What have I learned from 2016?

The end of another year and the beginning of the next are upon us again. It hardly seems like any time since this happened last year. Admittedly last year it all seemed a bit of a blur, as W was just under 4 months and I was still in that sleep-starved haze (which never seems to have gone away!) With another year over, I have found myself thinking about just what has happened or what has been achieved during the last twelve months. If I am being honest life has been so busy that it’s whizzed past and I seem to have achieved nothing substantial. With the way things have been lately I should probably just be grateful that I’m still (almost) standing now that we’ve reached the end. 

It’s been another busy year; working, looking after the kids, learning new things about J and his needs, celebrating W’s first birthday and seeing her grow from a helpless little baby into a cheeky and vivacious little girl who knows her own mind, seeing B start school, going back to work after maternity leave and various illnesses and injuries along the way.

It’s amazing how long a year can seem and yet pass so quickly. You can do so much and at times feel like you have achieved so little. My own health has definitely been a bit poorer than I would wish this past year and it’s something I need to make a conscious effort to improve in 2017. I’ve had quite a bit of trouble with my back and hips, especially in the last month or so. This effects how I can help J and what I can do with all of the children. I still have to do most of the things I did before, it’s just a lot more difficult and painful at times. 

I’m not a big fan of the ‘New Year new you’ stuff and don’t often make resolutions, possibly because I know I won’t really stick to them. After the year that 2016 has been for me I feel it’s a good time to challenge myself to improve my health – physically and mentally. I think feeling sore or restricted has also had a negative effect on my wellbeing and I need this to improve too. I’m heavier than I think I’ve ever been, my fitness levels are terrible and even my skin is showing the strain!

This week my subscriber update email from The Mighty came and it related to making resolutions, taking better care of yourself. The section that interested me was the 30-day challenge. It’s aimed at promoting self-care. The article discusses other health kicks and workouts etc, highlighting that although these seem great in theory it can be difficult to stick to or participate depending upon your own circumstances. People with chronic illnesses etc can be unable to maintain fitness regimes or carry out specific exercises and this isn’t factored into these kind of programmes in any way. 

Although I don’t have a chronic illness; working full time, running around after the kids, caring for J and supporting his development all mean that I have very limited time for ‘self-care’ or fitness regimes. Fitting something else into our already full and busy lives is virtually impossible. To make a resolution like this would only be to set myself up to fail. The suggestion for the thirty day mighty challenge for January was to write a journal for the next 30 days. This is something that has been suggested to me before and I also remember reading a post on another blog about the benefits of journaling. 

I know I have a lot to do to improve my health and it will be a process which won’t happen overnight. I also know that journaling isn’t a weight loss diet, it’s not the exercise or fitness I so badly need and it won’t fix my back. I think it’s a good place to start though; to work through how I feel, why I want/need to make changes, what those changes should be, how I can make them easily slot into the day-to-day and to record how I feel along the way. It should be something I can fit in during a coffee break or for 5-10 minutes once the kids are finally asleep. 

My hope is that it will sort my thinking and instil a more positive attitude to improving my health. I hope that this will mean I’m more invested in it and that it will be more likely to succeed. Maybe I’m hoping for a little too much but if nothing else, recording my thoughts will mean making a little time for myself and reflecting on my feelings to process them a bit better. It will help me to vent frustrations and recognise the good things that happen. 

In getting back to the original point of my post, I guess what I have learned from 2016 is that I’ve not been taking care of myself. I’ve put the needs of my family above my own, as I’m sure all parents do. Though I think it’s more than that, I haven’t just put their needs above mine, I’ve neglected my own feelings, needs and care entirely. As a result my health has paid the price and I’ve realised I need to sort it before it’s too late. After all, if I’m too run down and neglected by myself, I won’t be able to properly look after anyone!

Has anyone tried journaling already and found any benefits? What kinds of things do you record and do you find it helps?

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6 thoughts on “What have I learned from 2016?

  1. I’m not usually one for resolutions either, but I’m being a total cliche this year and starting a new healthy eating and exercise plan for January 😉 It’s more of a coincidental timing though ha! I hope your 2017 is wonderful.

    Stevie x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I read your post and it helped finally make my mind up. Everywhere I turned and many things I read related to health and well being, took it as a sign to start to sort myself out this year! Will be following your progress and finding inspiration (no pressure though x) xx

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  2. Hello! I think this is a great idea! I’ve kept a journal for as long as I can remember but over the years not always written in it as frequently as I think I should. However, in the last few months I’ve used it loads and genuinely think it has helped me a lot. Definitely do it! I’m going to do your January challenge too and write a little every day! x x

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    1. I managed day one and actually wrote quite a bit. Think it helped. Sometimes there are things you don’t want to tell other people or you feel might worry or burden them, it’s good to have an outlet. It feels like getting it off your chest a bit. Hope you enjoy the January challenge! Thanks for reading x

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  3. I like to say goals for the year. To me resolutions are more for something you declare that is entirely new or different. I did make one resolution last year and that was to meditate everyday. That was new for me but I knew it was something I needed to do in order to handle this stressful autism life. I actually wake up early just so I have this time. But I digress.
    There’s a product called the 5 minute journal. It’s more for mindfulness and gratitude so I’m not sure if that’s what you want. I’ve never been able to keep up with a journal. If I tried one though it would be the 5 minute journal. Good luck this year!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Meditation sounds good, I know the importance of making time to do certain things. I’m just not very good st making the time. Will certainly have a look into the 5 minute journal, sounds good. Thanks for reading.

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