At the beginning of each year, most people sit down and make goals for themselves. Run a marathon, lose weight, get a promotion, start your own business—all worthy goals, but for someone with depression and anxiety, it can all be too much. I used to set goals like that, but I’d soon be overwhelmed and petrified with anxiety.
But goals aren’t the problem. It’s the expectations that others set for us, and unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves.
As someone who has dealt with suicidal ideation for over fifteen years, it’s often a miracle if I make it to the end of another year. But I still want to progress. I want to try to use the beginning of a new year to inspire myself to be better. So instead of setting hard goals, I choose a word to live by for the year. Just one word. This year, my word is healing.
For me, healing means showing kindness toward myself. I’ve spent too many years feeling sorry and beating myself up for my mental illness that I know that doesn’t do any good. So for 2019, I’m going to focus on taking care of and loving myself.
I’m meditating more*. I’m seeking counseling for my mental illnesses. I’ve gotten new glasses. I’m getting my first ever adult physical. I’m going to see a psychiatrist to ensure my prescriptions are doing what they should. I’m trying to go easy on the sugar intake. I’ve cut toxic people out of my life. I’m getting braces for the first time. I’m taking the stairs more often. I’m taking bubble baths. I’m walking my dog more.
To others, these might not seem like real goals. They aren’t time sensitive. They aren’t very specific. But to me, they’re stepping stones toward creating a better life for myself in 2019. A life that I’ll be happy to live.
*To start your own goal of meditating and practising mindfulness this year, check out Meditation Studio: https://go.onelink.me/app/Suic