Hope smiles from the threshold of year to come, whispering ‘It will be happier…’ Alfred Tennyson
I don’t make resolutions in the conventional sense of ‘New Year, New Me’ as I think the pressure of expectation often makes people fail. I just believe if you want to change something whether it’s big or small, just do it. Pick a day, start and try your best… it doesn’t have to be on 1st January either. It’s also important to remember that small changes count just as much big ones; everyone has to start somewhere… and this year in 2016, it’s about carrying on, finding more happiness and new adventures.
In many ways, 2015 was a terrible time which had a massive impact on me – my friend Steve died very suddenly, which had an overwhelming impact on me mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m still working thorough this and getting myself back to where I want to be. Then my role changed at work very suddenly and there are huge rearrangements next year across the organisation, so there’s on going uncertainty. I have no idea what I’ll be doing and where I’ll be at the end of 2016. But I know My Chap will be by my side holding my hand (metaphorically too) – he’s my rock. My family and my pals have been great too (mostly). I’m a happy person generally, but my resilience, energy levels and health have taken a major hit in 2015. But, this trauma has reminded me about what I believe….
Things I believe:
- change comes from within – if you don’t want to do it, you’ll fail
- only you can make a change in YOUR LIFE – other people can support you (or hinder) but it’s ultimately up to YOU ALONE.
- The ‘Detox Industry’ is tosh – juice plus, foods that cleanse your liver, eat more mung beans, what ever don’t work. Your body detoxes every day that’s what your kidneys and liver are for.
- eat less sugar, alcohol and sweet things – exercise and move more you’ll see a difference – but most of all be happy with who you are! And don’t body shame anyone else either.
- be passionate about and do the things you love whether it’s a hobby, work, whatever, as often as you can.
- spend time with people who make you happy (and not suck your energy/be negative)
- look for the positive every day – my #100happydays has helped me with this
- trust your instincts – especially about online dating
- life isn’t a dress rehearsal – Live it!
1. Memory Jar
This is a clever idea – basically the idea is to put good memories, things you’re pleased you’ve achieved or congratulations to yourself, as often as they occur – and read them all at the end of the year. It’s often a good way of seeing how far you’ve come and reminding you of good things that happened during the year. I’ve not decorated mine yet as my crafty stuff is stuck at the back of the cupboard. But I’ve got a jar with brightly coloured post-it notes – it also ties in with the #100happydays project and my journals. Sometimes these jars are called ‘remembulation jars’ which is a right mouthful 😉
- More ideas for a jar.
It’s a very simple premise – every day make a note and take a picture of someone, something or somewhere that makes you happy. Can you be happy for 100 days in a row. I’m about 2/3rds of the way though this and it’s been a really interesting way of looking for happiness everyday – and I think I’m going to carry on with taking photos. Sometimes, it can be tricky to take a photo what’s made me happy as it’s not something physical. I think that’s where the memory jar might come in. I am terribly behind with my overview posts about #100happydays so I need catch up – oops!
I’m using a couple of journals at the moment – Calm Journal and Daily Greatness Journal – the Calm Journal has been particularly good as it has things to do in different areas of your life like work, getting out into nature and food, for example. Mindfulness techniques run through it too. I’ve only written in pencil so far…
4. Carry on …. more mindfulness, more tai chi and yoga too
Practising mindfulness has helped me more than I can say, and I am much better than I was in the Spring. I’ve still got a long way to go but I’ll get to where I want to be. Here are some websites and apps that might help, if you or your friends have been struggling with your mental health. They’ve helped me greatly in 2015.
- NHS Choices – Mindfulness for mental wellbeing – there are many guided mediations/body scans on the internet which can help you get started.
- Project Happiness
- The Calm Revolution – I have the calm daily journal too.
- The Blurt Foundation – have a monthly hug in box.
- Black Dog tribe -Sane Charity
- #100happydays – you can seen my #100happydays here
- The Mental Elf – articles on evidence based mental health research including mindfulness
- Samaritans – don’t need to be feeling suicidal to call them.
If you’re a university student, it’s fairly easy to access support via the University counselling service, and many employers, especially in the public sector, have occupational health teams to help with physical or mental illness. But one of the most important thing to remember, is mental illness doesn’t define who you are.
I hope you all have the best 2016 you can.
So in 2016 – I’m carrying on with my journey…I’ll be walking and maybe, just maybe running
I’ll report back 🙂
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. – Lao Tzu
- #100happydays Photos 1-5 – dahlia, vinegar, acorns, mindfulness and Dunham Massey
- #100happydays Photos 6-13 Lovely Lisbon
- #100happydays – Photos 14-20 food, music, Victoria Baths
- #100happydays – Photos 21-28 friends, food, drink, flowers and yoda too
- #100happydays – Photos 29-34 deeds not words, inspiring women, love
- #100happydays – Photos 35-41 love, food, poetry, learning and travel
You can follow my photos for #100happydays challenge on twitter feed everyday (@becinmonton)
What has made you happy today?
where’s is your journey taking you in 2016?
*I purchased both the journals myself.
love Bec xx