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Wellness

Ways I’m Improving My Life — and How You Can, Too

Everyone always says that new goals should wait until the next year; however, I have to disagree. New goals can begin at any point, which is why I’m starting to work toward mine now.

So if you’re wanting change, here are some methods that I’m using to improve my life, and maybe they’ll help you, too.

Learn a new language

While this might not be for everyone, I’ve found that working in another language is fun. If you looked at my Duolingo, you’d see that Norwegian is my current obsession, and it feels great. Unlike my Spanish minor, I can choose when and where I start practicing Norwegian, and there’s no greater freedom than choosing how you learn.

Go outside

I never realized how important going outside was until I noticed that my anxiety was getting worse from staying inside too long. The best way I’ve found to do this is by incorporating walks into my daily schedule. When I lived off-campus, I took the time to wake up early and walk the Huckleberry Trail. The fresh air and roaming sheep can make you feel centered. When I’m on campus, Hahn Garden is a beautiful spot to visit during the day. If you’re more of a nighttime walker, I’d suggest sticking near your apartment or dorm and letting a close friend know where you’ll be walking. Safety is still key.

Take breaks from social media

Social media breaks are something I started implementing over the summer, and my mental health has benefited immensely. Whenever you start to notice yourself spending more and more time on Instagram or TikTok, decide on a time to log out of your account and work on keeping it that way for however long is comfortable. As for me, I spent almost all summer logged out of my personal account, and I’ve taken plenty of time this semester to detox from Instagram, too.

Set goals

Maybe one of the previous tips can be a goal, or maybe you have something else you want to strive toward. Setting goals can give you a clear guide as to what you’re working toward. Maybe it’s working out three times a week or learning a new instrument; either way, you’re setting yourself up for success by defining the goal you want to reach.

Go to therapy

Okay, this is a new one. However, I feel that it’s important for self-improvement. Often, we can feel that therapy is only for when we’re “broken;” however, therapy can be for anything: big events, small events, mental health struggles, or general advice. As someone who’s been to therapy before and is continuing it, I’ve always loved therapy because of its versatility and usefulness. Some on campus resources include TimelyCare, Cook Counseling, and embedded counselors. If you’re looking for a therapist off-campus, check out the New River Valley Community Resources.

Break bad habits

This is probably the hardest thing to do, but it can change your whole life. Whether it’s working on your coping mechanisms for difficult situations or making yourself go to class, breaking habits that hold you back can lead to big changes. Personally, I’ve decided to focus on how I handle my anxiety and use journaling as a way to help with intrusive thoughts.

Self-improvement and self-care aren’t easy, and they don’t always come as face masks and manicures. Sometimes they’re getting up for therapy when you’d rather sleep in or learn to break the habits you’ve learned as a child. However difficult, it’s worth it in the long run.

Madi Armstrong

Virginia Tech '23

Madi Armstrong is a senior studying multimedia journalism with minors in Spanish and creative writing. Through writing, she hopes to empower those around her to advocate for what they believe in and to use their experiences in ways to help others. Proud to be part of Her Campus, she hopes to leave a lasting impact and create an environment where everyone feels welcome.
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