I’ve never tried to “theme” a year by one word, or by any words to be honest. I’ve never been good at setting goals, actually, I take that back. I’m *excellent* at setting goals but not great at following through with them! I stopped setting goals many years ago because at that time I didn’t have the drive to see them through. The last year has taught me a lot and one of those lessons is I can set a goal and achieve it. I just can’t set big, lofty goals without breaking them down into manageable chunks and then taking those chunks one at a time. Honestly, that sounds so simple when I type it out. Like, of course, you can’t complete a goal without breaking it into manageable tasks. Bear with me here, I’m still figuring all this out :-).
Anyway, back to my word of the year. This really isn’t about setting a goal, per se, it’s more about setting a tone for the year. These last few years have really worn me down. My depression and anxiety just really became a beast on my back. Throw in the pandemic and it made it all the worse. 2021 was a turning point for that. I was put in a situation that forced me to prioritize my health and wellness and so I did and I succeeded. I’m still very much a work in progress but I’ve never in my life been more healthy and fit as I am right now. I’m proud of myself for doing that. My physical health is in a really good place my mental health still needs some work. It’s also in a better spot than it’s been in a very, very long time but I think it can get better. My word for 2022 is “Resilient”.
Essential Meaning of resilient
1: able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens ((https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resilient))
It just feels fitting. I want to focus on mental health and build my resilience up so that when bad things happen I don’t immediately have an anxiety attack and freeze up. That’s something new that started this last year and a half and I’m not ok with it. I’m focusing on ways to break those specific thought loops that and I think about an anxiety attack like a wave. It starts slow and then all of a sudden it’s everything I can do to breathe. Over time I’ve learned what that wave feels like when it’s small and I’m still able to swim out of it. When I start to feel that coming on I reach for my handy dandy anxiety notebook and I start writing. I have the following questions I ask myself:
- What happened? (Describe the situation)
- What is going through your mind? (Describe your thoughts)
- What emotions are you feeling, note the intensity with 1 being mild and 10 being severe)
- What thought patterns do you recognize? (This is based on CBT thought distortions) ((https://www.verywellmind.com/ten-cognitive-distortions-identified-in-cbt-22412))
- How can you think about the situation differently? (Challenge your thoughts)
I’ve actually already filled out one page earlier today after a particularly bad-ish work call and was able to get through those waves and build out a plan for a solution. I’m surprised every time it works.
I’m looking forward to this year. I’m not looking forward to the bad parts that will inevitably happen but for the first time in my life I think I’ll be able to carry myself through them and make it out the other side in a much better mental state than previous years!