The Four Things That Saved Me This Year

My first post was about a year ago and I haven’t really returned to my wordpress since then. While I didn’t initially intend to go on such an extremely long hiatus, the time apart from the internet world gave me a great deal of time to reflect on the different methods of therapy and self-improvement that I have been trying.

Of the various projects I began, four remained in my life and proved to be extremely helpful:

1.) Attending concerts and discovering new music.

2015 is a good year for me, music-wise. I attended many festivals (especially during the summer) and exposed myself to a variety of people and a lot of new genres of music. I threw myself out of my comfort zone and into pit brawls in hardcore and pop-punk shows, light shows in an EDM-infused warehouse, and sing-alongs with hundreds of other concert-goers and music lovers. Warped Tour Pomona, Self-Help Fest SoCal, and Insomniac’s Crush Socal are all experiences I will never forget.

2.) Rediscovering my love for reading.

After I quit my job at a bookstore, I haven’t been able to look at books the same. Books became a burden and I would experience anxiety whenever I would find myself in an unorganized bookstore. Toward the end of the spring, I read Ronda Rousey’s My Fight, Your Fight and it helped me rekindle my love for the written word. It is to my understanding that she had assistance with writing the book (as most celebrities, athletes, and big-name personalities tend to have) but I didn’t care. Her story was so compelling that I wanted to hear it, to read it, no matter who the storyteller was. Not only did her book inspire me to read more, but it also (and more importantly) inspired me to LIVE more.

3.) Becoming organized and transforming into a planner addict.

I purchased my first planner in January. It was an Erin Condren Life Planner and it was beautiful. Though I loved it, I learned that the formatting of the days and weeks really matter when it comes to staying consistent and on top of your plans. I then purchased a Kikki K in June and have since learned to create my own templates and print them on my own paper. It’s been a trial and error process that I have enjoyed immensely because of the beautiful weekly spreads I’m left with after the hours of planning and decorating. Planners really help with my depression and anxiety. So when I feel upset or frustrated at my lack of progress, I look back into my planner at everything I have accomplished that week.

4.) Training to fight.

The last habit that I developed and retained was taking up classes at a Muay Thai gym. Today is the three month anniversary and I could not have been more happier about my decision. Joining a Muay Thai gym was the best thing that I have done for my self-esteem and personal fitness. I was never interested in losing weight. My drive to go every other day for 12 weeks straight was the hunger for improved performance.

Each hobby that I tackled this year involves one of my main interests: music, reading, productivity, and fitness. New projects and habits are a lot easier to adopt if they involve something you already enjoy doing. Because I chose hobbies that are related to or branch off from my preexisting interests, I was able to learn a lot that I don’t think I would have otherwise. I set out to try a new thing each month and I ended up gaining so much more than skill or life experience – I gained inner peace.

This experience isn’t worth enduring if you’re not enjoying it. So just try a bunch of things and eventually, you’ll find a reason to enjoy it.

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