You may have noticed my lack of content over the last week or two, I have been having intense writer’s block. I have also had a few life events take over the blog idea part of my brain. I decided to look back over my blog posts to see if I could gain any inspiration from those and that’s when it hit me. Looking at the posts I wrote twelve months ago showed me just how much had changed and how much I have developed since then. I was amazed to see the difference in my writing style, my voice and even my anxiety. I knew I should write about the differences between 2017 and 2018, I should review it and set myself goals for the next 12 months to see what could change by January 2019. January drawing to a close was also a fitting time to explore those differences seeing as most of us have set resolutions that we have normally broken by this time. So here goes this 2017 vs 2018.
2017 vs 2018: My Anxiety
This is probably the biggest change in terms of how it has affected my life. Last year I was having pretty bad panic attacks, horribly intrusive thoughts, I was unable to get the bus alone and could never walk in a coffee shop by myself. I would stress over irrational things for instance once I had a panic attack about my nails not being painted for an exam – I thought this meant I would fail. I found it really hard to accept that they have no correlation. It was tough getting to University by train and coping with the few hours away from home I had.
This year I have totally transformed. I am to know when a panic attack is coming and take my meds before it becomes a problem which last year was impossible, I would work myself up. I am able to just push the bad thoughts out of my head easily, I no longer dwell on them. Obviously this doesn’t happen all the time, we all have bad days but those days are now less common than the good which is a huge turn around. I am fine getting the bus and train and even planes by myself now! I also manage to walk into a coffee shop and order alone. For travelling, walking about and eating alone I have to have my headphones in but this still a huge development.
Top Tips for anxiety sufferers
- I think it is really important to have a positive outlook on the world. Every time something bad happens now I have tried to find the positive spin otherwise I know I would get in a huge mess about it and all that does is upset me further. I am able to take the negative and turn it into a positive which would have been impossible for me last year.
- Routine is key for me. I have to know what I am doing each week before I can even start to attempt doing a single thing. I check that my diary is up to date every Sunday. I also stick up post it notes on my wall every day of tasks I want to get done so that I can feel the satisfaction of ripping them off! I achieve so much more, otherwise a huge list would freak me out.
- Know that you are doing the best you can. If the last year has taught me anything it is that having an off day is okay. You can wake up and feel awful because of your mental health so do what you would do if you had flu! Curl up with a book/netflix/ good movie and chill. Mental health is like any other illness, you can’t control it. Also know that it doesn’t define you.
2017 vs 2018: University
2017 had the second semester of first year and first semester of second year in terms of University. My first year was hard, I had to adjust to the new type of essay writing and referencing. Both are a nightmare but with anxiety it is 10 times worse! I was commuting too which was tiring and awkward for me as I couldn’t commit to the clubs I wanted to. So during 2017 I managed to make the decision that in my second and third years I would stay in London. It was an extremely tough call but I knew the benefits outweighed the negatives so I made that leap. I am so glad I did, I would say most of my transformation is down to staying in London. It has given me the confidence to be myself and also has pushed me out of my comfort zone.
My grades have improved since 2017 too. I have been getting mid sixties all through second year whereas in first year I was ranging from 56 to 61, I even got a 47 in an exam because I hadn’t adjusted and wasn’t as focused. I have been able to study better and the modules have been more interesting.
2017 vs 2018: My Self Esteem/Confidence
Looking back to 2017 I realise that I was pretty low in terms of my confidence. I am naturally confident so I am always chatty and able to get along with people easily but inside can tell a different story. I had put on about two stone and did not feel good about myself. During the year of 2017 I managed to lose that weight and I have started going to the gym/doing exercise classes in 2018 and I would say I am probably starting to be happy with my body. I mean it’s no Kim K but it’s a start! I have discovered make up that I love and feel happy with my skin when wearing it and there is no better feeling!
2017 vs 2018: People
During 2017 I came to the realisation that I do not need negative draining people in my life. You don’t need to make friends with people or try to be somebody friend because of ease. I would way rather have a couple really amazing friends than ones I cannot trust. I have developed more confidence since I made this decision as I am able to have positive influences around me instead of ones that make you tired and feeling bad about yourself!
2017 vs 2018: Ambitions
At the end of 2017 I travelled with my Mum to New York City (which I am pretty sure you know if you read my blog regularly) and discovered that we are worth treating ourselves! It sounds daft but for the last few years it has been hard to accept treats and enjoy the nicer side of life. However since going I have changed my outlook on life completely, I am able to enjoy a little luxury without feeling guilty. I have developed an appreciation for good things. No longer do I feel like I don’t deserve it but I have ambitions to get them! I enjoy every single moment and love saving up! I have dreams and now feel able to achieve them without thinking I am not good enough!
Goals for the next 12 months
- Be able to walk to University/get the bus without listening to music
- Don’t quit the gym! I may have been going for two weeks but I am desperate to not quit so hopefully next year I will still be getting fit!
- Keep my blog going. Over the last few months I have been really dedicated to my blog and I so want to keep that up! So if I don’t post – annoy me until I do.
- Continue being positive. I am doing well so far but I hope that future me keeps only the positive people in her life and manages to put positive spins on things!
- Finally, be on my way to achieving my dream. This time next year I should have applied for an MA and have got lots of experience that will support my application, so fingers crossed!
I hope you have enjoyed my review of the last 12 months. Remember keep positive!
Hannah Jayne Artis ❤
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