With Christmas over and 2020 fast-approaching, I wanted to set the tone for fruitsandroutes’ 2020. I want this to be a year of self-love and emotional peace with myself – and hope that this will come true for all of us. Read on for some rambles and thoughts about how we can all go about being kinder to ourselves and those around us.
A lot of people go into January with a negative mindset. I know I’ve definitely been guilty of this in the past. Going into the New Year with a whole host of (often unreasonable) goals which are typically fitness/ food related, aimed at getting “back on track” after the Christmas indulgence. (Side note: indulgence is good & shouldn’t be surrounded by negative connotations imo). However, instead of adopting these “new year, new me” mindsets, we should learn to love the bodies and minds that we have rather than constantly being at war with them.
Instead, I challenge you to go into January with a positive and uplifting mindset. Sure, set yourself intentions – these can be motivating and give us something to work towards – but don’t revolve them around changing yourself. Focus on self-improvement over self-change and do so with a generous amount of self-love.
Monthly achievements and challenges
Something that I intend to keep up are my monthly intentions and challenges. I did this on and off last year – depending on how busy I was at uni! – but each time I really enjoyed doing it. We rarely set aside time to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work we have put in to achieve our goals. It can therefore be really rewarding to notice how far we’ve come as individuals and regularly note down what we have achieved. I think I’ll be sharing more of my monthly intentions & achievements on my page this year to keep us all motivated!
Comparison and the inner-critic
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the notion of the “inner-critic”, but I thought I’d reiterate it nonetheless. We are our own worst critics. We will compare ourselves and our lives to the highlight reels we see on social media. And even though we know that social media only provides us with a warped perception of someone’s life, we still compare and self-critique. So this year, let’s really work on ourselves. Let’s stop wishing we could be someone else and focus on our own strengths. Let’s stop scrutinising our “flaws” and let’s start to view them as personal quirks and eccentricities that make us who we are.
Gratitude journalling is something I started this year and plan to continue into 2020 (and beyond). There’s a quote that says: Gratitude turns what we have into enough – and I couldn’t agree more! We live in a consumerist capitalist culture that urges us to compulsively buy and be unsatisfied with what we have. It is an economy that thrives off individual dissatisfaction and bombards us with new ways of changing ourselves to fit in with societal standards of beauty/ fitness/ wealth etc. By being more conscious of and grateful for what we have, we can change this narrative into one of satisfaction and inner-peace. Try it for yourself if you don’t believe me!
Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you
And not people who criticise, upset and neglect you. You deserve the best. You might not be everybody’s cup of tea (no one is!), which is why you need to surround yourself with those that radiate love and compassion for you. At school this can definitely be challenging (small pool of people obliged to be together), but I’ve found university to be amazing for this. Connecting with like-minded, inspiring and – most important of all – kind people makes me so happy and I could not be more grateful for all the incredible people I have met. And that I can now call my best friends. I love you all!
Be kind. To yourself, to friends, to family, to strangers… to everyone. Even people who you don’t particularly vibe with. Kindness breeds kindness. If you show love to others and yourself, you inspire the same love to be shown.
I hope 2020 is the year for all of us. But, as with every year, there will inevitably be ups and downs. Let’s use the downs as learning curves and the ups as inspiration to keep loving ourselves.