another trip around the sun (my tips for good mental health)

trip-birthday-quotesAs another birthday looms (tomorrow! eek) , I again take the opportunity to reflect on the last year and make plans for the next.

It’s a bit like News Year’s Eve except that I have to do it alone, as it’s my birthday and no one else’s! (well, maybe a few million others but no family or friends) No one will be asking me what my new resolutions are, just wishing me ‘Happy Birthday’ with smiles on their faces.

Some will venture to ask me ‘how old?’ which at my age I will avoid answering directly as always! funny-happy-birthday-saying

So what have I achieved in the last year and what do I want from the next 12 months? Have I lived another year or just relived the same year again? Am I progressing or stagnating?

It’s easy to forget what has happened in the past and that’s why I keep a log, of what I have been up to, so that I can relive the special moments and remember how good my life is. I started doing this when one year had been really bad: my best friend moved abroad, I was unhappy at work and my pet dog had died. I felt I had the worse year ever and could not remember anything that had gone well. I thought I must have had some good times, but just couldn’t remember any at that moment. It’s easy to start focusing on the negatives and forget all the good things that have happened and all the people that have supported you.

506a39ea00af8fa8dbaeb1b23e12d86dAs a result I started to keep a scrap book for each year and filled it with photos, cinema tickets, cards, press cuttings and anything else that helped me to remember the good times. In fact I usually got behind with sticking stuff in and just piled everything inside the pages with the intention of doing it all later – proof that I really did have a busy and eventful life! I now use social media to capture it as it’s much easier. I now no longer wonder where my life has gone as it’s all recorded online and this makes it easier to look back and count my blessings and keep a perspective.(and laugh at the videos).

I also like the idea of having a ‘bucket’ list just for the next year. I find that if I decide what I want to achieve and focus on it, then it will happen. Otherwise it is easy to drift along making excuses and getting nowhere. It’s important to be realistic of course, but to also stretch yourself a bit. I make a list for my work and my personal life and it’s a great feeling when you have achieved one and can tick it off the list.

So to help keep a balanced mind– make sure you spend time reflecting on what has gone well in the past and plan for things to go well in the future. Don’t keep living the same year over and over! As a team we will be providing ‘researcher well being ‘events so please try to take part and thank you to all those who have been involved already.

Trip around the sun

Scrapbook picture

Secret of staying young

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