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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Two Months In: My 2017 Blog Stats and Reflection

In case you haven’t noticed, 2017 ended a couple of days ago, and that inevitably means it’s time to reflect on the past year. I thought I’d take a moment to have a look back on my blogging journey so far.

My blog was born on 7th November 2017, and in the 54 days between then and New Year’s Eve, I published 40 posts which amounted to around 23,500 words. I toppled over 200 WordPress followers around the start of the year, with over 1000 visitors to my blog worldwide, primarily from the UK, USA and Canada, and a total of 2700 views.

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18 Things I Want To Do In 2018

It’s the start of 2018: a new year and therefore the month in which, due to socially constructed values, we pressure ourselves to be ‘better’ and change who we are. I don’t necessarily think this mindset is productive or conducive to becoming the people we want to be – personally, I like to take this moment to reflect on what’s happened over the past 365 days and highlight bits from that which I’d like to carry over into the next year. I don’t just do this process in January though, I like to reflect most months, it just comes to the forefront of my mind when there’s such a strong culture around doing this at the start of the year.

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to share the things I’m looking to do more of in the coming year, especially as Lucy tagged me on Twitter to do something similar to this a few days ago. Her post is more about sports and other activities she wants to do in 2018 and is well worth a read, so go and have a look over there!

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Dear 2017 Me: An Open Letter – Blogmas Day 17

Dear Alys from 2017,

There are aspects, both big and small, that define our lives during any one moment; years down the line, these characteristics that shaped us can be forgotten even if they had the power to significantly change us in ways that resonate fifty years beyond the initial impact. This open letter is a collection of musings from and about you, at 19 years old, written on a cold winter night a couple of weeks away from tipping into the unknown of 2018.

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Reflecting on Gratitude – Blogmas Day 13

Gratitude: the quality of being grateful; expressing thanks.

I recently read several articles that put forward the idea that paying attention to gratitude can have a positive impact on your wellbeing, specifically your mental health, and this is something I’m interested in looking into further. I think it’s easy to disregard ‘invisible’ practices, such as meditation, gratitude, and positive thinking, as pseudoscience or ineffective. Many people assume that as the impacts of these wellbeing activities cannot be measured quantitatively, or actively seen, such as exercise on someone’s physical health, they leave less of an imprint.

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How I Consciously Chose Change in 2017 – Blogmas Day 12

2017 has been quite the tumultuous year, characterised I’d say by shifts: in my daily life, personal life, and ideas about the future. I guess when you take a biopsy of your situation, thoughts and feelings from any one month and compare it to one taken 11 months previous to this, you’ll notice change. Change is how progression takes place; like the leaves alternating green to yellow to orange to brown, it’s necessary for growth to occur.

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7 reasons why you should take a gap year to solo travel

As soon as I could hold the concept of my future in my head, as in a future in which school wouldn’t be a thing and I would have to make decisions about my life for myself, the idea of exploring the world appealed to me. Throughout my last years of secondary school and during my time at sixth form college, I plotted hundreds of different trips for future me: some relatively reachable, others sheer fantasy, but all got me a little closer to the plan that actually materialised.

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