5 Things I’ll Do Differently This Year

My 2020, much like everyone else’s, was ROUGH to say the least. Juggling between school, my mental health, my wellbeing, and moving my place of residence(in the middle of a PANDEMIC), I had a really tough time and I definitely wish I had done things differently to change a couple of major and minor outcomes in my life. Of course, we all make mistakes and sometimes we’re too hard on ourselves for the decisions we make because they could’ve been better. However, instead of dwelling on what could’ve been done, it’s best to focus on what you can do better on now for the future. 

Here are 5 things that I, personally, plan to do differently this year:

  1. Trust in myself.

One of my biggest personal struggles last year (and for the majority of my life), was believing in myself. Too often I would give up when things would get hard at school and at home, but then also feel bad because I felt I could do it somewhere inside me but I just didn’t. That little, pessimistic voice in my head had grabbed hold of a megaphone and told me that if things were too hard it was because I was lacking and I should just give up. For this year, my plan is to keep pushing myself to perform to a standard higher than I currently hold myself capable of. I’ve known that there are certain things I can excel at if I tried, but my lack of self-esteem has always gotten the best of me. This year, I will make sure I perceive myself more positively.

  1. Not being too hard on myself.

Another ongoing personal struggle I’ve suffered greatly from is beating myself up over every situation I’m in that goes wrong. Frankly speaking, it’s just become a really bad habit. A habit so bad it triggers the worst part of my depression: self-hatred. Self-hatred is the worst type of hate there is because the one person that should always have your back is yourself. But, what if the person that’s supposed to catch you when you fall is actually the one that pushes you to the ground? Even worse, they keep you there and consistently beat upon you. This is something that I’ve always struggled to control, so this year my plan is to forgive myself for everything that I’ve held against myself and for everything that I may hold against myself. 

  1. Not settling for disadvantageous situations.

In 2020, I found myself quite frequently being guilty of things that were not in my power to control nor comprehend. For example, I was, quite literally, expected to read the mind of my ‘friend’ because, apparently, if we were really ‘friends’ we should have a proper understanding of one another that allows us to be on the same page at ALL times. Even reading it back to myself, I find the situation to be pretty ridiculous, however, I ended up apologizing for my behaviour when I believed, for once, that the situation I was in was not my fault. For 2021, I don’t want to let myself be walked all over by others.

  1. Be forgiving but not too forgiving.

This point follows number 3. While I did explain to my friend how I felt it was unfair that she expected more from me than I was capable of giving (and she did apologize), she did not show any signs of changing her behaviour afterwards. Perhaps I’m overthinking her attitude but her apology felt more like she was apologizing because she was uncomfortable and not for hurting feelings. I let it go and, initially, forgave her but red flags in her behaviour kept revealing themselves and I started realizing she probably didn’t care too much about my feelings from before. I was letting her walk all over me for the sake of her being my ‘friend’ and before too long I realized I started holding an unhealthy resentment towards her. Instead of holding resentment for others, I’ll cut off the behaviour the moment I feel that my feelings aren’t being respected in order to respect myself.

  1. Loving myself.

By following the other things on this list, I will work towards valuing and appreciating myself more. The person who did me the most wrong in 2020 was actually myself because I saw the circumstances I had let myself be in and, like a bystander, I did nothing when I actually began suffering because of them. For 2021, I will value and respect myself first and foremost before anyone or anything else. My feelings of self-worth are more important than false friendships and poor grades. I’ll learn to love different aspects of myself and draw in positive energy with my positive attitude. 

For 2021, the hope for us all is to feel valued and to, simply, enjoy life.

Ways to Relieve Pent Up Anger

Recently, I have found myself in extremely intense situations where I completely lost my cool. I RAGED. I had gotten so angry I felt like I needed to destroy the things around me or else my raw anger would destroy me from the inside out. Speaking with my counsellor about my easily triggered rage, we discussed personal methods both to prevent my outbursts and how to deescalate my raging tantrums. Below, I mention a couple rage prevention and rage de-escalation methods.

How to Prevent a Rage Outburst

1. Get away from the source of your anger.

Whether it’s a person or something inanimate, just get away from it. For example, I thought I had failed a class so I just stared at my grade in desperation and let the feelings build up. Yeah, that wasn’t good AT ALL. I kept thinking about how incapable I was in the subject and then it escalated further into nearly complete self-loathing. The best thing to do is not to dwell too hard on it, which may be easier said than done.

2. Avoid involving yourself in situations that upset you.

A good way to avoid becoming upset is to avoid situations or conversations that are known to upset you. While there are certainly some situations that are hard to avoid, never feel that you can’t say that you’re uncomfortable. Your feelings should be valued in any circumstance so even if you feel uncomfortable saying ‘I’m uncomfortable’, summon the courage to say it and I can assure you that you will feel better. And if someone gets upset with you for stating your feelings, surround yourself with other people or avoid those types of people altogether.

How to De-escalate a Rage Outburst

1. Distract yourself.

Once I realized how quickly I was becoming upset over thinking that I failed another university class, I decided to make myself some tea and watch anime. I watched anime and youtube videos to help distract myself from the impending self-loathing that would have suffocated me. I know finding a distraction is easier said than done, but, sometimes, it helps direct the negative energy away from yourself and into whatever else you can invest yourself on.

2. Focus on thinking about how it won’t hurt as much later on.

In order to calm myself down, I think about all the other hard experiences I’ve dealt with thus far into my life and how I made it past all of them. While some past experiences feel trivial, others still cause a bit of pain, but much less so than before due to time. I use this type of thinking as a healthy way to branch my thoughts from being purely destructive.

3. Punch your pillows or stuffed animals.

Although cruel to your favourite stuffed friends, it does help dispel some of that intense energy. It’s a physically active way to relieve any type of stress or frustrations and you don’t inflict damage upon anything or yourself.

4. Train yourself to think of positive methods to better your circumstances.

As soon as I felt myself being swallowed by my own self-hatred, I thought of alternative outcomes than just sitting back and letting myself drown it. In regards to my potentially failed grade, I decided to reach out to the instructor for guidance as a way to tell myself: “Even though this may be a failed grade, at least you tried to change the present circumstance.” The outcome with the least regrets is always the most desirable outcome. I understand very well that this may be a difficult trait to adopt, but it truly helps. Continuously trying to change a pessimistic way of thinking will never be a bad thing.

To everyone who deals with moments of rage or pure anger, I hope we all adopt healthy manners of dispelling our emotions to protect others and, most importantly, ourselves.

My Calming Methods

The methods I use to calm myself from a barrage of thoughts about the day or about anything, really, constantly changes. But, my current calming methods are:

  1. Green Tea
  2. Anime
  3. Listening to anime soundtracks/lofi hip hop beats
  4. Watching youtube videos
  5. Meditation
  6. Exercise
  7. Writing
  8. Drawing
  9. Mapping out a plan for the future
  10. Talking to friends

These are my personal calming methods and since people are dynamic, these methods will always be subject to change.