My Kicking The Anxiety Away List
Written by Yasmin Alexandria
16/12/2021

Where did the year go? We have sixteen days until 2022 comes at us full throttle. I sincerely apologise if my countdown has alarmed you. We all know ‘New Year New Me’ can feel monotonous and the whole idea of New Year’s Resolutions breathing down our necks again can seem intense. I’ll be the first to admit (albeit not proudly) that I have yet again failed to fulfill the plans I made ‘oh so hopefully’ in January.

In fact, my goals for the year were actually from 2020, which were from 2019, and so on, all the way back to around 2016. I used to think it was silly that people set these goals so rigidly without truly taking into consideration how realistic they’d be to complete. I know a lot of us want to lose weight or quit some displeasing habit, but then we seem to put this pressure on ourselves and end up beating ourselves over the fact we didn’t complete them in the 365 days time limit.

And yet I was sat right here, at the same desk, in the same chair, December 4th with a new journal in front of me and a rather glorious pen in hand mulling over what goals I wanted to set for myself for the upcoming year. I soon realised that all of the goals that filled my head were ones of borderline self-hatred. They were goals to change myself completely, goals that, if I acknowledged them honestly, would make me just a vessel, not Yasmin. They would strip me completely of my essence that made me… well me. And I’m still trying to partake in this ritual whilst staying true to myself and not set ridiculous tasks that I could never accomplish.

So what are my New Year’s Resolutions? The list is short, in fact, it’s only 6 items long, some of which I’ve started early to ease myself into change (curse of an Autistic, ADHD, and PDA profile) and others my parents will probably be more proud of if I complete them. But I’ve paired it with an annual mini challenge to myself and this list is fourteen items and growing. I’d like to think of them more as a bucket list, my kicking anxiety away list! It’s full of things I’ve wanted to try and experience, but that I’ve always held back from. They are small things, silly things really, like going out to dinner by myself or traveling by myself. These challenges are built upon fears that I’ve allowed myself to contort into some bogeyman, some monster. I want to claim back that confidence I had as a child! Sure it’s not really social etiquette as an adult to make friends at a playground, but if I could just harness this belief in myself that younger me had, why can’t I make it work for me now.

You’re probably reading this thinking, “that’s all well and good, Yasmin, but what on earth has this got to do with me”? I suppose I wanted to be honest about the tensions a looming January brings. The media and general public always focus on what they’re doing to change themselves, and, most of the time, it feels like a witch hunt, seeking out those who aren’t somehow conned into this ‘New Year New Me’ rubbish.

There is nothing wrong with the old you! We shouldn’t be made to feel like an unfinished project that needs to be scrapped to start again. Any changes you make for the new year ahead should enhance the good parts of you and help tweek at the slightly displeasing parts. So, I don’t care if Barbra wants to show off the all-around perfect Mum thing she was going on in 2022. I don’t care if Jessica has lost 4 dress sizes and suddenly looks like an image of Pinterest. I care about myself, my mental health and not let myself turn to jealousy or this envy that my life doesn’t look like theirs. I’m never going to be that Instagram influencer, especially not because of some rules I set myself at the start of the year. I’m never going to have the perfect home, the perfect figure, the perfect life because it’s not true. It simply isn’t true. Social Media has seeped into our lives and continues to make us feel less than. So it’s time for honesty. A New Year is coming and we can’t stop it, but we can adjust it to maintain or gain positive Mental Health.

So before you start the list just remember a few things:

  1. Would you feel like a failure if you didn’t complete it?
  2. What influenced that goal? Was it a positive or negative influence?
  3. Is the goal achievable to you?

After all, you’re writing these resolutions for you!

I’m not some wise elder dishing out advice, in fact, you could totally ignore me and I’d never know. I’m just a girl who’s had enough of being lonely, and so wrapped up in my anxieties that I allowed myself to wallow in an orb of self-pity.

That girl woke up hating herself almost daily, hating herself because she didn’t mirror what she saw online, hating herself because she felt that it was her and her faults and mistakes that led her to live this little and unextraordinary life.

The girl who spent nights alone wishing with her whole heart that she could push the reset button and maybe force herself to be normal, appear normal, something she clearly wasn’t, to take that trip and watch that movie, to be wanted and craved so desperately to feel needed and enjoyed. The curtain is closing on that girl and instead of replacing her, I will try my best to make her proud of what she has and envision all the things she is capable of. So yes, it may be a New Year, but no new me, because I’m already enough – I just need to enhance and showcase her.

Lavinia Dowling the founder and Nurse Consultant of The M Word

Livinia Dowling

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