As this year ends, I have been taking a lot of extra time to reflect and meditate on what I would like to bring into the new year. I am so grateful for 2017 because I learned so much about myself, my relationships, and how to run a business.
This year my main focus was on self-care and it has been the most valuable thing I have ever done. I started off 2017 with launching my own company, which I will get to in a bit, but this comes with a lot of expectations and stress I put on myself. As excited as I was to be a female entrepreneur, I was also scared s***less of what was ahead. I was struggling with depression and anxiety, in fact, I have always struggled with it since I think I was in middle school. I had never acknowledged it out loud and blamed it on seasonal depression (lack of sun, shorter days, holiday eating, and the list goes on) or obstacles in my life. Admitting I have depression was embarrassing, scary, and made me feel vulnerable to societal pressure.
Side Note: Before you continue reading, if you feel this way I want you to know that although this may feel true, there are more people privately battling depression and anxiety than you could imagine, and that you are not alone. You will find support from the people you least expect, and you will conquer this. I have referred my therapist below.
I booked myself with a therapist in March and I am proud to report that after very aggressive sessions of EMDR1 (a type of therapy that uses bilateral stimulation to help your brain process past negative events and memories that may be holding you back or causing unnecessary stress in everyday activities), I am happy. Saying that statement out loud makes me well up with tears of joy because it is something I never thought I deserved nor experience. It is a huge relief and I couldn’t be happier to share my story to help others.
I am more mindful of my actions and the things that are positive or toxic in my life. I can recognize when I begin to feel depressed and avoid the tumultuous downturn of a depressive episode. In addition to therapy, I have also changed my eating habits to avoid greasy, fatty foods and reduced my meat consumption. Eating healthier makes me feel better consciously and physically. I have also increased my frequency to the gym and set mini goals to keep me going. I have owned (and most importantly used) my gym membership for an entire year.
These self-care changes have taught me to value and love myself. I read a quote along the lines that “the most beautiful trait someone can have is to love themselves, because it opens a door for others to love them back”. If you look in a mirror and find flaws, I encourage you to stop this and compliment yourself on your best traits. Be kind to yourself.
Best Self-Care Changes of 2017:
Get a therapist or career coach (referral below)
Be truthful to yourself. Admit your problems and find a solution
Eat, Sleep, Exercise and repeat
I am so thankful for the new and old friends in my life. This year I reconnected with old friends from college, opened myself up to acquaintances, and nervously reached out to females I admired. I
couldn’t believe the number of new and old genuine friends in my circle. When I became happier with myself, I became more mindful of what others may be going through in their private lives. This made me strive to be a better listener, supporter and devoted friend. It has shifted my relationships in a positive way. I’ve made a mental note to always listen first, not judge, and stop comparing my experiences to theirs. I also apologize if I am in the wrong. If you know me, I love to debate but strengthening a relationship by admitting fault is important. Saying I’m sorry has always been hard for me and sometimes it takes time for me to come around, but I never want to give a half-sincere apology. Every friend deserves a chance to speak their side and find a common ground. Unfortunately, I lost friends this year and no one enjoys losing someone in their life. I am sad that it happened, but I can only move forward and appreciate the people who are in my life right now.
Best Relationship Changes of 2017:
Open yourself up for new relationships
Strive to be a good, loyal friend
Apologize when you are wrong
Appreciate who is in your life
I launched my social media marketing agency, Bästa Media, in January 2017. I did not make it my full-time job until I hit the goals I set for myself. My therapist, Isabel, helped me push past the fears of making the leap, finding my creative flow, and defining the many successes along the way. My biggest supporters, Neil and Kate, helped me with the spreadsheets and numbers to make sure I was financially stable enough to launch. They also helped me set budgets for myself and Bästa Media. Being an entrepreneur is exciting every day and I love it. I feel creative and love collaborating with people. Of course, I have moments of panic that I could lose a client or that I am not doing enough in a day, but I push through this.
Best Business Practices of 2017:
Set goals for yourself
Appreciate people who support you
Don’t be afraid to look at your finances
Work hard and appreciate small wins
I really appreciate these areas of focus because they have been a part of shaping who I have become over the past year. If you have been one of the many wonderful, inspiring people in my life this year, I thank you for being a part of my life. I wish everyone a healthy and prosperous 2018.
1 EMDR definition from Inner Nourish Counseling.
Therapist Recommendation: Isabel Perez, MA, LPC in Thornton & Stapleton, Colorado