How I Intend to Have a Happier 2016 | Wellbeing

an open watercolour set sits next to a sketchbook with the words 'let's make 2016 our best year' written in purple and pink watercolours

It’s my goal, every new year, to make this one better than the last – because, well, who doesn’t want to improve on that one crucial thing?
2015 was a complete rollercoaster, for me, but I did my best to enjoy every moment of the highs, and try not to stew on the lows, too much, and I figured I’d share some of the ways I tried to make myself a little more positive, for 2015, and new things I’m trying out for the year ahead.

Disclaimer: I know this should go without saying, but I am not, in any way, suggesting you can ‘out-think’ depression (or any mental health issue, for that matter). I believe letting go of some negative behaviours can help us, in our day-to-day lives, but if you’re suffering from any mental health problem, there’s always going to be a lot of your mood that you can’t control. 

Easier said than done, I know, but ‘comparison is the thief of joy’, and I think we’re all a little guilty of this one. Whether you’re comparing your professional success to that of someone in your graduating class, comparing your follower count to another bloggers’, or comparing what you can see of someone’s happiness to your own, it’s a dangerous trap to fall into. No matter how close you are to someone, or how much of their life you think you can see, you’ll never know the things that keep them up at night, and you’ll never see more than they want you to.
I’m terrible for this; ‘oh wow, her life’s so glamourous, and I’m sat here in my sweatpants at 5pm on a Saturday’…as if it’s a competition.
Let’s stop being so hard on ourselves, eh?
..on social media, that is; although, I’d also encourage you to put down the night-vision goggles.
I always try not to do this, because I think there’s often a huge discrepancy between how a person wants to be perceived on Twitter or Instagram, and how they are in real life. How many times has a single Tweet changed your opinion of a person? Now what if it was that charming guy from work, or that funny girl on the same course as you? That couldve been a great friendship that you’ve now turned yourself off of, and all for the sake of a sentence they fired off late one night, and have since forgotten all about. For 2016, I’m banning myself from going near anyone’s social media until I’ve gotten to know them in the ‘real world’.
Definitely didn’t start doing my best Elsa impersonation as I typed that. At all. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at not holding a grudge, but in reality, the Italian in me can be pretty good at letting someone know when they’re in her bad books. For 2016, I’m trying to learn to let go of a little more; we’re all human, and people make mistakes. You don’t have to be best friends with someone who’s hurt you, but you’re only damaging yourself if you continue to hold on to the anger surrounding it.
Speaking of people who’ve hurt you, 2015 was a big year for me in terms of learning to cut some of the negative energy out of my life, and letting go of some relationships that weren’t doing me any good. Sometimes, you grow apart from people, and that’s okay – but fighting it, trying to make it something it’s not, and getting upset or angry with the other person because neither of you want the same things or have much in common anymore…that’s not. It’s no one’s fault if a relationship or friendship doesn’t work, any more, but if it’s a source of negativity, I’d strongly recommend taking a step back, so you can be civil, at least. You deserve people in your life that help you grow and flourish, and there’s nothing wrong with knowing that.

This is definitely something I was really trying to focus on for the last half of 2015, and something I definitely want to be much better at in 2016. I obviously can’t speak for all of you, but I know that for me, when things get hard or stressful, I have a tendency to shut myself away from everyone, make excuses in my head for why I shouldn’t do things…I’ve even managed to cancel an interview because I was so nervous beforehand that I threw up. A lot. My main focus for 2016 is to go out on a limb, more.

What do you intend to do in 2016 to make it your best year, ever?

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