Well, would you believe it; we’re now in the first month of 2020 (the first month of a whole new decade too, that’s taking a while for me to process!)
I hope that the last month has been a good one for you – I’ve been super busy working on my new YouTube channel, preparing for season 2 of my podcast, making time for friends and family and all whilst working a 9-5 job. I’m not sure how I do it either sometimes, if I’m totally honest.
I wanted to dedicate my first piece of the year to speak about a topic that is quite close to my heart; acceptance.
So then, acceptance. This could be accepting what is right now, accepting what has been, or just simply accepting yourself. The exercise of cultivating acceptance is something I’ve taken great pleasure from on my journey so far, and I think you’ll all benefit from it greatly too.
I felt that it would be beneficial to speak about acceptance now especially, because Christmas and the New Year period seem to be a time where most of us take stock and reflect on everything we’ve been doing and achieving over the last 12 months. I always find myself feeling particularly like this towards the end of the year and don’t even get me started on New Year’s resolutions, which I never set because I don’t feel they really work but I guess that one is a topic for another day!
You might be sitting here right now thinking about how the last year has been. Maybe it hasn’t been a good one, perhaps your mental health has taken a beating and this is where I want to provide a bit of clarity on what acceptance is to me. When I reflect on the bad times now I can see that, although they weren’t in any way, shape or form a positive thing, I’ve survived them. I’m sitting here now on this Tuesday afternoon writing this article for you which makes me a survivor and dear reader, so are YOU!
Just take a moment to think about it; yes, maybe you have regrettably suffered immensely last year, but guess what? You’re here right now living, there is blood flowing through your veins and you’re incredibly strong, even if you don’t realise it. I now accept in my own life that, yes I suffered with anxiety for years, I suffered with PTSD and a poor mindset but beating myself up over the past in regards to something I did or didn’t do will get me nowhere. It certainly isn’t a loving exercise to carry out and we frankly can’t get any of that time back so what’s the point in torturing ourselves?
I accept it and I release it. I accept that it happened and again, it doesn’t mean that it was positive, but I accept each and every piece of it. Trust me when I say that when you start to release the stagnant waste hanging over you, that is when change truly starts to begin.
As we step into the new year, instead of sitting at home feeling upset about what you didn’t achieve in 2019, let’s try to look at things from a new angle and instead reward ourselves. You might be thinking, how?! How can I reward myself for letting my mental health take over and doing nothing to fix it? Well, because my darling, you are alive. You get up every day and try and there really is a lot to be said for that.
Now, more than ever it seems, we beat ourselves up when we take a break; when we just pause to do nothing and reflect. Christmas can feel like an endless list of obligations, parties, having to see family, friends, battling in the shops, and juggling all of this alongside other commitments can be stressful when it doesn’t need to be.
It’s also about accepting what isn’t too. If you didn’t get that job last year, you accept it. If you didn’t pass an exam last year, although of course upsetting, you accept it. Of course, there will be some exceptions where it’s hard to ever truly accept like a death of a family member, something I’m sadly speaking from experience with; my Nan died 2 weeks before Christmas in 2010 and I know the painful agonising effects grief can have. However, in the typical day to day “stuff”, we have to accept, we have to let go… otherwise, how will we move on?
It’s also about accepting that mental health is fluid and life is fluid. It would be so, so much easier if once we recovered from anxiety it never came back – oh, wouldn’t that be the best?! But unfortunately for so many of us that just isn’t the reality so we need to accept that this is life; it isn’t perfect and I’ve come to realise that in 2019 especially my mental health is just so fluid. It isn’t a tangible solid entity – sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down. I had several bouts of anxiety last year due to different circumstances which I thankfully managed to move past and I’m sharing this with you in the hopes that you see that like me, YOU are human too just having a beautiful, wild and crazy human experience. You are allowed to feel, to think, to express, to be hurt and to recover.
So as we move from the festive season into the new year, instead of wishing we would have done all the things that we didn’t last year, let’s focus on what we did do, even if it was just getting through each day and not doing anything else. Because whoever you are, that is ENOUGH. YOU are enough!
For those of you who didn’t enjoy Christmas, look now towards the first stages of this year as a chance to focus on you and to give some love and attention to you because dear reader, I know that you deserve it!
I look forward to speaking to you more in 2020 – a new year and a beautiful new decade.
I’m sending oodles of love and light for the month ahead.
Until next time,