Tag Archives: mental health

Reflecting on 2018 and Looking Ahead to 2019

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by. 2018 was a very long and difficult year for me, but now that it’s over, I can look back on it with appreciation. It was filled with many ups and downs, but I learned a lot, and for that I am grateful.

Some things I learned this past year:

  • I need to stop pushing myself more than I can handle. I had some serious mental health issues this year because of pressure from school and pressure that I’ve put on myself, and it made me realize that I need to stop trying to be a perfect student and prioritize my mental health over everything, even school.
  • I need to be more open with my loved ones about the issues I’m facing. My mental health issues got so bad that I realized that I had to tell someone about them. I opened up to my parents, my boyfriend, and my doctor, and it helped a lot. Just being able to talk about what I was going through and have people supporting me made a massive difference, and I hope to continue to be open about these issues.
  • Not all friends last forever. I recently lost the last of my friends from my first year of university. Though I had slowly lost touch with most of them before this, it still sucked because it forced me to acknowledge that that part of my life is over, and that the people who I thought would be my friends for life actually weren’t. Though I still look back fondly on my memories with them, I know that those friendships wouldn’t have worked long-term and that I will find true, lasting friendships in the future.

While I went through a lot of tough times last year, I also had some really positive experiences:

  • I finished my third year of university, making me more than halfway through my degree.
  • I went back to my old job and I’m really enjoying it. It’s fun and interesting, and I love my coworkers.
  • I moved into a one-bedroom apartment and got to experience the thrill of having my own place and not worrying about a roommate.
  • I made a lot of friends, and I’ve become very close to some of them. I haven’t had many close friends in Vancouver over the past few years, so it’s nice to finally have met some people with whom I have a great connection.
  • I started this blog, which has been super fun and has encouraged me to get back into writing.

2018 was a very mixed year, but I am looking forward to 2019. I’m much happier than I was a year ago, and I think this will be a good year for me. I don’t have any concrete resolutions, because I absolutely never follow through with them, but I do have a few small-ish goals that I would like to accomplish.

  1. I want to eat less red meat (sorry, Mom!). It’s partly because I am a huge animal lover and feel super guilty eating meat, particularly that of very smart and/or affectionate animals like cows, and partly because animal agriculture is a major cause of global warming, and I want to help reduce its impact. I’m not going vegetarian, as I am a very picky eater as it is, but I am hoping that I can eat less or even no red meat (and maybe less meat in general) to do my part to help save the planet.
  2. I’ve been saying this forever, but I want to exercise. It’s partly because I want to get in shape and be physically healthy, partly because I want to improve the look of my body so I can be less insecure about it, and partly because physical exercise helps improve mental health, which is something that I want to work on this year.
  3. This is kind of lame, but I’d like to be more social. I am very introverted and I have a busy schedule because of school, but I want to devote more time to maintaining the amazing friendships I’ve made in the past year, and I think spending more time with friends and less time worrying about school will be good for me.
  4. I want to read more. I’ve barely read anything for fun since I started university, but I have literal piles of unread books on my bookshelves, and I want to actually get around to reading some of them this year. It can be hard to motivate myself to do it, especially because I have to read so much for class that it can sometimes take the fun out of it, but I really want to make an effort this year. Over the winter break, I finally got around to reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and it reinvigorated my love of reading, so I’d like to continue pleasure reading, even if it’s just in the summer when I have more free time.
  5. Lastly, I’d like to write more. I’ve loved writing posts for this blog, and I’d like to continue it for as long as possible. I also want to do some creative writing, which is my true passion but which I have not done for years. I constantly write down potential novel or screenplay ideas, but I never manage to follow through and completely plan them out, let alone write them, so this year I’d like to do some creative writing.

I am looking forward to (hopefully) accomplishing most of my goals this year, as long as I stay motivated. What are some of your goals for 2019? Since I posted this so late (sorry!), have you had any success with those goals so far?

Journaling is my Cathartic Release

Without spoiling any details, or verbosely repeating myself in the essay we have due next week, this week’s blog post will focus on how journaling, writing, and being more involved in the blogosphere has helped throughout the transition I’ve been discussing this entire semester.

I’ve always enjoyed writing stories and developing creative pieces, however writing in an argumentative style or expressive logical reasoning would, if I can suggest, be my strong suit. Moreover, I would attest that talking face to face with someone is far easier and more enjoyable for me than having to write something- let alone share it online… Whether it’s an argument on an essay topic or telling someone how my day was, I would prefer to do so verbally. Yet, ever since the idea of leaving football behind and starting this new journey, I’ve found it hard to precisely express how I’ve felt and I’d get tired of people repeatedly asking me why I quit. ReRouted has given me an outlet to express myself in a way that I didn’t know was really possible. As such, this post explores the cathartic release made possible through blogging/journaling.

Being more involved in blogging has shown me that although my situation may feel unique to me as I experience it in a personal silo, many others have shared experiences of retiring from sports and leaving something that you have loved, known and been comfortable with for so long. In this, or this, and especially this, you can find articles and posts from others who also report on and/or share this feeling. Likewise, here is a small sampling of useful sources to cope with mental health issues that are both related and indirectly related to the experiences one may encounter through any change they face.

Mental Health Resource Mashable

HealthLink BC

Kelty Mental Health

National Institute of Mental Health

Simon Fraser University Counselling

University of British Columbia Counselling

Mental Health Canada

Mental health is not new, but in the short time I’ve been able to understand what it is exactly, there does seem to be a growing body of work, services and research directed at bringing awareness to it. While I attempt to be mindful of how I feel, I’m not always that introspective; however, throughout the process of blogging, I do feel as though I have brought forth my voice into writing. I know that I did enter this blog with the purpose of detailing my experience in facing change, and with that there would potentially be some emotional issues that required confrontation, but the extent to which I have utilized this space to vent has been entirely cathartic and has highlighted some important  aspects of my past, present and future that are uplifting, motivation and worthy of reflection. ReRouted has been a sacred space for me to develop, document and instill a sense of passion for myself, but also for anyone else who may have interest in doing the same. It has been a place to bleed my questions, concerns and dreams, while also providing countless opportunities to learn new skills, preoccupy myself with tasks and be enthralled with artistic elements that normally wouldn’t be so interesting to me.

All in all, I believe I have given a lot in terms of effort through weekly posts and assignments, but ReRouted has offered me just as much in serving as a mic for a voice that was once not ready to speak, particularly in the context to which I am writing about; me. Next week marks the final post for this course, so stay tuned for some further reflections, questions and insights, and regardless of it marking the end of a blog guided by a university course, the process will unfold published or not…