A Brutally Honest Review of 2020

Hello, friends!

I know we still have a few weeks left to 2020 and I am so grateful to hopefully have a year that is better than the one we had this year. We have all been hit in some way or another by the hardships that 2020 pitched at us, and somehow we made it to where we are now. On the brink of a new year, there’s the hope that things start in a merrier fashion than how our 2020 started. I wanted to write this for a few reasons. Firstly, I wanted to be able to look back and see how far I made it, even though I currently don’t feel as though I’ve made it far at all. Secondly, I hope this is able to prompt you to review your own 2020 experience and see how far you have come!

A preface for this post: this is my story and me talking about my year. Mental health has been an immense part of my year, so if this isn’t for you, please go check out my previous post!

Let’s get into it!

January: holy moly. It was exciting to start a new year! I had just reconnected in a relationship and had high hopes for things working out. I turned in my notice at my job so I could go to school and work as a CNA. My parents were getting more serious about moving, and my stress and anxiety were starting to team up on me.

February: February was a really good month for me. While I was still worried with the potential of having to move (spoiler alert: I moved), I was making friends in my healthcare classes and was offered two jobs once I left the class. I was scared, but I took the jump.

March: this is where things turned. My anxiety started to creep up and I lacked confidence in my new job. I loved the people I looked after but the environment wasn’t my favorite. On top of that, I had started looking for places with my former partner and that added more stress at home.

April: work was starting to be more of an anxiety producer than I could handle and I turned in my resignation. My partner and I were hitting rocks and I was looking for places on my own. Call it divine intervention or the universe’s plan to begin implementing something better, but I ended up moving. At the end of April, my partner and I closed the chapter on our relationship and I was getting ready to pack up and move.

May: this was the worst month. My parents closed on our old home (my favorite home) and we stayed in two extended stay hotels while they figured out the deal on our new house. It wasn’t an easy process but we moved in during the middle of May. I almost moved back to my hometown after a successful job interview but once again, the universe said no. That one was most definitely a blessing. My depression was the worst it has ever been, much to the chagrin of 15 year old me who thought life was over in high school. I cried more than I had in years, I clung to whoever would talk to me, and I hated life.

June: I tried coming to terms with my new living situation but I was still struggling. I wasn’t happy, my mental health was at an all time low, and I felt completely lost. I put in countless job applications and after a solid month of not finding anything, I made the decision to go back to school. I tried college in 2018 and hated it, so I was hesitant and scared to start again.

July: the application process for my new university went fast, everything fell into place, and I was accepted into my dream school. During this month, I started seeing patterns in certain areas in life and tried to protect my peace and energy. That attempt failed and I continuously struggled with my mental health. Most of the moving boxes had finally been unpacked from my room and I tried my best to make a new safe space for myself.

August: this month was a fresh start. I fell in love with being in college and was so excited to feel like I might belong somewhere. This was where I first started to determine which cups poured into me and which ones didn’t. My anxiety was still a monkey on my back and depression trailed behind as always.

September & October: both of these months were blended together. I learned a lot about myself and I truly sought out peace. My therapist was a saving grace and helped me work through big potholes. COVID took the biggest emotional toll on me these months. I was tired of not going anywhere and seeing everyone else around me going out. I was jealous but I also valued my health and tried to find ways to be happy and productive at home, as most of us have done since beginning quarantine.

November: a month focused on recognition, thankfulness, and forgiveness. November kind of sucked. I started feeling at home in my new city but still felt out of place. I felt alone and I started depending on myself more as my own best friend.

December: so far this month has been okay. I passed my finals and made amazing grades in my classes. I never thought I would be able to do that. Now I am trying to focus on renewal and making sure I protect my peace and energy first. If it doesn’t bring me joy, I don’t do it. If they don’t pour into me, I don’t pour myself into them. I’ve spent so much of my life taking care of others first and making sure my energy was focused on them. Now my energy is going to me.

With all of the death, depression, hardships, and emotional struggles we have faced in 2020, somehow we made it past all of it. You and I are here today to tell our stories, help others, and learn more lessons about ourselves. Because of 2020, we have seen the best and worst sides of people. I have never seen more selfish displays than I have in my entire life. I learned patience, resilience, and I am still trying to learn how to love myself. It’s a hard journey. Trying to get in a good spot with mental health is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but I have to do it for myself, and you have to do it for yourself. If someone doesn’t pour into you as much as you do them, reevaluate your situation. If you are unhappy with how things are going in your life, what are you doing to try to improve them? You are so much stronger than you realize!

As Moira Rose would say, “Don’t let the bastards get you down!”

Encore nous portons!

Featured image by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Hi, friends! I hope you are all doing well and surviving this pandemic. Hopefully there will be a light at the end of the tunnel soon!

Something that has seemed to me to come from this pandemic is the normalization of mental health. People are more open with discussing their anxiety, depression, and other areas of mental health. I personally love this because mental health is so important to talk about and there’s always been a bubble of shame when it comes to talking about it.

During this pandemic, I have come to grips with a lot of different things, my mental health and its importance being one of them. I moved two hours away at the beginning of May, went through a separation, quit my full time job, and left everything I knew behind me. There has been a lot of anxiety, panic, and anger along the way, and all of that is still very much present. I don’t do well with change and to go through all of it during a pandemic is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Healthcare has changed and so has the ability to see a therapist or counselor. I am fortunate enough to have insurance that helps cover those costs and I know many are losing their insurance or have lost it. That brings me to talking about your mental health and what you can do to preserve it while we survive this pandemic.

It’s Okay To Say NO

I get it- saying “no” is scary and sometimes feels impossible. I am a people pleaser so I have gone for a long time saying “yes” to people 24/7. It didn’t do me any good though. At the end of the day it hurt me more than it would to have said “no”. Your time and energy need to be spent on things you want to spend them on. If you don’t want to go to your co-workers farewell party, don’t go. If you were supposed to call your friend but you don’t feel up to it, reschedule it. I promise the world is going to keep turning and you will feel better when you start to limit who and what you say “yes” to! 

The Block Button Is Your Friend!

I’m sure we all have that cousin or uncle who goes off on their social media. Politics, the virus, wearing masks, everyone has an opinion and sometimes it’s all you see. It is okay to block them or “take a break” and limit their posts. If it is extreme, I suggest blocking them. Your mental health is more important than how your Uncle Greg feels about the upcoming election!

Take a Break and Ground Yourself! 

Grounding is a practice that I try to incorporate into my routine at least once a week. To ground myself, I will get outside and into nature and stand barefoot on the earth. While I’m outside, I try to meditate or at the very least, calm my thoughts. It helps with my anxiety and also to get in the sunshine!  If you aren’t a fan of meditation, put on some of your favorite music or music that relaxes you. 

Drink Water and Eat Good Food

I know everyone is saying “Hydrate yourself! Make sure to drink lots of water!” and it’s for a good reason! When you take care of your body, you will feel better. The more water you drink and good food you eat, your skin will glow and you will overall feel healthier. Take my word for it! I am awful at giving my body to nutrition it deserves and needs but when I do, I feel 10x better than if I don’t hydrate! 

Try Journaling 

Journaling is a great way to vent things out and pour your emotions onto paper. A journal is often a safe place to write in because it’s private and only going to seen by you. There’s no judgment in journaling! My personal tip is to find a cute journal or notebook that you like because you will write in it and want to write in it! 

Practice Self Care

Self care means something different for everyone. For me personally, it means closing my door, putting on a facemask, and finding a good music playlist. Sometimes self care is saying no, using the block button, muting someone who isn’t helping your grow. That’s all self care too! What’s your definition of self care?

I hope some of these tips help you stay sane and help you make your mental health a priority! We’re going to make it through this pandemic and I promise we are going to be okay! I love you!

signature

Featured image by Alisa Anton on Unsplash