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Since the New Year is still relatively new, it is a very common time to self-reflect. I like to journal, so on January 1st I reflected on all that I’ve done and accomplished (I actually wrote a list of things I accomplished throughout the year that I was proud of) and posted an entry on my personal blog about my year. I also wrote down some goals I want to focus on this year.

I’ve been feeling like I’m in a bit of a slump these past two months – I didn’t really talk about it too much because I try to keep this outlet positive, but after an inspirational speech from my boyfriend I realized the next day that I needed to take a more serious look at what’s keeping me down and what I can do about it. I knew what accumulation of things resulted in me that way, but writing them down made them easier to understand and remember. My negative feelings have been a result of starting a new job that I really disliked, having minimal contact with friends, barely exercising and eating more unhealthy foods.  On the other side of the paper I wrote down the solutions, within my control, for these problems I was encountering. Writing it all down made it look so much more simple to accomplish: quit my job, find more activities to do on my own so I don’t feel lonely as often, force myself to go to the gym and eat healthier.

I’m not sure if this was all a coincidence or not, but after all of this happened and I started taking action, I felt so much better. The New Year is an occasion that gets people to reflect about their past year, but self-reflection should become a regular routine. It’s good to make mental notes (or to physically make note) about things that make you feel happy, angry, what you like doing, don’t like, your accomplishments, what you do well and what you need work on. Don’t forget about the goals you set on New Year’s Day; check up on them every month to see how you’re doing. Even set regular goals throughout the year to focus on during different times. Our mental health is something that can be evaluated by ourselves anytime, anywhere, so why does it get so neglected?

About Elena B.

Elena is a 21 year-old college student, sales associate, and volunteer living with depression and generalized & social anxiety. Formally diagnosed with social anxiety in high school, Elena has struggled with it for the majority of her life. During her first year of university she experienced high levels of anxiety and had her first major depressive episode, which was followed by another the following year. Since then she has been recovered and focuses on her recovery daily. She currently runs a tumblr blog, where she shares inspirational quotes, images, and tips to help others with their recovery. Follow Elena’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog.

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