5 Things I’m Grateful For This July (2021)

It may be a few days into August, but it’s never too late to look back on the previous month and think about what went well and what I really appreciated.

I’d love to hear what you’re feeling grateful for too, so feel free to share in the comments


Going Into The Work Office

Despite having started my job 6 months ago, I only properly went into the office to meet everyone and get my allocated desk this month! It was a really strange experience – one that I’m sure many others who have started jobs in the pandemic have faced – but I really enjoyed being there in person and it felt like everything sort of came together in my head in terms of work and people and getting that exposure to other areas of the business. Next month, I’ll be in the office full time and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes! [update: I’m really enjoying it and much prefer it to remote working!]

Time Away From My Phone

Now that we can make more plans to see people in the UK, I’ve really enjoyed getting out and about, from meeting friends for lunch or going out of my comfort zone to try clay pigeon shooting. It’s meant that I haven’t really felt the need to use my phone as much, because I’ve loved being in the present moment and appreciating the moment and company, rather than directing my energy towards the online world. It has, of course, meant I’ve fallen a little behind on blogging again, but I’m glad I haven’t let that stress me out. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and I know I’ll always fall back here when I do have a moment to write.

Welcoming A Hedgehog Family To Our Garden!

Earlier this month, we were sitting around just living life when suddenly we spotted a hedgehog in our garden. We’d never seen one previously, so it was a bit of a shock, but so lovely to see it scrambling about amongst the plants! It kept appearing at random times during the day, like at midday or 10 at night. Then, one evening, we realised it had a little baby trailing after it, and there was another adult hedgehog too, so now we have 3! It’s funny how such small, little creatures like this can bring a lot of unexpected joy and excitement, and it’s been really fun spotting them at any given opportunity. Next mission it to try and give them some hedgehog food!

Going To A Baking Class

This month I finally used my Christmas voucher to go to a baking class! Since starting a new job and lockdown easing, I haven’t given much time to cooking/baking outside of evening meals, so it was really nice to have dedicated time towards it. I could suggest 2 options to bake, so I thought I’d pick something a little different to what I’ve made before. The first was chocolate eclairs, because they’re one of my favourite desserts. The second was cinnamon buns. It was a really enjoyable day and so nice to take so many baked goods home! I’m really grateful for such a great Christmas present and that the lady who ran the class put together those personalised recipes for us to make. I’m looking forward to making them again.

Treated Myself To Some New Books!

Although I’ve definitely done less reading this month than usual, since things have been busier, I did treat myself to some new books using my Waterstones voucher which is always exciting. I bought Becoming by Michelle Obama, as I’ve heard many great things about it, but this one was bought on more of a whim, which is sometimes the best way! I also got The Courage to be Disliked, which is set out like a play as it is an interesting philosophical discussion. I don’t normally buy hardbacks, but my favourite author Matt Haig released his new book The Comfort Book, so I decided to go for it and buy the signed hardback edition of that too, which I totally don’t regret because I’m reading a page or two every morning and it’s great inspiration and motivation for the day ahead.

What are you grateful for this month?

Let me know in the comments below.


Gratitude In A Crisis [Guest Post by The Autistic Panda]

This week I’d like to share a guest post by my friend The Autistic Panda! We’ve been friends for such a long time, since we were 13, and she was the person who initially convinced me to create my blog, so I’m super grateful for her friendship.

And, on the topic of gratitude, she’s here to share her personal thoughts on how gratitude has helped her deal with depression and low moments in her life. I think it’s a really inspiring post and I can’t wait for everyone to read it.

Plus, don’t forget to check out her blog over here and give her a follow 🙂


I’ve suffered with depression for a long time and it is hard to get those negative thoughts out of my mind. I’ve often felt like I’m hanging by a thread in my life, but someone is always there to remind me about the good that surrounds me, and I thought I’d share some ways I’ve learned to appreciate my life.

It took a while to open up to the idea of gratitude at first because, when you’re depressed, nothing seems to make sense. But eventually, I realised that there are some positive parts of my life and I always cling to that positivity when I’m deeply sad.

I have an amazing mum, who cherishes me and I am so grateful to her. I have pets, who need me to be there for them. I am grateful for the many licks they give me, the many times they remind me to stay alive, even if they don’t realise it. I have a future, even if it seems bleak when I’m in the depths of depression. That future is vast and beautiful, even if I don’t see it right now. I just want to remind you that you have a future too, even if you can’t see it. We all do.

I am grateful for existence itself, as the gift of life has allowed me to meet many amazing people, animals, and explore interesting places. Whilst sometimes I hate the very thought of existing, I have realised lately just how cool it is. To be alive, right now, in this tiny span of time, is pretty awesome in my opinion. We may be specks of dust in comparison to the universe, but we have the power of imagination and creativity. That allows me to feel like I’m more than a speck of dust, I’m a galaxy, and you are too. Our own bodies are so interesting and unique, it is almost like we are our own galaxy.

Remembering the good things in life allows me to realise that I have a reason for existing. I have a purpose, even if I do not see it. That purpose is lost in the planet that is my brain; it is just one small atom amongst billions, but it is there, and it is just as important as the other atoms. You have to do a bit of searching, looking through a telescope, but you will find that purpose. Just you wait. You’re important, for you build up the universe just as much as anyone else. The universe would be boring without you.

Gratitude is just one of the ways I keep myself alive when I’m feeling like I don’t want to be, but it certainly helps. When you feel like everyone hates you, and that no one wants you there, it is easy to forget that your mind is a mischievous place. It sets up traps, trying to lure you into the darkness, but you can remember what’s real. Stay grounded. Remembering all the things people have actually said to me, rather than what my mind told me they’d say, makes me realise that they do care, and I’m grateful for that. No one is any more important than you; our value is the same. Forget what you’ve told yourself and remember what’s good in life, however small, because small things do matter. Whenever you think you’re small and don’t matter, remember that I said you do. You matter a lot, just like how bees are small, yet their role in the world is so vital. Your role in the world is vital too. I’m grateful that you exist.

Thank you so much for reading this,

The Autistic Panda

I hope you enjoyed reading this guest post from The Autistic Panda and that it added some positivity to your day.

What strategy do you use to help you overcome your low moments?

Let’s share some wellbeing tips in the comments below.


5 Things I’m Grateful For This May and June (2021)

Since I didn’t get around to writing a gratitude post for May, I’ve decided to combine the last 2 months!

As always, feel free to share what you’re grateful for this month in the comments below too.


Appreciating Nature

Over the last couple months, I’ve spent a lot more time outside as the weather has got nicer and lockdown has slowly been eased. From coastal Cornwall walks, to walking home in the rain (with a wet pizza box!), to relaxing in the garden in the sun, I’ve really enjoyed getting out in the fresh air and making the most of my time away from screens. Nature has such a great impact on wellbeing and is one of my favourite ways to reset the mind, which leads onto my next point…

Taking A Break Away

In mid May, I took the first holiday I’ve taken in such a long time (due to covid) and travelled to Cornwall with my cousin! After spending so much time repeating the same everyday routine, in the same location, this trip was so beneficial for resetting my mind and rethinking my everyday habits, including starting my bedtime routine earlier to get my sleeping back on track. I’m grateful that we managed to get away when we did and that we had such a great time!

Driving Again

This month I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone to drive again after 3 and a half years. I booked a refresher lesson to get back into the swing of things and to practice roundabouts, parking etc. and then took a test drive of a car I might be interested in buying. It’s been a lot of organising and figuring things out (especially since I don’t know all that much about cars!) but I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made, and hope this will continue into the following couple months.

Joining Concert Band!

It’s been a year and a half since I’ve played clarinet in any sort of band/orchestra, but this month things have opened up and I’ve joined my local concert band! It felt so good to start playing surrounded by other musicians, and it was a great way to push myself out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I really enjoyed the mix of music, as it was very similar to that which I played at university, and I’m looking forward to starting on the new pieces next week!

Getting Back Into Blogging

In May I took a break from blogging as I just didn’t feel as inspired to post and share my thoughts, however June has been a really great month for blogging which I’m really happy about! I worked on this friendship blog collaboration with Niraj and I’ve got some more in the works too! I missed the feeling you get when you sit down and just pour your heart into something because you really have something to say, not just because you feel like you have to. And that’s a purpose I always want to have when blogging – I never want it to feel like a chore. I’m glad I reclaimed some of that inspiring feeling this month.

What are you grateful for this month?

Feel free to share in the comments below!


5 Things I’m Grateful For This March (2021)

For some reason, the last month has seemed to stretch out for eternity. It feels like more than a month ago I was here writing about my February gratitude! I’m convinced it’s a lockdown thing, but I’m super excited as things are starting to open up now in the UK.

So, let’s get started on the positivity!


Summer-Like Days

Or should I say day?

Just in time for the end of the month, yesterday was one of the warmest days we’ve had in March in the UK for 53 years – crazy! So I knew I had to make the most of it. This meant spending almost the entire day outdoors – working on the patio, playing table tennis, yoga on the grass, the lot! It felt really good to switch up my routine and get lots of fresh air, especially after the year we’ve all had. Here’s hoping to more days like this in April (once the weather forecast stops predicting snow…)

Freedom On The Horizon

As dramatic as it sounds (but I’m sure we’re all thinking it), we can now actually see people in the flesh! Of course, there are still many covid restrictions still in place, but I’m really looking forward to meeting up with friends and family outdoors. I think in lockdown my way of coping was to just shut out the possibility of these things happening so that it would be easier to cope, but now things are opening up I’ve realised just how much I missed simply going out to see people. I hope you all enjoy the freedom of the Easter weekend too!

New Work Space

This month I’ve moved to a different area of the house for work and, although I’ve only spent a few days here so far, I much prefer it! I’ve moved things around a little so that the desk faces the window, with lots of natural light, which I think has really improved my mood. It’s nice to also have a proper desk that I can organise with notebooks, pens etc. rather than a curved dining room table, where there was limited space. Sometimes it’s nice to simply have a different perspective, especially when working from home for long periods of time. Has anyone else changed their work space too?

Endless Tea

If you know me well, you’ll know I’m a bit obsessed with herbal tea. During lockdown especially, it’s a constant cycle between working and getting tea and working and getting food. I’m making my way through my herbal tea collection, and even tried a new Twinings tea called Heart Tea this month, with blackcurrants, rosemary, honey and hibiscus. I’m grateful to have stumbled across all these wonderful teas to keep me feeling warm and comfy. If you’re also a tea-lover, let me know your favourite one in the comments below!

Sleep

For some reason, I’ve struggled a bit with sleep this month. A few nights of not falling asleep well and the brain automatically associates the bed with staying awake, which is never helpful! However, I think it’s reinforced how important sleep really is for me (and for anyone!). Even after one night’s good sleep, I feel calmer, less anxious, happier, and of course have more energy. Often I think one thing is the cause of something (e.g. anxiety causing me to not sleep well), when actually the opposite is the case (the not sleeping well is causing more anxiety). The mind and body is so complicated, but so so interesting! Long story short: I’m truly grateful for sleep.

What are you grateful for this March?

Let me know in the comments below!


5 Things I’m Grateful For This February (2021)

As usual, here’s my monthly gratitude reflection!


Walking

This month (well, halfway through the month), I set myself the goal of going for a daily walk at lunchtime. It’s a good way to get myself out of the house during the week, plus it drags me away from screens for some much-needed nature time. I’ve been really enjoying these 30 minute walks because I put in earphones and motivate myself with upbeat music. I feel like it brings back a bit of my independence that I feel I have lost since lockdown and moving back home, so it’s nice to get out there by myself and just bask in the fresh air.

Embracing Relaxation

As you may have seen in my post a couple weeks ago, I used to feel guilty about relaxing. This month I’ve really let myself enjoy the weekends and not feel bad for just sitting on the sofa and watching TV! I’ve been laughing over Parks and Recreation, which I can’t believe I haven’t watched until now. Plus, I’ve been loving Emily in Paris and This Is Us. Let me know what you’ve been watching in the comments!

Yoga

This month I started a 30 day yoga challenge with my Mum. It’s from the YouTuber Yoga with Adrienne and each episode is titled with a different theme, all aiming to focus on the breath. Although we have, admittedly, missed quite a few days, it’s been amazing to get some good stretches in almost everyday and it’s helped me enter relaxation mode after work.

Starting A New Job

This month I started a new job which is always a new learning curve, especially in the current lockdown environment! I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to work in a completely different industry and to challenge myself to take on more responsibility. It’s always interesting translating skills from past tasks to the new situation at hand.

Interesting Books

Although I haven’t read as many books in February as in January, I’ve read a really interesting self-development book. It’s called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers and I’ve been reading a bit each day for a bit of positivity! It’s a really enlightening piece of work on how to overcome fear – how we can experience it from either a place of pain or power, and how that’s totally up to us to choose! I’m really grateful for books like this that change my perspective on life and encourage inner work.

What are you grateful for this February?

Let me know in the comments below.


5 Things I’m Grateful For This January (2021)

Starting the new year off with my monthly gratitude!

Let me know what you’re grateful for in the comments below – this is a time where it’s so beneficial to connect and join together to share the small yet meaningful moments in our lives.


Moments of Calm

I’ve been focusing a lot on promoting moments of calm this month. I think when we’re rushing about, doing things, we don’t really tune into our bodies. Sometimes, in our minds, we’re at peace, but in our bodies we’re still feeling the consequences of past stress, whether it’s tension in our shoulders or a racing heart. This month I’ve been trying to pay more attention to the way my body is reacting to stresses that have built over time and making sure I take those quiet moments to release myself out of it, whether that’s through yoga, meditation or simply sitting and living in the moment, without the need to get up and do things. And I think it’s a constant journey, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere, and I’m grateful for that.

Connecting With Others

This month I feel like I’ve made more of an effort to reach out to friends and video call which has been really lovely. My friend and I did a virtual baking session together where we picked the same recipe, gathered the ingredients and made it together over video call (and then ate it over tea afterwards!), which I really enjoyed. We’ve also recently started a family quiz which has been fun (although my brother and I are still yet to win!). I think lockdown really does encourage you to get creative in terms of how to connect with people whilst making it more of an exciting experience.

The Act Of Goal-Setting

I started 2021 with a list of goals I wanted to achieve this year. My Mum and I sat down and discussed it, sharing our thoughts, and we are planning on reviewing them on the last day of every month so that we stay accountable. I’m really grateful for the act of goal-setting because I think it’s really helped me this month, knowing I have them at the back of my mind. Some of them have already been put into action in various ways, from using my phone less, to getting a job offer, to prioritising relaxation. It proves that mindset can have a huge difference on the opportunities and experiences you attract in your life. I’m grateful to everything that lead me up to the point of realising this.

Snow Day!

In England, we get used to seeing weather forecasts and not believing it, because the weather is in constant fluctuation. However, last week we were told it was going to snow and, surprisingly, it did. It’s the most snow we’ve had in years, and I think it was perfect timing to cheer everyone up during lockdown. I went out to the forest with my Mum and it was really beautiful. It honestly felt like something out of a film!

Goodreads Challenge

At the start of January, I chose the number of books I wanted to read for 2021 as part of the Goodreads Challenge. I wanted to make it a little higher than last year, so I can try to improve, so I’ve chosen 45. This would be around 3.75 books a month to stay on track. However, I’ve surprised myself and read 5 this January, which is probably the most books I’ve read in a month in a really long time, if ever (although, arguably, one of the books was quite short). I’m hoping to keep up the good pace next month and get through all the books on my shelves!

What are you grateful for this January?

Let me know in the comments below…


The Power Of Gratitude Journalling (And Why You Should Try It!)

It’s been 1 year since I started gratitude journalling and, no word of a lie, it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

When we hear of the task gratitude journalling, many of us may think: but I’m already grateful for everything in my life, so I don’t need it.

However, gratitude journalling is for everyone, regardless of whether you’re grateful for your life or not. It is not just about being grateful; it is about forming a positive inner dialogue and focusing on the good moments of life, rather than succumbing to the struggles – something which we all like to think that we do, but most of the time is a lot more difficult to master than we think.

I’d like to share a few tips on how to start gratitude journalling and how gratitude journalling has positively affected my life. I hope it will be helpful for anyone who is looking to reduce stress/anxiety, or simply live a happier and more positive life.


How To Start A Gratitude Journal

  1. Choose a notebook to start your journey. I would recommend picking one that you really love as you’re more likely to gravitate towards using it!
  2. Place it beside your bed with a pen, so that it is in easy reach for you to fill in before you go to sleep.
  3. Every evening, carve out some quiet space for yourself, without phones or other distractions, to reflect on your day. What did you do? What conversations did you have? What went well? What didn’t?
  4. There are many ways you can go about writing in your gratitude journal, but I would recommend the following sequence, which is inspired by Dr Chatterjee’s book Feel Better In 5:

3 Things That Went Well Today

Write down 3 things that went well for you today, focusing on gratitude and embracing the feelings that arise. It can be something as small as someone saying good morning to you on your walk, or as big as receiving a promotion at work. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you write down how it made you feel.

For example: When I went on my morning walk today, a man stopped to let me know that I could walk in the adjacent field rather than the path so that I’d avoid the mud. It was so lovely and thoughtful of him to stop specifically to help me out, and I really appreciated his kindness.

Reframe A Moment

It’s inevitable that there are moments in our day that don’t go as well as we’d hoped. Perhaps we snapped at someone, spent too much time on our phone, or didn’t do that exercise class we said we would do. Pick one moment in your day to write about and reframe it. Explain what didn’t go to plan and what you will do next time instead.

For example: I would like to reframe the moment I reached for my phone whilst chatting to my friend. I wasn’t listening properly to what they were saying. Next time, I will give them my undivided attention so we can really connect over mindful conversation.

TOP TIP: Always write in a positive tone of voice, even if you don’t feel positive. The more you practice it, the more you rewire your brain to think in this manner.


The Benefits Of Gratitude Journalling

Gratitude journalling is one of, if not the most, effective way of feeling genuinely appreciative for your life and everyone/everything in it. In our busy day-to-day lives, we often forget to take time out to think about what we like about our lives, what we don’t, and what we want to change.

Gratitude journalling decreases stress/anxiety because it helps put situations into perspective. Often, when we have a particularly stressful or anxiety-inducing day, we go to bed thinking about how bad we feel. However, if we are gratitude journalling, we are forced to recognise the good parts of the day, rather than wallow in our struggles. And if we’re focusing on the good, in true law of attraction fashion, we then attract more good and positivity in our lives.

For me, personally, gratitude journalling has really helped me rewire the voice in my head. Every time I’ve had a difficult situation, it’s encouraged me to flip it on its head and see it as a learning opportunity for growth. A month ago, I tried a different kind of journalling – writing out all my bad thoughts to get rid of my negative feelings – and found that, surprisingly, every negative thought I wrote down I was counteracting with something positive. I had officially trained my brain with gratitude journalling so much that I actually couldn’t write down a fully negative piece of writing. I was shocked, but I also felt proud of the progress I’d made.


Perhaps you’re reading this and love the idea of getting started on your gratitude journal. Perhaps you’re reading this and you’re a little bit sceptical about whether it could actually be effective…

Whoever you are, I would recommend starting with a month, or even just a week. Give it a go, and notice how you feel.

It only takes 5 minutes out of your day, but 5 minutes can make all the difference.

Have you tried gratitude journalling before?

Or are you willing to give it a go?

Let me know in the comments below!


5 Things I’m Grateful For This November (2020)

It hasn’t been a typical month for a lot of us, due to lockdown, but I think that’s even more reason to focus on the parts of the month that did go well. So, as usual, here’s my monthly gratitude reflection!


Books

I watched a video earlier this month that completely changed my perspective of an overflowing bookcase… it said that the positive to buying too many books is that the possessor is simply a curious person who just wants to absorb more knowledge about people, the world and everything in it.

I really like this perspective and I think it’s one of the reasons why I love reading, but it definitely made me feel less bad about having a never ending to-be-read list!

This month I’ve got through books a lot quicker than usual and I’ve really appreciated those moments of downtime. I’ve experimented a little with speaking my thoughts out loud in a podcast format, which I might not do anything with, but it was fun to try something different.

Walking to a Podcast

This is something I used to do ALL the time at university, but I seem to have got out of the habit since graduating. Admittedly, this is likely because I’m not walking as frequently during weekdays (which I want to improve!) or I’ve been walking with others and chatting instead.

However, during lockdown I’ve been going out for more independent walks which has been a lovely way to get fresh air, admire the scenery, all whilst listening to something productive that I can learn from.

Music

Music has always been a huge part of my life, whether it’s playing instruments or simply listening to a song. I always find it helps me in times that are difficult because it instantly boosts my mood and just makes me feel super happy.

This month, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and my favourite thing to do is to combine this with music, playing it loud on my speakers and singing along (if no one’s listening!). It’s definitely helped increase my energy in those classic lockdown moments when I’ve been stuck indoors for too long.

The Build-Up To Christmas

Yes, it is only November, but the combination of seeing Christmas adverts everywhere and working on Christmas content for work has made me feel like it’s December already. Something I really love about Christmas is buying presents for family and friends, so I’ve been scouring the internet this month to find the perfect gift for everyone and (admittedly) I may have actually wrapped them already…

Meditation

Meditation is something I always seem to dip in and out of at various moments in my life when I feel like I’m craving that space and inner-reflection. I think, particularly during lockdown, it’s important to have these moments with yourself where you can tune into how you’re really feeling and work to overcome any emotional blockages you’ve unintentionally stored up.

It’s never an easy process. A lot of the time I sit there with my thoughts placing way too much emphasis on my pounding heart and it’s like suddenly all that restlessness arises to the surface. But I think that’s also the point – to be aware of what’s going on. It may not always feel great, but it’s about learning to accept and lean into the feeling.

What are you grateful for this month?

Let me know in the comments below!


5 Things I’m Grateful For This October (2020)

Here’s my monthly gratitude reflection – a little late, but here nonetheless!


Autumn Leaves

One thing I really love about Autumn: the beautiful colours of the Autumn leaves. I’ve done a fair amount of walking this month (mostly on the weekends) and it’s super nice walking through crunchy leaves, which sounds almost childlike, but it’s nature coming alive in its own sort of way.

I’ve been wanting to stop and collect Autumn leaves for some book photography too, but haven’t had a chance yet! Will hopefully take this task into November.

Resilience

This is something I’ve really been working at lately and I think this October, more than any month, I’ve surprised myself in the way I’ve dealt with things that haven’t gone to plan. It makes me grateful for opportunities of self-development where I’ve really pushed myself to be more and do more than I ever could have thought. This is something I hope to take into the following month of lockdown, despite any difficulties.

Celebrations

This month I turned 22 and I was super lucky to be able to take a day off to go to The Ritz for the first time with my Mum! I feel like it’s been so long since we’ve had a chance to dress up for something nice, and I don’t often go to fancy places so it was amazing just admiring the building! The afternoon tea was delicious, and there was unexpectedly a live pianist too, which was very atmospheric. I feel like this will be an experience I’ll be grateful for for a while!

“Spa Day”

Earlier this month, my Mum and I re-created a spa day in our home to have a day full of relaxation! We did yoga, meditation, listened to a podcast with tea, cake and a candle, and even did back massages with hot stones and aromatherapy oils! It was such a peaceful day, and it was a really lovely way to unwind after a busy week. I’m very grateful for these simple yet happy moments.

Music

This month I’ve been flicking back to old music on my iPod and re-visiting all these songs I used to listen to all the time! I forgot how much I love them and it’s so nice to reignite that feeling you get when you hear a song for the first time. It’s a weird sort of way to travel back in time.

I’m hoping to do more of this over the next month, as I’ve missed my daily walks at university when I would listen to music all the time. It’s nice to turn on the speaker and blast something whilst doing the cooking, or even putting the washing up. Makes anything that bit more exciting!

What are you grateful for this month?

Let me know in the comments!


You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

5 New Habits That Genuinely Changed My Life!

Surely it can’t only be me who is wondering where this year has gone? We’re somehow only 3 months away from 2021!

Looking back on this year, it’s been an unusual one for us all, but this post is not going to be focusing on all of that – instead, I’ll be sharing 5 new habits I started doing this year that have genuinely had a huge positive impact on my life. (Feel free to share yours in the comments below too!)

Gratitude Journalling

When I was younger, I used to write lots of diaries. Sometimes I find them in the depths of my cupboard and cringe at all the things I used to say, but journalling is always something that has been cathartic for me. It’s a release.

However, this year I started journalling with a different approach in mind. Instead of writing down everything I was feeling (positives, negatives, the lot), I only wrote down what went well. Every night I do this same routine, writing down 3 things that went well, and reframing one negative situation into a positive. As much as writing a diary is cathartic, journalling with positive words helps reinforce that positivity, rather than dwell on bad events. I am convinced it has helped me stay positive and strong, even through difficult moments, and I’m excited to look back on it in December and see all the amazing things that happened this year!

Phone on Airplane Mode Before Bed

This is a very specific habit I’ve started this year but one that has helped my sleep hugely. I’ve always been a classic overthinker, especially at night, but I never really realised until this year how much blue light, from phone and TV screens, was exacerbating this.

My routine is to now put my phone on airplane mode at least an hour before bed, giving me time to really think about my day, how I’m feeling, and read a good book. I think in a world full of so much noise, we often drown ourselves out. This is my moment to try and reclaim that back.

Reframing Negative Thoughts

I feel like this is one topic I’ve covered in a lot of my blog posts this year, and there’s a reason for that! It’s because it’s the most effective way to get out of a negative slump.

None of us have positive brains 24/7 – that is just unrealistic. However, we can try to change those negative thoughts when they start creeping in. We can do this by rationalising any unnecessary thoughts or changing our focus onto something else. It’s not easy, and I still have moments where I struggle with it, but once you know it’s achievable, it really can help with the most difficult of situations.

Writing a To-Do List

Not only is writing lists super productive (and fun – if you’re like me), but it is genuinely the best way to stay on top of everything that needs to be done. Since the beginning of this year, even on the days when I was in lockdown and had nothing scheduled, I would write a list of what I was going to do that day. And it helped me stay sane. It gave me a purpose.

Lists don’t have to be boring. Write with a colourful pen. Buy yourself a beautiful notebook. Jot down fun things you want to do that day, like watching your favourite show or seeing a friend. A list can be full of anything you want it to be. It’s a nice reminder that you have autonomy in the world.

Reading Before Bed

I’ve always been an avid reader – ever since I was a child. Entering new worlds and understanding new perspectives has always been interesting to me. However, on the road of education, it’s unsurprising that I lost my passion for reading a bit.

It was only at the start of this year that I started reading regularly again. Books for fun weren’t just for the holidays, but something I could read everyday. And the way I managed to do this was by reading before bed.

It’s funny looking back, because in hindsight it’s so obvious, but at the time, I didn’t realise that all this TV I was watching was eating up my reading time. Now, I do both, and I love having the variety. I’m finally making my way through my overflowing bookcase!

Have you taken up a new habit that has genuinely changed your life?

I’d love to know – please share in the comments below!


You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud