Taking Care of Myself

Ever since the 1st of January, my feeds on Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin’ have been overflowing with posts about setting intentions for 2018. Making resolutions and plans to make this everyone’s “best year ever”. That’s what we’re all meant to do at the beginning of a new year, right? Set goals and resolutions and intentions and make plans to make ourselves grow and be better, and do better.

I’ve been trying to come up with my plans and intentions for the year. I know I want to blog more this year, so doing a “my intentions for 2018” post seemed logical. It’s what everyone else is doing. It’s what I should do, right? Wrong. I hate being told what I should do. It infuriates me to no end that other people or society in general try to dictate how I should live my life. I’m calling bullshit on it. I like to think about what would be most useful for me to do in a certain situation, sure, but I really avoid using the word ‘should’. I tend to get a very “rebellious teenager being told what to do so they do the opposite thing instead” kind of feeling when I get told that I should do something.

And why does all of this matter? Why am I prattling on about all of this?
Because as hard as I’ve tried to craft a well-written, articulate post about my intentions for 2018, I haven’t succeeded. I haven’t got a neat little list of intentions and plans for this year. I haven’t made resolutions. At first I thought ‘great, it’s only three weeks into January and already I’ve failed at something’. But then I thought about it some more and realised that it’s okay if I don’t have plans and intentions and resolutions.

Normally I’d be completely the opposite. I’m super into goals and plans and dreaming and getting way too ahead of myself. But at the moment, I’m not in a very useful head space for making resolutions, and I feel like giving myself high expectations for the year will only make me feel worse if the year goes differently than planned. I have a friend who’s started referring to his plans or ideas as “life suggestions” rather than plans. Because life has a way of going a completely different direction to what you had planned. I don’t want to get bogged down in plans and then feel mega disappointed when they don’t work out. I’m so sick of giving myself a hard time when I don’t follow through with something, even if I ended up going in a different, more useful direction. I’m sick of feeling like a failure because I’m not doing what everyone else is doing, or because I’m not doing what people think I should be doing.

So what am I focusing on now, if I’m not trying to keep New Year’s resolutions? This year is set to be busy with university, work and some various life things (potentially more on that later). But aside from those things which everyone juggles, I’m still struggling with my mental health. I have days where I feel completely fine and deliriously happy and not anxious in the slightest. And then I have days where the thought of leaving the house puts me in a state of panic. There are lots of in between days where I feel what I’ve unfortunately started thinking of as my “usual level of anxiety”. Last year when my anxiety started getting bad again, I eventually started seeing a counsellor and tried to adopt some coping strategies. But I didn’t really adjust my way of life or give myself a break in the slightest. In general, we aren’t very good at prioritising our mental health. My experience has been that as soon as I started having anxiety and panic attacks, I kept most other areas of my life the same and expected my mental health to just work itself out. Spoiler alert: It didn’t. Because that’s not how health issues work. Now I’m really realising that if I want to get better, I need to do more than see a counsellor once a month. I feel like what I want and need to do is focus on taking care of myself.

I want to start working hard at getting better. I want to be able to go into nightclubs without having panic attacks, I want to be more productive with my days rather than feeling so low that I can’t leave the house. But I also want to be kind and patient with myself. I want to learn more about mental health, and general wellness and incorporate some new healthy habits into my life. I want to take care of myself. I want to nurture my relationships with the people who matter to me.

I’ve been saying for ages that I want to talk more openly about mental health and wellbeing on this blog. But I’ve also been too scared to actually do that. I was worried and anxious about the repercussions of doing that. Would people think differently of me? Why would I want to go and make myself so vulnerable in the first place? But now I’m in a place where I really don’t care what other people think. I’m bringing this blog back to basics, and it’ll be a space where I can just be me. Write about what’s truly going on for me, real talk style. There’ll be more talk about anxiety, mental health, and wellness. Change is coming to A Wild Lulacorn. So stay tuned.

xxx Lula

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