What 2016 Taught Me

What 2016 Taught Me

This year has been up, down, all over the place. I know for many of us it’s been diabolical, and we’ve lost far too many awesome people that its been heartbreaking. But personally, I’ve learnt and grown so much that I can only look back on it as the best year of my life.

Here is a list of things I’ve learnt over the 12 months of 2016:

  1. People aren’t always against you, and they aren’t always out to get you. My mind played so many tricks on me at the start of this year that I truly believed that some were only out to make my life a misery. They weren’t; the only one out to get me was me!
  2. Going back to work after being off on long term sick leave is never as bad as you think it’s going to be. This might not be the same for everyone, but I built this up so much over January that actually going into the office at the beginning of February had a negative impact on my heath because of my anxieties. Once I was there, it was like I’d never been away. I was also lucky to have the support from my line manager and colleagues that made it very easy and comfortable. Again, my mind led me down the wrong path.
  3. Getting married is the best feeling EVER! I got married this year and I can honestly say it was the best day of my life. It wasn’t all plain sailing though. You can read about it here.
  4. Honeymoon in your own country. I don’t think we would have had a better time anywhere else. It was relaxing, we packed the car up with everything we wanted for a week and drove to where we were going. We chilled out, watched movies, went to the beach (the weather was stunning!), and when we came home we bundled everything in the car and came back. So stress free. We could also bring the cats – win!
  5. Your mental health will go up and down, and that’s okay. Yes, I am always recovering and learning. But some days I feel like shite and I’m moody and horrendous. That’s just me and I’m learning to stop apologising for it. There will be set backs, always, and that’s just life. It’s all okay.
  6. Negative and toxic people aren’t worth the hassle. Cut them out of your life and forget about them. If they don’t want a part in your life, then that’s fine. Let them go and embrace the people who love you and who want to share your life with you. The rest are just holding you back.
  7. Don’t get caught up in other people’s drama. Equally, don’t rise to other people trying to create drama about you with others. Keep your own peace and you’ll feel better for it.
  8. Do something you love, and don’t do it for profit. Just be the person you want to be, and if it grows into something more, that’s a bonus.
  9. Give those you love enough room to be themselves and to grow. Sit back and watch them become happier and more awesome than you ever thought possible.
  10. Getting a puppy is fucking hard work. It’s not the same as when you had one when you lived with your parents. It’s not the same as having a cat. AT ALL. But once you get through the first few months of absolute crap, you will have the best friend you’ve ever had and you’ll never want to let him go. It truly has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. (I will possibly never get a puppy again, though… Older dogs for the win!)
  11. Volunteer your time with a charity that means a lot to you. I volunteer with See Me Scotland, a mental health charity which challenges stigma. I’ve met some amazing people and true friends through this, and found my calling in life. I now run a magazine  for mental health bloggers, and will soon be trained in mental health first aid for my workplace. I hope to pursue this more in 2017, and who knows where it will take me.
  12. Say NO to stuff you don’t want to do! Want to stay in? Stay in! Don’t want to drink? Don’t! People don’t like it? TOUGH! Over this year I’ve got more and more selfish, and it’s awesome. It’s self care, and it’s 100% necessary.
  13. Read more.
  14. Learn more.
  15. Worrying is pointless. Yes, I do it all the time. But I can’t think of one thing I worried about this year which came true.

I’ve had the best year, I’ve learnt so much and I still have so much to learn. 2017 is going to teach me a whole heap of new stuff, and I am so excited for it to begin!

Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2017!