I think this year for me is about developing mental toughness - consolidating the progress I made last year, making that my foundation to ground me and then prepare me to face the world head on.
I can see myself doing that when I look at relationships or choices with relating to people. I'm now looking at them much more removed, as I would do if you asked me for advice in your life, and identifying situations that I deem mentally unhealthy for me. And then making steps to not walk further down paths that I can see from the outset will lead to unhappy endings. I now feel like I don't have the time to spend 6 months or more recovering from bad choices, particularly when I know they are bad from the beginning. That probably denotes the end of my self abuse stage in life. And that's nice to say. It becomes more a self preservation tactic: identifying scenarios that are likely to pull me under and then not proceeding further into them. Much like, oh say, swimming between the flags at the beach?
I see developing mental toughness as a way to survive in the world - as a way to become more involved but not get burned out, to offer sympathy and assistance and love without draining my energy and as a way to be more happy more of the time. I've been observing happy people versus unhappy people for a while now. And happy people don't actually have better lives. Bad things still happen to happy people - people they know still get sick and die, they still may have financial or work related issues. The difference though that I have observed is that happy people have a better attitude to life. And that seems like something that I could learn to have or develop. It seems like something I can control.
We joke at work that you need to have a mind like water - neither overreact nor underreact. It's a joke because it was a seminar we were at. But there's a lot to benefit from when you look at how you are reacting to something compared to what the proportionate response *should* be. Because when you notice that you are overreacting, you then become aware that you are giving something too much time or energy. The bit I am still working on from that point is ... to not. To not overreact or to not spend too much energy on something I cannot control or change or fix. Or worse, to not spend too much time and energy on things that do not matter at all.
At the moment, I am ragged. I was doing really well till I got sick. Now I am all out of whack. I managed to get back into the massage appointment cycle at work today and she said I look worried and that my body seems tired. True and true. I have a neck and headache and I am generally tired and worn out. And my mind is racing in scattered thought patterns. All of which mean ... I am in an unproductive state of being.
I am feeling down, perhaps as a result of any or all of the above and other people's negativity is impacting and impinging on me more than normal. Mental toughness doesn't mean that I can't care about or empathise with other people. But it does mean that I shouldn't take their problems and worries on board as my own.
I need sleep. That's an important one to work on. I need to drink more water, do more exercise, get more sunshine, and eat healthily. I need to take time out to meditate, say no to some obligations and have some personal time. And I need to love myself just a little more this week.