When reflecting, learn to take note.

Part of my efforts this year, was to take a moment to reflect. I went from one thing to another, that at times, things tended to fly by in a blur. My efforts and progress weren’t really appreciated or celebrated. I wanted to take more time to do that this time around as well as continue moving forward. My plan to achieve this was to take a moment to think about what I need to work on. By doing this, it’ll create a more healthier perspective and environment for me so that I can stop and smell the flowers once in a while.

At the start of the year, I decided to make an effort to pause and reflect more. I have often felt that I, personally, did not have much order or balance within myself. There have been times, I have been quite chaotic and noticed that I tend to focus on one thing for a long period of time, like a one track mind. For me, that this isn’t particularly good for my overall mental health. I tend to feel guilty for getting distracted, for indulging in one element of my life over others.

Rather than continuing to ignore parts of my life, I sat down to look at how I could personally work towards a healthier harmony for myself; rather than favour an easier path. I sat down and focused on one area of my life a day, and I looked at it objectively.

What I’d found was that I wanted more independence in being able to enjoy adventures and memory making; as I like looking back on all the amazing things I’ve done. Yet it doesn’t have have to come at a cost. I have often found that spending time with family, socialising and going on dates affected my health. It left me feeling worn out, my body ached and didn’t recover properly before I did something else. This time, I know I need to plan more effectively and pace myself more. I could enjoy adventures, I just need to allow my body time to rest in between each one so I don’t end up burnt out.

My adventures, however, should not just be focused on myself. I could listen to those I care about, plan trips with them, and enjoy what they love – as well as what I want. The onus and pressure to organise them should not be down to me. Perhaps if I shared this out and talked about them more, I wouldn’t feel a pressure when it comes to arranging them. As the old saying goes, a problem shared is one that’s halved. I think in my case, if I had help and took advice from others, there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. I’d have help and maybe a voice to encourage me to rest more too!

What I also need to remember is that it’s okay to take time to recharge. I am an introvert and it’s okay to take five minutes away to read a book, sing horribly out of tune to music or to write. Those I care about will understand if I need to rest, so it’s time I learnt that.

I can reflect my ambition with my work, through my current job and through my writing. To keep moving forward, to progress, I need to be willing to learn. By utilising my passion and learning from others I feel I can do better at my job. An example would be my postgraduate course; it challenged me by considering different writing styles, planning longer pieces as well how to enjoy what I do. The same could be said by learning new skills at work.

That said, I need to stop pressuring myself and piling on unnecessary stress. I need to approach my work as something I can grow with, yet not one that can harm me. If I can work on something now, than I will, if I cannot it will wait or I will learn to ask for more support. I need to work on how to better manage my time, or when it ask for support. If there’s something I struggle with, I can always learn how to change that, rather than stress when I don’t have answers. No one expects me to know everything, and that’s okay, I don’t need to apply that pressure to myself. I’m good at what I can do, and I have no shame is saying that I want to work to offer better; but that work will take time. I will get there, even if it’s with a little help.

Asking for support, however, has always been something I find difficult. I fear that I bother others or become a burden to them. A part of it is also looking stupid in front of others and I have always been stubborn. I need to work towards holding my hands up and asking for help, being more open and honest to feedback. There’s no harm in being honest, as long as I’m not cruel with it. It’s just me getting the support I need to be happier with my work, with my writing and with myself. I can see that asking for help with help me to work towards positive change for myself.

It seems that at the centre of what I want is balance, support and honesty. They’re my notes in creating harmony for myself, ones that can really benefit me this year. I am sure they won’t be without their stumbling blocks, and times I need to prioritise one of another; but I believe if I work on achieving these, and I admit they won’t happen overnight, than I can curate that in my life and have a really healthy lifestyle and a great year.

It’s a balancing act.

~ E

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