How quickly we’re steaming through the year, it’s May! And finally it actually feels like spring: the sun popped out to say hello a couple of times throughout April and the UK was pretty excited about it. Unlike my skin, which, translucent from the months of darkness, did not appreciate the sudden warmth and showed me this by becoming burnt. Oops.
If you read my last reflections post, you’ll know that March wasn’t the best of months for me. I struggled a lot with making future decisions and maintaining a healthy level of self-confidence and motivation; I was stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts, making all aspects of my life seem insurmountable. That sucked.
But it also made me so desperate to get out of it that it led to a push to make April better – in any possible manner I could. I became determined to take small steps towards improving my wellbeing in an attempt to make myself more resilient to uncertainty, even if that was just an ounce more resilience. Because an ounce is still better than nothing, and I truly felt like I had hit some kind of rock bottom.
April really was a month of strengthening myself:
- I got up early every day – so that I could feel more relaxed and on top of things, and be more productive.
- I started running – which has been painful and difficult but surprisingly a lot of fun too.
- I started playing basketball – to challenge myself to do something different.
- I focussed on self-care – attempting to eat a little more healthily, doing small, deliberate things just for myself and spending time on treating myself.
- I organised myself with lists – writing down things I wanted or needed to do and my priorities for the next few months.
- I cleaned and tidied my living space – as I always seem to be saying, a tidy space helps you to have a clearer mind.
Most of these are small, simple things, yet they’ve made a big difference to how I feel. Looking back at this last month, I actually feel proud of the efforts I’ve made to help myself. I have a lot to thank my family for when it comes to bouncing back towards more positive feelings, but this post is a good reminder that you have to credit yourself for some of the work too. Improving your general wellbeing, even if this is just an increment or two of progress, can be hard. And this is only going to work if you try to make it work.
With a clearer headspace, and a more positive mindset, I approached several big decisions in April and managed to tackle them all in a successful way (or at least, it feels successful to me). I have decided on my university for this September, I have handed in my notice at work and I have booked flights for my summer travel plans.
April has been a good month for me. The power of supportive people around me, a desire to help myself and a sprinkling of sunshine have all worked together to pull me out from the sinking sand and set me off on a more positive path. I’m not totally unrealistic though, it is not like my whole future has magically been sorted and everything is clear and sparkly like a wine glass from a dishwasher advert. I know there are moments in my near-future that I will struggle with, and decisions I have yet to make. But I just want to pause for a moment and realise that the sun really does come out sometimes, even in England.
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