sunlight on peak district mountains

Goodbye 2018 – December Reflections

December, as it usually is, has been an exhalation: of stress, work, chaos. I spent the first week up at university, catching up on lectures and bits of reading I missed throughout the term, before enjoying a couple of days in London with some friends. From there, I headed back home to be with my family for Christmas.

We did the typical yuletide activities – making a wreath for the door, going on cold woodland walks, shopping for and wrapping presents, baking festive-flavoured things – and ate lots of yummy comfort food. It was a blessing to be able to use a proper food processor to make vegan nicecream again – I miss it so badly when I’m up at uni with just my cheap smoothie blender to rely on.

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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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happy sunset silhouette in sand dunes australia

Take That, Anxiety: An Open Letter from the First Term of University

Dear Alys,

Hey, you made it through the first term of university! Can we have a pause for applause, please?

Yes, you’ve cried. Yes, you’ve had days when leaving your room took more than a couple of thoughts and deep breaths to achieve. Yes, anxiety hasn’t decided to fully retire to The Bahamas, never to be seen by you again (yet). But you have persisted through these feelings and honestly, they’ve been rather fleeting for the most part. More like occasional-dandruff-to-brush-off-the-shoulders level, a minor inconvenience, rather than taking-a-few-days-out-because-of-flu level.

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potrait of girl in dungarees dress

12 Things I’ve Learned in the Past 12 Months

A year ago today I was probably walking home exhausted and over-heated from my full-time job at an ice cream shop in town. I was in a totally different place then, to where I am now. Not just in terms of work, but in all areas of my life. I guess the same can be said by comparing any two months a year apart, but I think I become particularly reflective around autumn, and this past year has held a lot more change than most.

Coming into September always feels like a new beginning – the start of a fresh academic year breathes a renewed wave of energy into everything, even if I’m not personally attending school that year. And so this seemed like a good opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months – the good, the bad and the lessons I’ve learnt.

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March Reflections – My Birthday, Facing Rejection and Losing Self-Confidence

Like every other blogger out there, I am starting this reflections post with the obligatory ‘I can’t believe it’s already April!’. But seriously, how did that happen? March, although seeming to fly by, was quite the struggle for me to get through at times. It wasn’t all bad though…

The first half of the month ran pretty smoothly, dare I say uneventfully. I was on top of my Open University work, went to a Sigrid concert, and even managed to start feeling more comfortable in my working environment. Then it was my birthday: half of which was was an extremely stressful morning at work, the other half of which was amazing. Either way, I made it to twenty, so I guess that’s an achievement!

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February Reflections – How My New Job Is Going, Spontaneous Adventures and Life Update

In my first ‘reflections’ post of the year, I described January as a whirlwind. If January was a whirlwind, with everything up in the air and swirling around me a little chaotically, February was most certainly a cheetah: definitely continuing the fast-paced rush of the previous month, but with more direction than a tornado. Allow me to explain.

This was the month of settling into my new job as a healthcare assistant. In January, I was completely out of my depth: I had no previous experience in a role like this and every hour was filled with foreign experiences. At the end of each twelve and a half hour shift I’d be totally wiped out, and sometimes tearful. This month, I’ve felt a little more in control, I know what to do and how to do it most of the time; I’m also starting to understand the dynamics of the team I’m working in. Each shift feels like I’m heading for a clear goal now, rather than nervously running around in circles wondering what’s next. I also did my first ever night shift a couple of weeks ago. That came with a whole bucketful of lessons in itself.

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January Reflections – My New Job, Uni Decisions and Mental Health Struggles

If someone asked me to describe January 2018 in one word I’d probably say ‘whirlwind’. The first month of the year has really picked me up and tossed me around a bit, and I kind of feel like I’m writing this post from within a washing machine of chaotic thoughts and day routines. I have a feeling the spinning isn’t going to halt for February, but maybe it can slow down a little so I can get to grips with life.

I know I’m not quite walking and controlling the dog known as life yet, but I’m hoping February will give me the chance to chase after it on foot, rather than being dragged around desperately clinging onto the leash, not knowing which way is up. That doesn’t mean the month has been full of stress and nothing wonderful though, it’s just been quite full on in every direction, both positive and negative emotions.

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