Normally, I love planning for a new year. The possibility of three hundred and sixty five days to shape and mould is exciting, and normally leads to countless lists and plans and goal setting in the run up to midnight on the 31st. This year though, my excitement for 2019 has been somewhat hampered by my health, and the conditions it’s dictating for the start of the year.
Most of you will know by now, in 2017 I had a five and a half centimetre tumour removed from my large intestine. Whilst I’m lucky and thankful that my team of surgeons got the whole tumour, and I’m still tumour free, the effects it’s had on my body and the residual symptoms I’m still suffering have been huge. And largely, I’ve struggled to get the help I need to get better from my GP + Consultant. It’s not their fault, my GP is underfunded and overstretched, and as far as my Consultant is concerned, I’m no longer a surgical case. It sucks, but it isn’t really their fault. So last month I booked a private appointment with a Functional Medical Practitioner, who ran a load of tests, and within two weeks had come up with a full treatment plan to get me back on track.
And whilst this is fantastic news, it means my first few months of 2019 are going to be, well, hard. Restricted diets, medication, rest and recovering. I’ve had to adapt my goals and expectations for the New Year, and come up with something a little different.
Health first. This year is the year of prioritising my health. This breaks down in a lot of ways, starting off with a few months of treatment. But I want to use this as a stepping stone for focusing more time and energy on my health, both mentally and physically. I found regular yoga classes did a lot for my mental health last year, so I’m going to start going to classes again. I’ve not been drinking as much water over the festive period and I’m feeling the effects, so I want to drink more water. Little, positive changes to help me feel better overall.
Saying no. I don’t quite know how I’m going to be feeling over the next few months whilst I’m fixing myself up, so for now, I’m just saying no. I’m hoping my pals won’t be too mad at me, but I’m taking a little time out to focus on me and my health. There’s nothing harder on your mental health than having to cancel plans because you feel like crap, and I’m very aware my body is showing all the warning signs of needing rest, so for now it’s thank you, but no. Just for now.
Offline time. Things that make me feel great: drinking my morning cup of coffee on the balcony, early morning walks outside, fresh sea air, evenings on the sofa with a book. Thinks that don’t make me feel great: comparing myself to others online, worrying about the edit on an instagram photo, constant email notifications on my phone. This year’s motto is outside more, online less.
Little changes, but ones I hope will lead to a happier, healthier me for 2019.
What changes will you be making in 2019?