Saturday, 21 January 2017

Becoming a Better Person in 2017


SCARF - ASOS // JACKET - ZARA (similar) // BAG - H&M (similar) // SHOES - PUBLIC DESIRE

I know I'm not the first person to say that 2016 was not a great year. Sure, time is linear and our calendar is just something that we've made up, and we shouldn't blame a year for everything that's gone wrong in the world - but nonetheless, last year wasn't one for the books.

Or was it?

Thinking back to last January, 2016 didn't start off great for me. My family had moved away, I lost my job due to liquidation, and I was fearful of losing my home. I got depressed when I started working in a job that I hated, and I was starting to become the negative, anxious person that I never thought I would be.

I took a little bit of time off to clear my head, and that's when I decided that I would pull myself together and take control of my life. Much to my family's disapproval, I quit my awful (though well-paid) job, and took a risk on a different path.

The months flew by and now my life may not be perfect, but thanks to following my gut last year I was able to get myself back on track. It's because of this that I'm thankful for 2016.

The reason I've named this post 'Becoming a Better Person in 2017' is because I want to take this year to cleanse the excess negativity I have in my life, and to focus on the good. Good things are happening all the time, from all the love I felt at Christmas from my partner's family, to becoming besties with my amazing coworkers (and finding awesome new vegan chicken places to visit - hello, Temple of Seitan!).

In contrast with last year, when I was too low emotionally to focus on all the good, this year I'm going to take the good and run with it. Every time I get a compliment, I'll appreciate what that compliment meant rather than asking myself why I was complimented when I didn't deserve to be; every time I write a blog post or a feature for a magazine, I'll take pride in having written it instead of excessively critiquing myself; every time I get into a debate with someone about my beliefs or values, I will feel fulfilled at having defended my own opinion, rather than questioning myself.

Just so this post isn't about me, I've put together a little list of things everyone can do to become a better version of themselves. Not all of these might be to everyone's taste, but one or two may help!

Don't relish past negativity - when bad memories or regrets begin to surface, remind yourself to think of something good that has happened to you recently

Try to have a social media-free day - we're on our phones so much that we've forgotten what it's like to interact with the natural world

Keep a diary of only good things - look back on all the beautiful things that have happened to you in the last year with a happiness diary

Volunteer - whether it's just for a day or a weekly commitment, doing something to help someone else is always a good feeling

Exercise - you might hate it as much as I do, but it releases endorphins, which make you happy!

Book a holiday - we all work too much. Let's de-stress.

Watch an inspiring film - Eddie the Eagle, The Devil Wears Prada and Pretty Woman are just a few of my favourites

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