Hello! Feels like it’s been a long time since I last wrote on here, but that’s because I’ve had such a jam-packed few days with deadlines flying at me from every direction but such is life. Anyway, today I wanted to share with you some tips for how you can have a positive new attitude.
I think it’s safe to say since starting Year 13, I’ve sort of been in a rutt when it comes to mental health, and I think a lot of you will relate when I say sometimes when we’ve got piles of work to do and hundreds of obligations and to-do lists, taking care of our mental health is not a top priority. But, over the past few weeks I’ve realised that mental health absolutely should be a bigger priority in my life. So, I’ve taken the decision to make some changes to my life and mindset, to hopefully take better care of myself and make sure I’m as happy as I can be.
1. Communication is KEY
As a naturally shy person, I’ve also been lacking on the communication front. But recently I’ve decided that I don’t want to be the person who sits there silently, holding back their opinions for fear of judgement as I have important opinions to share and you do too. If you’re sat their thinking, no one cares what you think then you’re wrong because you don’t know how people are going to react to what you have to say unless you take the leap and say it. I’m not saying you should be in polite and say anything on your mind, but you should definitely be scared to voice your opinion in class discussions, to ask the teacher for help, to talk to those people who you’re like sort-of-friends-with-but-do-they-really-lile-me-because-we’ve-only-talked-like-once because trust me, the worst thing that can happen is that someone decides not to reply to you which is their loss. Honestly, for the last few weeks I’ve made every effort to communicate with people around me as much as possible. I’ve joked around with my friends, I approached my teachers, I talked to people I don’t usually talk to, I met new people simply because I was engaged in conversation with my friends and other people decided to come and join in too, without knowing us. It was great. I felt so included and so, so much more confident as I kept reminding myself that it’s just talking and I talk to people every day so I don’t need to make a big deal out of it. Finding the confidence to be less shy and quiet is hard though, so if you need a little bit of help with this like I do, when you’re in class or in big groups of people, just try to focus on talking to one person at a time and pretend the others and their and that they don’t think twice about what you’re saying – or the fact you’re talking – because 9 times out of 10 they don’t.
2. Smiling makes you happy. FACT.
Okay I don’t know all the ~science-y~ stuff behind it, but I do know that we associate smiling with feeling happy and positive emotions. Therefore, I try to smile as much as possible to help me get into a better mindset. It probably sounds really cheesy, but honestly starting of each morning my smiling at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself you’re going to have a good day is a great way to start off the day. I don’t know about you butI often feel like my natural face is quite glum-looking and often I think this makes me less approachable as apposed to someone who smiles a lot, so I try to be as smile-y as possible at college to make me feel happier but also make myself appear happier so I feel more confident in myself and socialising.
3. Music makes the soul sing.
My sister has this quote on her bedroom door, and it’s so true. Sometimes I can get so caught up in work, I realise I haven’t listened to the radio or music on my phone for weeks, which is not good! When I listen to music, I genuinely feel a lot happier, relaxed and at ease. It’s something to take your mind off life, and you can let go a bit and sing along.to your favourite tunes. I’m not saying you should listen to music all the time because it might lose it’s effectiveness, but maybe next time your feeling a bit low, stick the radio on or trawl through Spotify, or even have music playing in the background when your studying.
4. Take life one day at a time.
I’ve always found this advice cliché and brushed it off as one of those things people say that doesn’t actually work, but really I’ve found it to be quite useful. By sort of compartmentalising days, it helps me to make sure each day is a little more positive than the previous. For example, if you have a bad day, that’s okay, but try to wake up with the mindset that tomorrow is a new day and you can live it out as if yesterday hadn’t happened, if that makes sense. Basically don’t let bad days blur into bad weeks or months.
5. Write out your thoughts.
When I was younger I used to use diaries to decode my thoughts and emotions, and find a way forward, but somewhere in my teenage years I decided to stop doing this and try to bottle things up, which is not good. I recently started bullet journalling, and I’ve found it to be a really helpful tool to get me to open up and write about my feelings, which I totally wasn’t expecting. Having a space where I can physically write things down allows me to declutter my mind, and I feel like my thoughts have somewhere to belong as my bullet journal is sort of documenting my journey through life. Obviously writing stuff down doesn’t have the same effect as talking to people about issues, but sometimes you don’t want to share everything that’s bothering you, and doing exercises like this can help to remind you that you are strong and have control over your emotions without having to rely on others for help.
6. Positive reminders are underrated.
Somehow through trawling through the internet last week, I discovered Shine Text, which is basically a “bot” that sends you positive reminds and strategies to meet a goal (which you set e.g. building confidence) every morning via message. You can either subscribe via text or Facebook messenger, and honestly it has made such a difference to my mental health already. I’ve learnt so much about how to better look after myself, and so many coping strategies, it’s great! Aside from that, it’s really nice to have little positive reminders each morning, as sometimes you’re too tired or stress to remind yourself to think positively. I’d highly recommend!
7. Give yourself something to look forward to each week.
Since starting year 13 I’ve been really working hard at making sure I have something planned each week that I can look forward to. That way, it’s easier to focus on something nice that will be happening that week and give yourself something to look forward to, and puts you in the mindset of rewarding yourself as you start to think “if I do this homework and that revision etc, I can do treat myself”. A few things I’ve done so far have been going shopping with friends, going to galleries and even just grabbing a coffee. This is also a really good tip as it makes sure you schedule in a time each week to relax and take your mind of things.
8. Celebrate your achievements, however small!
It’s so easy to overlook our successes, especially in school when your main focus is getting grades so everything else feels irrelevant,but the more you start to take notice and be proud of the little things you’ve overcome, the better you will feel. Sometimes it can be challenging to feel positive all the time but you should definitely make an effort to think about and recognise little positive things you do each day to give them value.
Well that’s all I can think of for now, but if you have any tips to share, please do so below! I’ll hopefully be posting more frequently now I’ve adjusted to my new timetable and the year 13 workload, so until the next time, goodbye!