Like every year, humans congregate to celebrate the Earth going around one full orbit successfully, and 2019 was no different. Good job Earth, have a round of applause (clapclapclap)!
I have never been one to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the full sense of the event; I’ve tried nights out and house parties, but have discovered relaxing at home is the best option. At the turn of this year, I spent the night in pajamas, making pulled pork, and had a midnight kiss from my boyfriend in the kitchen; living life laaarge over here. Despite being a NYE Scrooge, if you will, I do enjoy the period of reflection and nostalgia that comes with the new year (just not all the commercialized self-improvement that comes with it; but that’s another blog post for another time…)
With every experience or moment I have, I like to think I learn something, no matter how light or dark the moment is. For me, 2019 ended in a weird mix of happiness, grieving, and sickness. There’s so much to look back on in a nice happy light, and little bits that I just want to shut the lid on. With life comes learning, so here’s some of the things I learnt in 2019.
Skin care actually matters
I can imagine a lot of you skin-care fanatics going ‘well, obviously!’ and those of you that don’t care just saying ‘well, I’mma click off here’. Just hear me out. Actually looking after my skin and having a dedicated skin routine has done wonders for my wellbeing and mental health. I start and end the day knowing that I have taken 10 minutes just to spend on myself. And I won’t lie, I’m not the best at doing it everyday. Sometimes, I forget. Sometimes, I am already in bed, and the duvet is calling my name (mostly this one to be honest). But when I make the time, it’s an automatic little moment of self-care in the day. And we all need more of that.
Going to the doctors is a must do
I’m a chronic asthmatic with a life threatening nut allergy and a high functioning anxiety disorder, so I’m pretty used to going to the doctors. However, I tend to hide my head in the sand when it comes to illnesses or symptoms that I don’t deem serious to my conditions. If I get a chest infection, hives on the skin, swings of depression, you’ll catch me standing at the door of the doctors at 8am, waiting for it to open. Flu, twisted ankle, gastro; nah, I can deal with it. But throughout 2019, I had some abnormal symptoms that kept popping up; sometimes frequently, sometimes sporadically. And because I didn’t deem it serious enough, I didn’t get checked out. It took a trip to A&E for me to think ‘ohh no, there’s something wrong here’. Now, I’m looking forward to a January of blood tests and cameras in orifices to try and work out what is wrong with my body, and to see how serious it may be. If I had just gone to the doctors, if I hadn’t brushed off the symptoms as not serious enough, I might be sorted now. If there’s something I want everyone to take away from this, is listen to your body; if there’s something wrong, no matter how small you may think it to be, there’s no harm in talking to your doctor.
Everybody struggles with imposter syndrome
I even wrote a blog post about this earlier this year. I’ve had the joy of working and studying in a wiiiiiide variety of sectors, including the arts and Higher Education, and almost everyone feels like an imposter at some point. So, when I find myself thinking ‘Oh man, I don’t belong here’, I take a deep breath, think of how hard I worked to get where I am, and I take comfort in knowing that everyone has felt this way once upon a time.
SPF is a saving grace
And I don’t just mean in warm climates (even though Factor 50 saved my skin in Florida earlier this year). In my attempt to go completely cruelty-free with my beauty and skincare products, I turned to The Body Shop. I am now in love with their lotion and tinted moisturiser, both of which have an added SPF of 15 or higher. If it means I’m protecting my skin, reducing the risk of cancer, and getting hydrated, count me IN. I didn’t care if it was snowing, raining, or scorching out there; 2019 was the year I always left the house with SPF on.
Exercise is actually good for you????
Yes, I know we are told this at basically every moment of the day, but I never actually listened to it. As someone who grew up not being able to join in a lot of PE lessons because of asthma, and then preferred spending my lunches talking about books with English teachers, exercise was something I never built in to my life. Since having to look after myself (ugh, adulting) and getting diagnosed with anxiety, I’ve tried various forms of exercise in an attempt to either better myself, or feel better. Although I haven’t found a form of exercise that yet sticks, I actually do feel better after working out? What?! The one thing we’ve been told to do all of our lives actually works? Who blimmin’ knew! ALl I know is, I’m bringing exercise into my life in 2020, whether that be through yoga, running, dancing, swimming, or anything else I may try!
So, those are a few of the most important things that I learnt in 2019, and I hope to take all of them into 2020 with me. What bits of knowledge and experience will you be taking into 2020 with you? Let me know!