes to each new year. I strive for it to be better than the last. When you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, sometimes this can be clouded.
I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions, rather I think of the moment, and I ask myself this question: Did I actually make any dents positively in my life? I just don’t think of a New Year’s resolution as a one time deal, but rather an all-time agreement because I strive for improvement.
It is essential for someone with any type of mental illness to have some kind of structure in their life. The goal should always involve trying to function at the highest capacity while remaining as independent as possible. Unfortunately, this may not be a straightforward task for some who are in the grasp of their illness. I like to think you have to start somewhere no matter where you are in your journey in life.
From my experience, small steps will lead to a bigger and better outcome in my life. I am not dwelling on the specifics of the larger goal but what steps I need to do to get to that place. Dealing with goals in this manner helps me make decisions on whether or not my actions are getting me to the target.
Here are some questions that I ask myself: What is it that I want to accomplish this day, this week, this month, this year? What can I do better? What didn’t work? Why? How can I improve it? What are some victories? Do I need to talk to someone because I feel stuck?
To prompt me to think about my life, I like to think first about what I can control, for example, my emotions. Though sometimes my anxiety can totally cloud my judgment and my trust in people can attract people with toxic personalities, there is a moment that I can recognize this behavior. To have an awareness of my emotional reaction to a scenario or person has taken a lot of work for me to be at this place, as I totally did not have the awareness when I started the journey into adulthood.
One of the most significant factors in this clouded haze was my need to stay with my routine. I needed the structure no matter the cost. I was very rigid. No one likes change, but we have to accept it, and it’s the way we move forward. With this reflection and stopping my need for a strict schedule to get through life, I started to open up to possibilities of new and better things happening for me.
I am totally not perfect and fall into the traps that I set up for myself. However, I become aware of this problem by simply making it my routine to be open and asking myself honest questions of what worked and didn’t work. Sometimes, I will not have the answer right away, but it does come to me. When that realization does make itself known, it does change my views and therefore my behavior. We don’t have to feel stuck since we can drive the direction we want to go in. It just takes some work.
When we let negative thoughts override the way we look at the world, it can be very frustrating. Sometimes all the professional help and medication that are available cannot help us unless we are willing to help ourselves. I genuinely believe this statement. I try to practice this belief in my daily routine. If I want to have a different perception of life, I need to change the way I think. We all have the capability of doing it.
There are going to be good days and bad days that is just inevitable. However, I have the habit of planning each day with a general question or intention, like “What do I need to do to have a good day? I intend to have a good day, no matter what barriers (of x,y,z). I am going to get through them with a positive attitude and strive to understand what did and didn’t work.”
So, with all of this written out, the point of the yearly resolutions isn’t to have a one-time annual quest. To have a goal doesn’t sound like a wrong way to start off January 1, 2019, it is just the matter of making for a plan behind it to keep yourself accountable and flexible to change throughout the year. This article is just a suggestion on what works for me, but you’ll find coping methods that work best for you if you genuinely want to change.
CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) has helped me tremendously to get to this place of concentrating on one item at a time. This has made a considerable difference in my self-confidence. My anxiety and depression seem to be less episodic than in the past. I learned that my goals should be realistic to me and my lifestyle. Setting up goals that fit me rather than what society expects, does allow me to have the freedom to change.
Whatever your plans are for 2019, I hope it is a healthy and honest intention. You deserve it! You have already worked hard to get where you are today.
#cbt #2019 #NewYearsResolutions #MentalIllness #Howto