I feel so old. I’m 21 and supposedly in my prime, but I feel terrible. There, I said it, I feel absolutely awful. This doesn’t mean I’m not happy with my life, but it does mean that I’m not afraid to admit when I just don’t feel good. I’m old enough to know that I’ve overbooked my schedule, that I say “yes” too much, and that I don’t know when to quit. It’s safe to say I’ve never had a New Year’s resolution to be more “open to experiences”.
I’m old now, so I know that stress accumulates, and over the past three years I’ve accumulated a lot. I know that the habits I’ve formed my entire life are not all bad, but they’re not all healthy. I know that I want to be healthy. This brings me to the resolutions I’ve signed an unwritten contract to complete by New Year 2021…my senior year, and last semester at Coe College.
I always want more, I want to do more, and feel more, because I’ve tied a lot of my self worth to what I’m able to accomplish. I am thankful for being blessed with loved ones who always push me to be my best, but I accept that the mindset I developed was very unhealthy.
I spent my 2nd year here at Coe, focusing on my mental health and training myself to cope in more productive (realistic) ways by putting a leash on my perfectionism. I made significant progress, but failed to accurately assess the time my commitments required of me, and towards the end of my first semester as a junior, I broke down.
She made accomplishment posts for the blog, to hold herself accountable for her promise to the world – to no longer diminish herself and to no longer hold expectations that required far too much sacrifice in mental health.
I enjoyed winter break, I really did. Lounging around the house, playing Sims, doing crafts, et cetera, are all fun, but, I always go too far. I didn’t just lounge around the house. I biked around the neighborhood in the cold, looking at houses for design inspiration, and built my dream cottage from scratch, in the Sims.
I challenged my imagination and made my Sims roam the streets adopting strays, and marry sims to murder them and steal their money (it happens). I knitted three scarves, worked on my scrapbook, made door decorations, and tried vegan recipes. Winter break was nothing but free time for me to finally go through my list of things I couldn’t do during the school year.
The fact is, I’ve trapped myself in a trick room, where the clues to get out are hidden in plain sight. It will take time to find my way out. There are numerous paths I can take, and it’s up to me to decide and move on, when I’m ready.
3. Boundaries & Calculated Risks
I have a “no” problem, where I talk myself out of stopping myself from doing something. Since I’m practicing patience, I’m not going to try to kill this habit, which would mean leaving all of my officer positions in clubs. Instead, I will be taking calculated risks.
This means that even when I really want to do something, I must accept that I simply have more important/urgent things to do. It is not easy to set limits on myself, and I’ve spent most of my life making decisions based on how other people may feel or think.
4. Physical Health
I prioritized most things in life (academics, work, clubs) over my health. I’ve recently focused on my mental health (my perception and feelings) because I believe that by changing my thoughts I can change my behavior.
Now, I’m ready to prioritize my physical health as well. The aches and migraines, pains and shin splints can no longer be ignored. If I am supposedly at my prime, the future of my body looks bleak.
Over the next year, I will be integrating healthier eating habits and develop my own fitness routine to ensure that while I am at Coe – with access to a crazy awesome fitness center and surrounded by a strong support network – I make necessary changes that can only benefit my future.
Junior year has been the worst year of college, so far. Junior year has been the most impactful, informative, and inspirational year of college, so far. I have never felt as secure with myself nor proud of my accomplishments than I have this year.
I’m constantly stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed. I’m consistently glad to be here. I’ve learned that life is full of paradoxes, and that my future is looking bright. I feel that the resolutions I’ve set for myself are attainable, and already I have made great progress towards these ideals.
I’ve set goals and milestones to reach as incentives, and have now told you, so that you can help me hold myself accountable.
Let’s destigmatize mental health by normalizing discussing both our wins AND losses, joys AND stressors!!!
2020 turned into a completely different year than I expected, but here I am in 2022 (Feb 19), still working towards my goals and dreams. I believe in myself, and I believe in you!