Spring Cleaning: 2019 Mental Health Check-in

Earlier this semester I wrote an article entitled Language and Self-Image – Choosing to be Kinder to Myself in 2019. In the article, I discussed the negative impact that self-deprecating humor can have on our patterns of self-talk, and therefore our self-image. If you want to know more about that topic you can check out that article, but I also explained that my goal for 2019 was to continue the progress I had made in 2018 to be kinder to myself. Now that the semester is almost over, I feel like it’s time to check-in and talk about the difficulties and effects of practicing positivity.

Engaging in positive self-talk all the time can be super hard, and I found this to be especially true this semester. With classes and midterms and clubs and relationships, I found myself a little too overwhelmed a lot of the time. The exciting “newness” of college that lasted through the first semester seemed to wear off, and I found myself a lot more stressed than I had been in a while. I never totally lost sight of my goal to be kinder to myself in 2019, but sometimes it felt like the universe was actively trying to prevent my success. I found myself falling into old, unhealthy patterns of thought, and I wasn’t motivated enough to do anything about it. That’s why I decided for spring cleaning 2019, I needed to re-evaluate my mental health and clear out some of those thought patterns that had been holding me back.

As frustrating as it may be, there’s no “quick fix” that will help you practice positivity or self-care, and that is especially true when you’re not already in a good place. When I wrote my last article, I was super optimistic about the goal I had set out for myself. I may have underestimated how difficult it could be to change the thought patterns I had established, especially when I was stressed out and not taking care of myself.  However, I can definitely tell that the changes I’ve made in the language I use to talk about myself have had a positive impact on my life. While this semester has been difficult, I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if I hadn’t already been working to be kinder to myself. My worst moments this semester didn’t even come close to my worst moments last year, and I know that is at least in part due to the shift in the way I view and speak about myself.    

Self-love is a process, and even though it can be super difficult to practice, putting in the effort to be kinder to yourself can seriously impact how you view challenges in the future. This spring, I encourage you to add clearing out negative thought patterns to your spring-cleaning list!

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