2019, as with any year that has passed, consisted of both high and low moments. At the start of the year I celebrated my 22nd birthday surrounded by friends and family, moved into a one bedroom flat with my boyfriend and got offered a promotion at my current job. I travelled to two new countries, attended seven concerts and visited two new places in the UK. At the end of the year I got offered a Band 5 Physiotherapy job in an excellent NHS Trust.
However, I also had my fair share of lows. As many of you are aware, I suffer from both anxiety and depression and there were definitely moments last year when I was certain that my mental health was never going to get better. Self-doubt also played a large role in 2019 and I thought that I was never going to get offered a Physiotherapy job.
2019 was a year of change, not just physically but mentally too. There were several lessons that I learnt throughout the year that will stay with me in the years to come. I have chosen five of the most important lessons that I learnt last year to share below and Chloe, who this post is in collaboration with, will be sharing her most important five lessons that she learnt last year on her blog too.
You will never feel ready
It will always feel as if there is more you could, should, want or need to do, however, sometimes you just have to accept that you have done your best and move on. Perfection is a hard skill to unlearn but sometimes it is necessary for progression to occur. I put off applying for a Physiotherapy job for several months because I was convinced that there was going to be a point when a switch would flick in my mind and suddenly I would be ready to start applying but honestly sometimes you have to trust that you are ready, even when you do not feel like you are.
Happiness is not for sale
Happiness cannot be found in material items that you purchase in a shop. Material items may fill the void temporarily but ultimately, the feeling will pass and you will be left feeling empty again, searching for something else to fill the void.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness
We are surrounded by information with regards to wellness from medical professionals to personal trainers to nutritionists, all who will tell you that their approach to wellness is the best and the most effective. But do we truly believe that one diet or exercise programme can work in the same way for everyone?! Especially when considering food allergies and intolerances, can we safely suggest that one diet is going to help everyone feel their best?! 2019 was a year of experimentation with regards to wellness, finding out what diet and exercise programme works best for me, regardless of what works best for those around me.
One of the best ways to learn is to simply start
I am definitely guilty of procrastinating on learning a new skill because I am afraid of looking stupid. But the truth is that everyone was a beginner at one point and if you never start to learn, then you will never find out whether this is a skill you can master. We are fortunate enough to have a wealth of information at our fingertips if one is only brave enough to start.
Mental illness truly is invisible
Being a sufferer of both anxiety and depression, I am aware of the symptoms that I experience and the coping mechanisms that I use. These symptoms and coping mechanisms are not invisible unlike the illness and sometimes I feel as if everyone must know about my struggle with my mental health. But when someone I saw on an almost daily basis took their life earlier this year, I realised just how invisible mental illness and its symptoms truly are. We are all so worried about ourselves and what we look like to those around us that we do not notice other people’s coping mechanisms. This highlights just how important it is to take care of those around you as they truly might be fighting a battle you know nothing about.
What is the biggest lesson you learnt in 2019?