As I write this, I reflect on how the Christmas holidays has been a new space for me to slow down and spend time with my family. It has also been a period of assessing my own values and goals as I prepare to start a new year. Whether you like this time of year or not, time off for festivities can definitely have an impact on daily routine. For me, although I honestly prefer being busy as it gives less time for brooding, it has however made me think about how I can get more enjoyment out of life.
Admittedly, spending a few days at my mum’s over Christmas meant that I decided not to go for a jog. To be blunt, I enjoyed not having to worry about this! Despite this, it has made me think about how I have definitely preferred my kickboxing and Zumba sessions and I have only been holding onto going for a jog sometimes as a way to punish myself. This may sound strange, but I’m sure we all do this with our lives to some extent, clinging on to past habits just because it is the way things should be done even if it gives us no joy. Why not consciously choose more of the things which you love to do? As I have mentioned, this has been a hot topic on my mind recently and a concept I want to bring to 2019. I have realised, through past mistakes, that although hard work is often important and necessary in achieving goals, such as health and fitness ones, we should always allow ourselves to have some fun along the way.
In addition, Christmas is a time for most of us for spending time with our loved ones. I hope you have had the opportunity to do the same. One of my most personal goals for 2019 is to develop more meaningful friendships. In fact, I have realised that at times other than holidays, I have not put as much effort into nurturing relationships. Realistically, we are all generally busier but without strong friendships we will suffer (see my previous blog entry on strong support networks). Before I got ill with schizophrenia, I had shoved many people out of my life and this did not help my recovery. I was also leaving little time for happiness and laughter. When we truly connect with other people in a positive way, we enjoy life more and we feel lighter. Christmas has been a time for me of singing, dancing and playing games with the ones I care about – I just might have to figure out how to include more of this in my life whilst balancing my other responsibilities. Not always simple, but it’s good to learn!
As you start a new year, maybe at Back on Track or somewhere else, make a conscious effort to try and reward yourself with spending time with some of the activities and people you like the most. Back on Track nurtured some of my passions, including writing which I am doing now! It also allowed me to meet new people. Here’s to a new year and a happier you!