My 2018 Highlights and Lowlights

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The end of 2018 saw in lots of Instagram stories of 2018 highlights, many many of them. It’s a lovely idea and has been around in many formats before Instagram stories. It’s a great way to share and reminisce about the wonderful things that happened in the year. And to think positively about the year ahead. For bloggers it’s also a way to share your brand and summarise some of your year for new followers. I completely get it, I read so many of the posts myself and considered posting. But I decided to write this instead.

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Sharing highlights from the year is a carefully curated selection of moments from the year that are generally positive. However in the wold of perfectly themed Instagram pages I feel that in a way, for some readers and followers, it can be a little negative in relation to mental health. The flurry of amazing things so many wonderful people did last year, however interesting and inspiring they intended to be, could lead to a negative feeling. It might make others feel like they haven’t achieved enough, they haven’t travelled enough, they haven’t read enough, they haven’t become healthy enough and so on.

On the flip side, the people sharing the highlights might have had a really tough year and wanted to highlight the positive things to look back on. Actually a way that those with depression and anxiety can help with their mood, to write down positive thoughts and events to revisit later.

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New Look Jacket and Boots
Topshop Skirt

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There is no right or wrong when it comes to sharing positive events from the year, at all. But I thought of those who might not take the flow of beautiful images, events and achievements so well. This is for all of you that had a negative thought about your year, my highlights and low lights:

I was signed off work long term with anxiety.

I was given medication and then told to stop it and then told I shouldn’t have stopped it *heavy eye roll*.

I made a very difficult decision and quit Primary School teaching.

I went to Budapest for the second time with my boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend, I love that place!

I gave up on driving lessons.

My cat, my little baby that moved to London with me from my family home, got ill suddenly and had to be put down.

I was lucky enough to be there and comfort my cat while he passed away on my lap.

I went to Canada for two weeks with my boyfriend to visit a friend.

I was removed from an online CBT course because “I wasn’t interested” In reality I missed 2 sessions across 2 week’s  (one of which was while on holiday which I warned the therapist about in advance) sigh

I went to two weddings.

I attended and event with Joe Blogs, wrote a blog post that won me a new laptop.

I was unemployed for a month and applied to about 40 jobs.

I went to see Beyonce and Jay Z with my mum and sisters.

I got interviews from 3 companies all in one week.

I was offered a job on the day of my first interview and took it.

Two of my best friends got engaged!

My new salary was a significant drop and I had to adjust.

I adopted two cats from the RSPCA.

Months later, my anxiety came back and I started having panic attacks again.

I went to see Sasha Velour, Naomi Smalls and Milk at a drag show in London.

I joined a gym to start exercise in preparation for my SAD to kick in and help with my anxiety.

I got to see all of my family back in Nottingham for Christmas.

Although there have been plenty of negative things that happened throughout my year, not all mentioned above, I can also look at these things and see that I overcame them. I can see that with negative there usually comes a positive so I can use lists like this if I have a difficult time again.

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Now onto 2019.

My advice for those of you that might have felt that their year was in some way inadequate in comparison to others is not to focus too much on New Year’s resolutions! Sometimes people set unrealistic goals that end up not being met and feel like a failure. I mean, loads of people joke about how they won’t stick to their “New Year Resolution”. It’s like a forced task that we do because of the start of the New Year. Which to me, personally, isn’t much different to the start of a new month or a new week. Resolutions and goals should be set any time of year and should be realistic. Veganuary is an amazing idea but don’t pressure yourself. Starting the gym might be a goal but do you need to go to the gym any more than you did on 30th December? Start with something small, like clearing out some of your wardrobe and choosing some pieces to donate to a charity or shelter of some kind.

My 2018 has had some ups and some downs. I have targets such as eating healthier, going to the gym and reading more but these were my targets last year and I’m taking my time to get there. Which is absolutely fine by me.

Chelsea Jade