My Goals for 2019

Happy New Year everyone! I thought I’d kick things off on an incredibly predictable note: a list of my goals for the coming year. I felt a need to set the tone for the next 12 months in some way, and this post seemed like a good way to do so. I don’t really set resolutions in January – I’m not sure the pressure is particularly helpful and I find it causes me to feel more negative emotions than positive. I do, however, like to contemplate the general direction I’d like to move in over the coming year in the form of a few vague goals.

Last year, I got a little swept up in a blogging trend in which people outlined 18 goals for 2018; looking back, that seems like a lot of things to hold in mind at any one time. Granted, I did keep most of them small, and many of them related to one another, yet I think the sheer quantity could perhaps have put me off a little. This year, in a pure act of rebellion, I will be listing a number of goals which does not necessarily adhere to the year we happen to be entering, or even a round number that could make for a satisfying blog post title. I know, 2019 already seems to be the year of stretching boundaries…

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Reflecting on My 2018 Goals

We have reached that reflective point in the calendar, a week in which lots of us cast a thought back over the previous 12 months and linger on the good and the bad the year had to offer. I thought I’d take a moment to wrap up by looking back on the goals I set way back in January.

Physical Health

I wanted to spend lots of time outside and move more in an effort to improve my general wellbeing. I think my success with this varied over the months but I did get out the house quite a bit and I did give basketball, yoga and running a crack. Through these activities, I attempted new things and overcame old anxieties; I’d say that’s a win even if exercise did fall off my radar as the year toppled into the colder months.

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Condensation on window glass

Meditation or Distraction? Personalising How You Manage Anxiety

When I was first contacted by Thrive, a company that develops therapeutic software, my curiosity was spiked by the sheer breadth and depth their app Feel Stress Free seems to promise. Allow me to explain: having used various tools for managing stress and anxiety before, I’ve often headed down a path of declining interest, as I get stuck in a rut ofย  repetitive activity. However, Feel Stress Free’s unique characteristic seems to be the huge variety of ways it offers for managing stress and anxiety – which have actually been created by psychologists/psychiatrists and are clinically proven to be helpful. I thought this could be a remedy for my tendency to lose that spark of interest.

The other main advantage I can see from the layout of the app is the possibility for personalising the ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, which is something I feel passionate about. I don’t think all methods work effectively for everyone, but that’s not a problem here; I picked up on five key areas of managing negative emotions that Thrive are striving to help with. I thought I’d outline these below and talk about how you can implement these things in your own life – both with and without the help of your phone.

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Time, Space and Vulnerability: August Reflections

Normally when writing these reflection posts, I sort of know what I want to say as I begin typing. There’s a theme that comes to mind, or something I’ve learnt about myself or the world. I’m not sure August has held such monumental realisations as I haven’t been travelling, working or studying (but I’m sure at least one will emerge as I type). It’s been more like a collection of moments, all coincidentally held together by the fact that they occurred within the same month, and all surrounded by a bit of time and space.

This is definitely something I needed – a month in which to process things and prepare myself for what’s to come. Perhaps some will see this as pathetic (maybe it is), others will see this as a clear show of privilege that has allowed me to have this time (and that’s certainly true). Either way, I’m so grateful to be in a position that gives me these freedoms.

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Anxiety Is Not Pretty: How It Feels To Live With Anxiety

This is a stream of consciousness written at a point in time when I was gripped by anxiety so tightly I could barely think because of it. It’s angry and it’s messy, because that’s the reality of anxiety for so many people. I’m sharing this in order to give one perspective of what it’s like to live with anxiety – of course, many other versions exist out there, some of which will resonate with this more than others.

(Potential trigger warning for those who experience intense anxiety – this is descriptive of my thoughts and experiences and I don’t want that to hurt anyone further.)


Anxiety is not pretty. It isn’t glamorous, or endearing. It may seem that way in books and films and on social media, but that is definitely not how it feels to live with. It is rough, brutal. Mean-spirited and ugly. Anxiety is a constant argument in my head between the unconvincing, faint yelp of the rational, and the fearful, controlling scream of manipulative desperation.

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You Are What You Eat: Considering Going Vegan?

A friend from America once told me about a slogan that exists over there for a popular supermarket that describes itself as ‘at the corner of happy and healthy’, and although the cringe factor of that is eye-roll-worthy, there is an important concept in there. What we eat isn’t just a matter of giving our bodies some kind of energy, it’s about giving them good quality energy; energy that is compatible with us. In this way, we’re much like cars in need of gas. I’m no mechanic but I’m pretty certain that if you filled up a vehicle with the wrong kind of petrol it wouldn’t run at all, let alone at its best.

We’ve all experienced this ourselves, I’m sure. You know, that day you ate fast food twice, an extra piece of cake and somehow forgot fruit existed? Yep, we’ve all been there. And most of us can feel the impact of that either straight away or the day after: the tiredness, the sluggishness, the mood swings, the irritability… Even if you never linked these things to what you were eating, it is likely that the food you choose to fuel your body with is leaving its mark on you through how you feel physically and mentally – whether that’s positive or negative.

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Anxious Mind? Try List Making (by Johnzelle)

I’m very happy to welcome Johnzelle back to my blog for a second guest post, this one all about a subject very close to my heart – list making. I make lists religiously, for anything and everything. If you’re like me, or even if you’re at the opposite end of the spectrum and don’t really understand why anyone would make lists, then this post is for you…

Make sure to go follow Johnzelle for more helpful posts about mental health when you’ve finished reading!


Letโ€™s take a minute to imagine the inner workings of the anxious mind: fears, an overactive fight-or-flight response, racing thoughts, and much more. As someone living with an anxiety disorder, these are all thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that I experience on an almost daily basis. List making is a skill that Iโ€™ve used in my own life to help manage the racing thoughts.

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