It has been just over 3 years since I started this little experiment to see whether I coul keep up journalling my thoughts and experiences during my time spent here in Paris. I've learnt a lot in the past few years, not just about myself but about the world in general. Of course I've learnt things during the course of my degree but I've always thought that university was for way more than simply learning a few dates and grammatic rules. My journey to this point has definitely not been simple or easy. In fact from the very first day I spent as a resident of this magnificent city I had internal and external obstacles to overcome. Self Care is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot but for me it has been the best skill I have learnt during this highly formative time in my life.
I've already documented my struggles with my mental health and while self care helps me to deal with this I believe that it can help everyone in their day to day life. Shall we have an example? A few days ago I had an absolutely nightmare of a day in work which involved me being shouted at in Spanish. I got home feeling low and demoralized but I recognized that I needed to take some time for myself instead of the evening out with friends that I had planned. I cooked myself a comforting meal and curled up watching the Great British Bake Off which has to be one of the best mood-improving programmes out there. Self Care isn't about being selfish. It may seem like I was being anti-social not going out but I needed to work on myself in order to maintain my mental wellbeing. If you tire yourself out by trying to do too many things without keeping yourself healthy then you are doomed to fail.
I wish I had realised all of this sooner. Moving away from home at the tender age of 18 was difficuly emotionally and I wish that I had tried to help myself improve my mood earlier on. Having said that I would never change the journey that I have been on because it has made me the person that I am today, which is lucky because I can't! I'd like my lasting message in this post to be that you have to make yourself your number one priority and that you have to take time for yourself whether that is by taking an entire day in order to clear your mind of all of the negative energy or just a few minutes with a cup of tea quitely watching videos of corgi puppies.