A Year in Review
Is it just me, or did 2018 fly by?! I remember thinking that January felt three months long, but once February came, the rest of the year came and went in the blink of an eye.
A little bit about myself: I’m a blogger. I’m a mental health advocate who shares my story by blogging with the hope that in doing so, I can help others feel supported and not so alone. Last December, I put up a post titled: “2017 - A Year In Review”. It was harder than I expected it to be, but I remember feeling so pleased with the result.
Why did I write it?
Often, we are so quick to focus on the negatives in life. It is much easier to ruminate on the things that didn’t go as planned, or the situations that made us sad or angry or frustrated. But while it is important not to deny or work through such situations, it is equally important to practice shifting our focus from “what went wrong” to “what went right”.
While writing my year in review last year, I realized that I dealt with a lot of hardships. I lost someone who was close to me, my dad underwent an intensive and scary surgery, and I was in treatment for my eating disorder for most of the summer. But I also experienced many positives. I started a new job that left me fulfilled professionally, my best friend came to visit me, and I started my blog, a project that had been in the works for months.
My goal in telling you all of this is to encourage you to write your own year in review. It may not be easy, but it is a good exercise in recognizing how you were able to move past the hardships. And, it may also allow you to write down and think about all of the best parts of 2018. Whether or not you share your year in review is up to you, but I truly find the process therapeutic.
Here are a few suggestions:
Write down all 12 months on a piece of paper or a Word document, leaving enough space between the months to fill in the important moments and milestones.
Brainstorm and fill in each month with the events, both positive and negative, that happened in 2018.
If you get stuck, take a look at the pictures on your phone (each picture is usually marked with the day it was taken) or the posts you have made each month on social media to give you an idea of what happened during the year.
With the colour of your choice, highlight all of the positive or important moments each month. In doing so, you will be able to look back at all the “good”!
If you’re feeling comfortable, you can colour code the hardships in a different colour. This will allow you to see what was difficult, but it will also allow you to see that you were able to go through hardships and still, in essence, survive.
Like I mentioned above, such an exercise is incredibly therapeutic. It is a combination of celebrating the good times and recognizing that despite the hard times, we are capable of so much. I haven’t written my 2018 year in review yet, but I plan on doing so in the next couple of days. Will you write one this year?
Here is an excerpt from my 2017 Year In Review:
How would I characterize 2017, as a whole? Well, it was full of ups but also full of downs. I told this to my therapist a couple weeks ago and she said, "Meghan, that's life!". There are always highs and lows, no matter who you are, and no matter what year it is.
If you’re interested, here is the link to my 2017 year in review:
Let me know what you think! You can always find me on Instagram at @meghanturnbull