#TogetherWe Care

Now that we have a new year, and decade, I want to spend some time talking about the last and coming year. 2019 was a tough year for me - from a big break-up to multiple deaths of friends, and a series of repeated assaults; we all had our problems this year. However, 2020 provides us with the opportunity to start afresh with a new mindset and hope.

The ‘New Year, New Me’ catchphrase seems to put pressure on us to dramatically change into a new and reformed person, forgetting the fact that we can’t completely change ourselves in one day. It’s important to start with the bare minimum and learn to take care of ourselves before creating dramatic and unrealistic resolutions. I want to discuss the importance of having a healthy perspective of ourselves, including making more realistic and wholesome resolutions, finding true self-confidence and creating a much more positive view of ourselves and how we are presented to the world.

First of all, it’s important to keep our priorities in shape and order; we focus so much on how we present ourselves to friends and strangers that we forget how to take care of ourselves appropriately - both physically and mentally. I, for one, suffer from this, as I often view how I’m perceived as a greater priority to fulfilling basic needs such as eating, sleeping and drinking. I’ll find myself not eating for days, having less than an hour a night for sleep and blaming my increasingly poor health on the 'stress of uni', rather than owning up to my own lack of self-care.

So, in light of this, I want to outline the importance of self-care and having the right mental attitude towards your own well-being; your own health and peace of mind should be your first priority, and should not be a last resort - I'm speaking from personal issues and experiences. It is very easy to compare ourselves to others based on appearance and obvious physical beauty; the media enjoys both praising unrealistic features and body shapes as well as highlighting major ‘flaws’ in outward appearances. An important thing to consider is that beauty can be seen everywhere, and in everyone - you should focus more on aspects you love about yourself rather than bringing yourself down about things you aren’t so happy about.

Next, the pressure for finding a romantic partner at this time of year is ridiculous; with multiple couples getting engaged over the Christmas holidays and Valentine’s Day coming up soon, I, along with lots of my other single friends, find myself feeling one step behind everyone else, as if something important is missing. January is known for being the most difficult month of the year, and feelings of loneliness and isolation don’t help this either. However, I’ve found that getting into a commitment for the sake of not being lonely anymore is one of the worst decisions to make, mostly due to the catastrophic effect it can have on your self-importance and mental health.

To everyone else who is also suffering from loneliness at the moment: it does get better! Stay away from things that diminish your confidence and self-worth, and ensure you are happy and confident in your own company first, as this may help encourage you to appreciate and value your partner more.

Overall, it is extremely important that we should surround ourselves with people that bring out the best in us, increase our confidence and encourage us to take care of ourselves properly. Don’t let anyone push you beyond your personal boundaries and keep thinking positively about yourself! Remember that taking care of your mental and physical well-being should be your top priority this coming year.

- Anon

If you have a story you would like to be told as part of this campaign, please email or submit it anonymously through this form.

Save a life - share this campaign on social media and with your friends, family and church. Check up on your friends and talk to someone if you are struggling with something. If you have been affected by any issues presented in this post, or are dealing with anything, we urge you to talk to someone and seek professional medical advice.

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