January is always the time people decide to change. A new year, a new me. It should be simple right? Wrong. Change is one of the hardest things to do, and it is something that I don't deal well with at all. I know there is a lot of change that is going to happen this year - I will be graduating, I will have to find a job, potentially somewhere new to live away from my family and my boyfriend. I don't know what is going to happen with that, and that terrifies me. However, I know that if I don't make some changes to my life now, it is going to be that much harder.
I suffer a lot from depression and it has really started to affect my life. I used to joke a lot with Liberty about us "catching" depression sometimes, where we would have all the feelings of depression, but only for a couple of days and then we'd feel better. In the last year though, I have been feeling more and more like I am only catching happiness sometimes. It has made it very hard to be motivated to work, to be happy with being here at University and has put a huge strain on my relationship with the boyfriend. My depression has been causing him difficulties with being away at Uni too, so we have had a very hard couple of months.
Over the Christmas holidays we talked a lot, and I talked to my family a lot. I discovered that a lot of my feelings are the same as what my mum gets, even down to not being able to hug or say "I love you" because you just feel nothing. Neither of us likes feeling like that, and I don't like how my depression is affecting me or the boyfriend, so I have decided to try and do something about it. I really don't like the idea of going to a doctor, getting medication or counselling. It really doesn't sit right with me, so I have to do something, I have to make the change.
Last year, instead of making New Year's Resolutions, my mum made 12 monthly changes throughout the year. This ranged from something little like using more of her lotions and potions, to the more difficult challenge of "just get on and do it". Liberty is following suit this year with her own monthly challenges, and that is what I am going to do as well. New Year's Resolutions are doomed to fail because so much happens in a year that you will forget what you said you wanted to do and who knows if what you want now is the same as what you will want in 6 months time? However, I fully believe that setting yourself targets and challenges is beneficial and good for you, so why not do it on a smaller scale.
My 12 monthly challenges are going to be tied in to helping me manage my depression. I want to make them realistic and also measurable so I can get to the end of the month and (hopefully) look back and be able to say "yes, I achieved that". This month, I am focusing on trying to keep myself busy and use my time productively, instead of wasting time feeling sorry for myself. I have a schedule that I am going to draw up each night with things I want to achieve the next day, work I want to get done and rewards for when I take a break to motivate myself. Keeping busy is going to help me to not feel so lost when the boyfriend leaves for his University in a couple of days. Hopefully my productivity will increase and allow me to study better to help me get back on track for a 2:1 at the end of my degree. Scheduling my days better will give me time to set aside for getting into some kind of fitness regime, which will also help to improve my health. Alongside my monthly challenge, I am taking part in Jantastic to get me back into running, and doing a 30 day challenge and some form of yoga everyday to strengthen my body and make me feel better about myself. A healthy body is a healthy mind after all.
The best thing about these monthly challenges is that I am not alone when I do them. Liberty has already been giving me tips for keeping busy and what I can set some of my challenges to, my mum always supports me and wants to give me all the help she can, and my boyfriend is right there beside me trying to change his life for the better, so we can be better together. I think between us we can make it through.