Managing Change And Wellbeing In 2020

Managing Change And Wellbeing In 2020

The 2010s were one big decade. While many things have been changing in our world, lots of personal change has happened for Katherine too. She looks back at her experiences with mental health and sets intentions to take another year in her stride.

If the subject of mental health raises any concerns for you, please contact the relevant support services listed here.

It was 2018 that marked the first year that I sought help for my mental wellbeing, and 2019 was the year that I started really understanding why I needed that help and what to do with it. In some ways, 2020 scares me. It feels like I’m coming into this new year and new decade alone. Not without support so much as alone in my head. 

For the first time, my own voice is the predominant one that I hear. In the past this voice was meek and quiet, lingering in the back of the shadows, speaking up occasionally and getting frustrated and upset when it was seemingly ignored. She wasn’t strong enough to bully her way to the front, to push the voices of my anxiety and eating disorders out of the way and say “hey, this is my space”. Now I am loud, for the most part anyway, and it kind of scares me.

There can be a comfort in knowing that there is someone else commanding you, like the actions you take or the paths you choose aren’t really your own and so you cannot ever be held entirely accountable for them. Coming into 2020 I’m 100% accountable for my actions.

Intentions over resolutions

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I decided to pick an intention for the year. I chose the word ‘imagine’, and I’m hoping to let that intention guide me through whatever change 2020 decides is necessary.

I’m a creative person, so imagine can be taken on a very literal level. Imagine what worlds I can create through my storytelling, or what characters I can dream up with a pen and paper. 

However, I also want to use imagine to get me through some less literal things. Continuing to work through my anxiety, for example. Although I feel like I’ve made huge strides with my mental health over the years, it’s certainly not a linear journey. I think those that struggle with mental health will always need extra precautions in place. 

Often my anxiety takes a hold of me when my mind can’t picture another alternative to a frightening scenario. Remembering to ‘imagine’ opens up my mind to consider other outcomes.

I’ve begun previous years feeling great with a ‘perfect’ list of resolutions and goals, only to be upended almost immediately by unpredicted events. 

I’ve been so rigid in my thinking that it’s been near impossible to work through change in a positive mindset and I’ve ended up losing opportunities because I’ve been too scared to let go of something that really, is already gone.

A year of rolling with my mental health

My hope for this year, with having a much less concrete purpose, is that I’ll be free to roll with the punches.

I’ll actually let the change open new doors for me, rather than running ahead to slam them shut. I still have goals, of course, things I want to achieve, but I have faith that if they don’t happen exactly how I’ve hoped, that something better will surface from the rubble. 

And if it doesn’t…if I’m cut down, time and time again, by things out of my control, well that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? It’s out of my control.

We can spend our time worrying constantly about the future and whether or not it will turn out as we envisioned, or we can just buckle up and get on with it.

Imagine what might happen in the next 12 months if we just own it and let go. After all, as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

If the subject of mental health raises any concerns for you, please contact the relevant support services listed here.