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31 December 2013 @ 04:58 pm
 
Originally posted on Facebook - posting here for norwich36! ;)

This past year was huge for me - when I think back to where I started and where I am now it almost defies belief. I am so grateful and so excited to see what the next year brings. However, I wanted first to remember some of the many things I learnt (or relearnt) in 2013:
- Difficult times do not last forever - even when you think they will.
- A daily practice of gratitude (e.g. a list) builds 'muscles' in positivity.
- Sometimes the best friends can be new friends. (Don't be hung up about *who* gives - or doesn't give you - support. It's about them, not you - just be open to new sources of it.)
- Living with less stuff feels really great.
- Getting rid of things that no longer suit me can be almost as much fun as getting new things.
- Most of the things you think you will miss when they're gone you won't - if you really think you will miss something, take a photo as a memory, and see how often you actually look at it.
- When you hit rock bottom, set yourself very very small daily goals that you can actually achieve and slowly grow them. (I'm talking 'get out of bed, eat breakfast' level!)
- Quitting watching violent/depressing movies/TV/news is good for mental health.
- Laughter really is the best medicine. That or flying foxes, swings and dancing.
- I need to be around other people more than I previously thought - productivity and self-esteem increase if people around me (but not bothering me).
- When grieving, it can be helpful to formalise the process sometimes with a ritual 'letting go'.
- Most of the terrible things you think will occur won't.
- Focus on what you have achieved not what is left to be done. Celebrate your achievements - however small - with smiles, walks, a happy song, etc.
- Doing things in 20-25 minute bursts followed by a short break = very productive.
- Be gentle with yourself, ever so gentle.
- Do the things you are most scared to do but wish you could - they aren't nearly as scary as you think. Anticipation is 95% of the pain.
- Don't let physical anxiety symptoms stop you doing things (such as presenting, talking to people) - get used to doing things *with* them.
- If in doubt, go for a long walk/run, drink water, have a bath, put fresh sheets on bed, make chamomile tea and curl up with a book and then see if you still feel as shitty (you won't).
- Sometimes your mind tells you stupid lies. Focus on changing your behaviour, not your thoughts or your emotions - these *follow* behaviour.
- Organising things is fun!
- Neatness feels good (and you are getting better at it).
- Do fun things - bribe yourself forward with making fun plans. If you have to spend money, spending it on experiences is best because they improve your mood and happiness makes you more productive.
- I am way more resourceful, personable and optimistic than my self-image of the past suggests.
- I never think I can do something until I do it - therefore try it first.
- 'Failing' or mistakes are just feedback to do something different next time. Keep learning.
- Releasing physical tension speeds up emotional recovery.
As soon as I post this, I will think of more!
 
 
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on December 31st, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I really like these, especially "Most of the terrible things you think will occur won't" and "I never think I can do something until I do it - therefore try it first." Happy New Year!
jessicaj703jessicaj703 on December 31st, 2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
That's a really good list. I also need to be more conscious of many of those things (especially the neatening up ones that I am planning on working on for the rest of the week. ;) Happy New Year!
Mary: aubrey → forever crushpenumbra on December 31st, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC)
Yes. All of this is very true and very wise.
eriatarkayamakasi on January 2nd, 2014 08:20 am (UTC)
this is great! i could work on a few of these. thank you for sharing x
eggcrackeggcrack on February 16th, 2014 02:07 pm (UTC)
Many good lessons here. Glad 2013 ended on triumphant note for you!