When I sat down this week to think about what I wanted to write about and share with you this week, I have to admit I felt pretty stumped.

The last few weeks with the news about Sarah Everard and the news about protests has been pretty heavy. Add covid anxiety into the mix and it’s been pretty tough.

I’m all for streets being safer for women (and men) walking home, and I’m in full support of women being able to wear what they want without being sexually harassed, and people being able to peacefully protest for what they believe in… but I’ve found it pretty hard to engage with this recently. I’ve had both some tricky and lovely supportive conversations about it and for me that’s changed the way I thought I’d want to approach it. For me I don’t feel like I can go charging into battle fighting everyone who thinks otherwise or writing a blog post about the sexual harassment statistics, instead I’m opting for smaller conversations in my day-to-day life.

I think that with covid, the rise of social media has arrived much faster. Everything feels super present and it has become a platform to spark change and awareness, which is great in some ways but at times it can feel a little overwhelming. I’m choosing to engage when I feel comfortable too and showing my support in smaller everyday conversations rather than going to battle on my social platforms.

I know lots of other people are opting to do a similar thing, I have lots of friends who like me have stopped watching the news since covid or unfollowed accounts that aren’t helping their mental health. In my eyes, I think that’s been a great decision, the daily covid death toll does not help my mental wellbeing in anyway.

This week has also marked a year since our first covid lockdown so it really has been a tough few weeks. I think that’s why I’ve not been feeling so inspired, because there’s been a lot of things weighing on my mind. I’m doing good and I do feel mentally well, I went on a lovely run yesterday with my friend Amy and we took Padfoot with us on his first ever run which makes me feel mentally refreshed, but even so I’ve found the news playing on my mind more than I realised before I sat down to think about what to write for this weeks blog post.

But realising this, and my need to turn away from the news from time to time, has made me realise how much has changed in the last year. I know I touched on this a bit in last weeks blog post but I feel as though I’ve come a long way in the last year and I’ve actually learnt a lot about myself.

Last week I mentioned my achievements like graduating and facing up to job rejections but there’s a lot more to it than that.

I think the key thing I’ve learnt is that I need to take care of my mental wellbeing. It seems obvious and something we all know that we should be doing but even small things like switching off the news or unfollowing accounts can help. Just knowing when to take a break.

I actually had a conversation with my boyfriend Will about ‘would you undo the last year if you could’ and I actually said no. It sounds kinda crazy because obviously this year has been incredibly tough on everybody’s mental wellbeing but I think I’ve learnt a lot of important lessons (albiet the hard way).

Before you think I’m being a horrible person, if I could undo covid I would, I would choose to save all the lives lost to the pandemic… I just mean this on a personal level of I wouldn’t want to undo the lessons I’ve learnt over the last year.

I’ve learnt a lot about building myself back up again after being knocked down, and I mean that in a variety of ways; in the face of grief, job rejections, and being anxious about change.

Ultimately I’ve learnt that we just have to do our best. We are each on our own paths and journeys and that we need to stay true to that. I need to be more patient with myself and honest about how I’m feeling and let myself take a break when I need one.

I’ve always been one to bottle up my emotions and close the doors rather than express how I’m feeling, but I’m gaining my confidence in talking about my anxieties and any woes and feeling much better for getting things off my chest.

The pandemic has slowed the world down and I don’t want to ever get back into the sweeping things under a rug approach and carrying on again that I think a lot of us felt we had to to keep up with everyday society before covid. It’s okay to say we aren’t okay and to take the time to build ourselves back up again. We’ve got to do what is best for us and simply try our best.

With things opening up tomorrow (29th) I’m actually a bit nervous about it. But with everything I’ve learnt over the last year I know I just have to take things at my own pace and do my best with it. I am incredibly excited to see more friends and family and hopefully one day this year be able to hug them. But I know it’s okay to take a break from social things as well as work things if I want\need too.

I guess in a long winded way, the moral of this blog post is to just do your best and take things at your pace. We can’t be perfect humans but as long as we try to be kind to others and look after our mental wellbeing, I think we are giving perfection a pretty good shot.

Sending my love to you all.

Abi x