Self Improvement

Hello all, yes, I have returned from both the excitement I’ve been harbouring for my mother and myself, and the trauma of restarting university again. I can now say I am more than half way through my university career at least. I’ve achieved great grades for my first semester, but through this trauma and feeling of overwhelming dread, I have been wondering if it was worth all of that stress and anxiety. Was it worth the weight I lost because I could not eat? The sleep I missed out on due to nightmares? The craziness I put myself through because I did not have the time to socialise or to even put on clothes, let alone wash them. I do wonder at how students can say university is a dawdle and how people can look down on students and call them lazy or whatever. You get out what you put in. So, naturally, I’ve been a bit worried about coming back into an environment which I am mentally, not particularly equipped to handle. Luckily, George was around to remind me of the end goal. That’s important.

So, have I tried to make things better reader? Well, I assume that you assumed by the title of this piece that I have found a way to help with stressful situations. I have tried a few things.

I am awfully unorganised. I have poor temporal awareness and my spatial awareness can be pretty awful too depending on which one is my main focus. My mum suggested a To Do List app so what do I do? I go onto Google Play and I don’t just download any to do list… I download THE To Do List app, todoist, which is what my spelling looks like when I’m thinking of a million things at once, as is the usual then. It’s come in pretty handy… when I actually remember to make a list of the things I need to remember. I must remember to become better at that.

I then decided to keep a diary. I’ve always kept a diary since I was very young. I like to write about things regularly and I love to have a good reminisce. My diary was never a regular thing though, unfortunately. Maybe once every few weeks, if I really tried. This diary was going to be different though to my usual angry and depressed self tearing pages and smudging ink. This one was going to be a health diary to find out what I ate and when, how I drank, slept, socialised (in person, as apposed to the too regular virtual contact), exercised, toileted ect. I’m sure you get the picture. I realised that it’s a human thing to do all of these things and yet I struggle to remember how long it was since the last time I did any number of normal human functions.

This diary lasted 2 and half days and I am rather proud of myself. What I found was, that instead of documenting accurately what I do daily, I found myself doing everything more often and correcting myself so I had plenty to write about. I’m never usually that interesting. So, after two and a half days I started to find myself in a rut where I couldn’t move from my position in bed and I hated my entire life. I realised at this point the diary was a bust (it was on the table, too far to reach from bed).

A diary would not do. The moment classes started up again, I realised I’d be far too busy to be able to go so in depth as I did. I needed something else. I needed purpose. A reason to smile. A reason to haul myself out of my safe zone. I needed a daily goal. So, three nights ago I started writing down a number of possible things that I could achieve. Some easy and some more difficult. These included: diet and exercise goals, appearance goals, hobby goals, house goals, social goals, habit breaking goals, spiritual goals; something I could do in a day, or for a little bit of the day.

The first goal I had was to sit with my housemates. This was a scary prospect to me for some reason because I have become quite the recluse. It’s one thing to talk to people through the internet, another thing entirely to look at people and to talk to them. So, that evening I asked if they’d like to watch an episode of Shadowhunters with me (review to follow) and they agreed. So we watched an episode and I felt very proud that I both fulfilled my first goal and had a nice time doing it. I didn’t set myself a time limit, so I didn’t have to push myself too hard on the first go.

Yesterdays goal was to stay away from Twitter accounts that I deem as bad. In terms of ‘bad’, I refer to the twitter account of ex friends which I now passionately hate. Hate can be a very addictive feeling and can be very hard to pull away from, particularly when they have caused you harm and have acted like a complete douchebag and it brings me a certain amount of pleasure when I see they are going through a rough patch. I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel that way. We’re only human. Anyway, I knew I could do it for a day. I don’t check twitter everyday, although I did yesterday, I was able to refrain from the devils call.

Today my goal is to play music and sing. I have always loved music and singing. In fact, I saw myself as a singer growing up more than I did a writer. I hated reading as a kid and for most of my teens and I loved singing. I entered my school talent show, I took BTEC Music, it really was the direction I saw my life going in. Funny how directions change. So, this evening I shall be singing, might even get the guitar out if I feel I have the time. University is really asking too much of its Creative Writing/ English students this term.

Anyway, I hope this has been useful to anyone that is also struggling. Keep up the good fight. x

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