The Caring Counselor Year in Review- 2018

I don’t know about you, but 2018 felt like the longest year on record. What I can definitely say is that New Year’s always provides a time for reflection. We can look back at the changes that have occurred in our lives over the last 365 days.

I went into 2018 with a fine tuned New Year’s resolution. For the last several years, I promise myself to ultimately be a “better” version of me. The issue with this was its vagueness, and I guess it was my way of avoiding commitment and accountability if I did not follow through. Last year, I strove for a similar goal but with a focus on self-care. Of course self-care itself is a broad topic, so I focused primarily on my physical and mental well-being.

For my physical health, the objective honed in on my fibromyalgia. My goal was to set up a maintenance plan for my condition to prevent it from interfering with my daily functioning (i.e. work, relationships, etc.). I definitely can say I took steps to getting it under control with help from several specialists, weekly personal training sessions, and monthly massage therapy. I also finally felt that my medications were in order and that I had a cocktail that actually helped.

For my mental health, I intended on digging deep into my psyche through therapy and writing. I yearned to get down into the nitty gritty of my mind and figure out the underlying causes of my anxiety and depression. That all came to fruition during a therapy session earlier this year. You can read more about that realization here:

With a year full of so much resolution, achievement, and personal development, I know what direction I want to move in next. However, I have to keep in mind that it has to be realistic. I decided to continue working on the aforementioned areas, but taking them to the next level in a sense.

This past year I was diagnosed with low testosterone levels and sleep apnea. Both my endocrinologist and my pulmonologist respectively attributed my weight to being part of the problem. Hearing this provided me even further fuel to shed some of the 270 pounds I lumber around. There are simply too many benefits to losing the weight at this point – higher self-esteem, lower blood pressure, less joint pain from the fibromyalgia, and potentially reversing two health conditions altogether. I already have the gym membership and personal trainer in place. I just need to follow through on it, so that is where I want to take my physical health this year.

I want to maintain the progress I made with my mental health by engaging in my self-care activities more often including more time dedicated to the Caring Counselor. I found myself falling into old patterns of working extremely too hard and putting my health at risk over the last several months. I have since cut back significantly on my workload to make more time for myself, the blog/podcast, and my own self-care activities.

Even though the only thing that truly changes between December 31st and January 1st is the number at the end of the date, it does serve as a powerful annual reminder to reflect on the past year and set our expectations for the upcoming one.

-The Caring Counselor

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