Lately, I have been thinking more about changes I need to make to my life to get out of this constant state of burnout and low mood. Most of these thoughts stem from money worries and concerns about the future; how I feel like I have been holding myself back from happiness and success over the last few months. Now have turned 23 this week, I wanted to really take each thought I had and think them through. Writing this post has helped me to really look at each concern and am putting theme out into the world in order to try make a positive change.
Here are my 23 thoughts about what I am going to change and do now I am 23:
There is too much drama in my life and I am done with it. I am stepping away from that and refusing to facilitate any drama. Taking other peoples issues on and being dragged into the drama they create just makes my life tricker then it needs to be and prevents me from looking after myself and deal with my own issues.
I am tired of fake people and have to be fake to people because it is socially correct. I get swept into the cliques in medical school where I am surrounded by high school behaviour and I have to be nice to these people even when they are talking about me behind me back. I am perfectly capable of being professional and courteous to people, so why do we all pretend to be best friends but then treat these people so horribly. This behaviour is everywhere, not just in school, but at uni and in our work lives and I am bored of it. But I am also tired of being unable to trust someone’s character.
The fear of people’s opinion can no longer harm me. I refuse to let it. For years I have been mentally beaten down by peoples opinions and their decisions to lie to my face and pretend. I no longer care, I can’t care anymore, there’s no space left for me to look out for me. In order to look after myself and do a good job in being a doctor I need to reserve the space for people who care for me. I want to care about the opinions that are valid and be able to focus on them to make me a better person. By being scared I can’t to this, and I hide away from the person I could be.
So I need to stop hiding. The fears and fake-ness have left me quaking at home rather then exploring and enjoying life. Its left me socially isolated and missing out on great opportunities. I have been getting better at this, saying yes more when people offer me things. But I need to start being a self-starter and embrace that spontinuity.
“Being spontaneous is being able to respond with confidence; calmly trusting that, whatever the outcome, you will have a positive if challenging experience that will lead to greater self-awareness and success.” – Sylvia Clare
There needs to be spontinuity in life. I need to be excited again about getting up every day and I need to ignite my passion and love for life. I need to stop thinking about doing things and start doing. Reading this quote really helped with this, but it made me think about how its such a circle; you need to find some confidence to do those things, but succeeding makes you more confident and it gets easier every time.
I need to get back to making the most of everything I do, at work, uni, with WHAM and with this blog. I am wasting so many opportunities and chances to have a great life. It’s a process that I started by taking the committee role with WarwickWHAM (TAG INSTA) and I have been really enjoying it and the chances to talk and give incite into medical school. It has given me a positive vibe after doing these things and so I taking that positivity and pushing it into work, uni and beyond.
Speaking of my blog, I need to learn to love it again. It needs to change, be a little different. So that I fall in love with it and my content again. If you haven’t noticed I have changed the layout just a little bit. I think it needed a bit of a revamp to help me be more engaged with my content. I have also been exploring some new content ideas and am finally excited to get posting again. I think having that moment where I wasn’t sure what I wanted from this anymore allowed me to see how much I have actually gained from this experience. It’s made me more determined to keep going and evolve my platform as I have evolved.
After making the decision to stop drinking alcohol because it was adding more to my life (more information here), I have been surprised by how easy it has been to just say no to people when offered. Even when pressed just to turn around and say, “i’m good thanks, I don’t drink” no one has pushed the issue. It’s made me more confident going to the pub with people or going out to social events. I don’t know if it is because I have started hanging out with different people or because I have reduced my stress levels (ish) but I really haven’t thought about it, or felt obliged to, and it really makes me feel positive about myself.
I have noticed a flaw in my state of mind that I think has really contributed to these recent feelings of stress and low mood. I set my self targets or lists of things I want to achieve and they are often entirely unrealistic. I write lists saying that I am going to do this, or improve this skill and I may do it for a month or so; but then it all stops and hit becomes a real effort to bring myself back on track because I have decided to do another three or four things. I think I have learnt that right now I have set myself the right amount of things to do and have achieved a good balance of things. I don’t want to add anything else to my plate right now because I don’t think that would be beneficial so now I need to complete these projects so that I can move onto the other things I want to do.
I have made this decision because I have lots of amazing skills, my French understanding is great but my speaking needs work and my BSL is functional but also needs a little bit of love. I have all these things I want to do when I graduate as a doctor and it all links back to this desire to be the best I can be and to do that I need to start with the bricks already in my wall and not add new ones when the foundation is shaky.
TV has been my new addiction, which is ironic considering I don’t own a tv or have a tv licence. The issue has been Catch Up TV and a large addiction to YouTube. I have culled my YouTube subscribers down to just the ones I watch and have tried to put background music on rather than background tv as I usually just get distracted by the tv and stop doing the work I am trying to do. I have seen some great progress on this and sometimes if I am doing work that doesn’t require wifi then I turn it off which limits me to only music.
Reducing the amount of trashy things I do links back to the fact I feel like I am wasting time doing un useful stuff. I don’t deny that people do need to relax and watching tv is a great way of doing that. It is not something I am looking to stop, simply something I am looking to minimise as a way of maximising my life. It comes down to productivity. There are things I want to do and try and ideas I come up with that loose their steam when I get caught up in things that mean less… but are easier to do.
A lot of this reduced productivity comes down to rubbish sleep. My sleep pattern has been really messed up when I moved into what I had hoped to be a more permanent home in November time. I am fortunate that I lucked out in this new property but it has left me financially extremely insecure and reliant on my parents (which I am so fortunate to be able to do). But now it has left me with a really unorganised sleeping pattern, so this is my next habit I want to get in control of. It will give me more energy and more time in my day.
I want to foster more permanent relationships, with friends, family and romantically. I am tired of the superficial relationships that aren’t worth time or energy; they don’t bring any joy to my life. I have really connected back with my parents again after moving back out but I can’t help but feel like on all the other genres I am lacking. Its something I really want to think about in the summer after my exams are over.
There is a distinct lack of positivity in my life right now. I want to surround myself with positivity and do more things to give me a more positive attitude. Medicine is draining, but also half the time you are stressed, overloaded with information and you don’t always see the happiest things. I read this on Thought Catalog and it really helped me start to shape my new frame of mind;
Happiness Is A Mood, Not A Destination,
It’s exhausting to look for the one day when everything will be perfect – because that day does not exist. We need to accept that happiness and success are moods that change on and off throughout our lives, and that’s okay.
Enjoy the best moments when they happen, and keep your head high when things.
It’s time to make the most of the new surroundings. I want to be outside more (when the storms stop). Being on campus I am so close to the most amazing woodland and countryside walks and I am planning to make great use of them. The hope is to load my phone with podcasts, charge my wireless headphones ( a small splurge I made preparing for the imminent death of my headphones) and just go out for one day a week. It will be great for fresh air and mindfulness; but I am also hoping it becomes an exercise trigger, aiming to walk further and further each week.
Whilst I acknowledge that recently I have been severely procrastinating. I am proud of my work ethic. I have gotten into medical school, after years of being told I was never good enough. I built a blog, after believing I was alone in the world and no one would care. I have achieved things ten years ago I never believed I could do, with an incredibly hard work ethic.
“Worrying is a waste of time. Good and bad things will happen in your life. You just have to keep living and not stress over what you can’t control” – Unknown.
This quote summarises my new ethos in life. I want a peaceful life, free from drama and unnecessary worry. Part of achieving this is to cull my life, as mentioned above. The other part is just realised I can’t worry about things. There is time to solve those problems if you worry about them less. I am also worrying about things that are months and even years away. Stressing about things I cannot control is quite a common occurrence for me and realising now that I am doing this is giving me the chance to get over the incredibly bad habit mentally and for my productivity.
Self care is important, it’s often the little things that help you to look in the mirror and leave the house thinking ‘yeah I’ve got this’. I want to be able to do this more often, I want to be able to leave the house everyday feeling self-confident and I think the first step is taking that bit of time in the evening to get my clothes out and pluck your eyebrows! I’ve been doing little things like keeping on top of shaving my legs and moisturising daily and its really been helping. It’s become a great evening routine that I am hoping will help me with the issues sleeping; it all links together that way.
It’s the small things in life that have the biggest meaning. Today my mum had flowers and balloons delivered to me as it was thee first time I haven’t been able to go down for my birthday. It was an unexpected and beautiful gesture and I am so grateful that she has done this because it meant the world. I think that something I want to take into my life as I look into the future, I want to do little things for people to make them feel special and loved… I think it comes down to wanting to leave a legacy in life, what do you want to be remembered for in the future. It’s something so small that you can do for someone and often it means the world.