Guys, welcome to 2019! Hope you’ve all recovered from your hangovers and various lapses of drunken judgement (what better way to end a year than with a slew of bad/misguided decisions, right?) Well now, you can start fresh… kinda. I say kinda because you’re still the same person and why should you change? Grow, yes. Evolve, absolutely. Change? Hell no. Own it, people (need a little help with that? Check out our last post on why you’re good enough. Shameless plug over.)
Look, we know 2018 may not have been perfect, be it globally (let’s not get into it) or personally. However, I’m sure that in both cases, there were positives. We can’t promise perfection for you, or the world, this year. Honestly, I think perfection is overrated anyway. However, I can try and help you stay grounded and offer some avenues of escapism (if you need it) in the coming year. So, here are 6 ways to recharge mentally in case 2019 gets too much…
Take on a personal passion project
A lot of the first few weeks of a new year can end with us trying to change, failing and being exhausted before February truly kicks in. This is usually due to setting too high standards or trying to force unnecessary change. ‘New year, new me’ is so last year (I know, apparently in 2019 I’ve turned into a 15-year-old valley girl from the Clueless era. Bear with me, ok?!) However, why not take the time this year to focus on things you already love instead of trying to force new interests on yourself to become some mythical, perfect person. Take on a personal passion project!
With work, you may not be in the exact field you want to be in. Maybe you’re doing work for a client that doesn’t reflect your interest. Part of adulting, sadly it happens. So, come up with a project just for you. You can give yourself a deadline, if that works for you. You can decide to allocate a few hours a week to do it. You can even take up a project that you started and neglected years ago. Personally, I’ll be taking on at least 2 personal passion projects this year; working on a YA novel I started a while back and coming up with a new painting series, which I haven’t done in a while. Writing and painting have always been my 2 main creative outlets that bring me peace. They’ve been sorely neglected and I miss them. Your peace could be anything. Go find it!
Find something that can make you laugh, that you can always go back to
Laughter is everything. As Charlie Chaplin said “A day without laughter is a wasted day.” Love the quote so much that it’s my Instagram bio. There’s a reason why there are comedians making serious bank. Laughter makes everything and anything seem a little less s***… I mean bleak! One of my fav comedians (and also my future husband once he realises I’m alive) Trevor Noah, uses his comedy to inform and educate. The ability to make someone laugh is one of the greatest and there’s no better way to recharge mentally.
One of the best things about Britain has to be its humour. The ability to take the piss unites and helps us all escape. Why not find your own personal bit of humour? This can take the form of a person, a hilarious YouTube video or channel, a meme (personal favourite evil Kermit never fails) or a memory. Something that helps you escape for a few minutes through laughter. I’ve known people to say they feel better after they cry, that it’s a release for them. I’ve never been one to feel better after crying, unless it’s from laughter. If you’re the same, then this one’s for you 🙂
Write in a journal
As I mentioned, writing has always been one of my creative outlets. However, you don’t have to be Shakespeare or Zadie Smith to have writing as your way to recharge mentally. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want to vent but I don’t necessarily need anyone to comment or try and make me feel better. I just want to get what I’m feeling out and sometimes that’s enough. With friends and loved ones, their instinct is to always try and make you feel better (or at least it should be!) If what you’re feeling doesn’t necessarily warrant that or you just want a place to think, try writing in a journal.
I say journal because I’m an adult woman (unfortunately) so keeping a diary is saved for my schedule. While talking things out can be helpful, sometimes writing and reading back on your own thoughts can give you an inner perspective that you may not have reached if someone else’s opinion was involved. Journaling doesn’t even have to be about something specific happening to you. You can have an ‘average’ day and still find peace writing about. The most interesting thing I’ve found about journaling is looking back at past entries and seeing how I think, how I view myself and how that’s changed overtime. Basically, my mind is a fascinating place and someday a psychologist is probably going to have an (expensive) field day in there. Jokes aside, journaling is like free therapy. Who doesn’t love hearing ‘free’ anything?!
Allocate money/time to treat yourself once a month
I was discussing with my cousins recently how we somehow seemed to have more money as students (which is WILD, but I have to assume it’s because I didn’t go to uni in London.) My 20’s have been all about living on a budget. One thing I managed to achieve last year was a fair bit of travel. Mainly, I just started saving more and managing my time better, so I booked things in advance and got better deals. Each trip was a little treat to myself, but to mentally recharge you don’t have to leave the country. Whatever it is that you enjoy can be your treat.
This can be anything from a massage, a book, shoes, tickets to a concert or whatever. It can range from the materialistic to the experiential. Personally, I’m thinking that in a bid to find the balance between life and reading, one of my monthly treats might be getting a book from my amazon Wishlist. That is unless someone wants to buy all of them for me? Just putting it out there! A lot of the time we forget to give back to ourselves regularly. This is a way to do that and also enrich your life in some small way. Even the smallest treats can make the biggest impact.
Find a happy place (if you don’t already have one)
This can be physical or otherwise. I would recommend both, for when you can’t get to your physical happy place. This can be anywhere. Book worm that I am, my physical happy place is pretty much any book store, but I have to be alone for it to really take effect. I don’t have to buy anything, just being there surrounded by endless stories to potentially get lost in. Perfection. There’s also the Victoria Miro gallery (when it’s not too busy) and mentally, well that’s a different story. It just has to be a place where you feel safe and tranquil.
Your happy place is just for you. Sure, you can share them, but it’s good to have one for when you want to be by yourself. Especially for those that recharge better alone. My only advice on picking your happy place, I would say maybe not the internet. It gives as much as it taketh!
Take regular breaks from social media
Smooth segway from the last section, this one should be a given. The effects of social media (positive AND negative) have been well documented. Sure, our connections are now far and wide which is great for learning from each other. However, with great power comes great a**holes and social media comes with bullying and general online abuse. Taking up to a few hours to a few days away from social media can only be healthy.
FOMO is real and it’s one of the things that bring us down the most online. With all the edited pictures and heavily curated lifestyles, it can make you feel like you’re not going anywhere with your life fast. Time away will help to reflect. This can extend to further than social media. It can also include the internet in general or just using your phone. Aside from being good for mentally recharging, it’s also good physically. Your eyes need a break from screens and some people feel that the shape of our pinkies are already changing due to us always holding our phones. Basically, we need the break.
Last, and by no means least. Sex. Firstly, endorphins (so we look science focused here) and secondly, when it’s good it’s great. Can’t argue with that. If you can get some, get it!
And this is the ‘happy ending’ (really hope that one doesn’t go over your heads) that I will leave this post on. Wishing you all the best in 2019 folks!