Mental Health Reviews

The importance of looking forward to things

There was a time in my life where I felt like I was looking into a black hole of nothingness. I wasn’t depressed (at least, I don’t think I was) and I certainly wasn’t suicidal. It was a time where my anxiety was at it’s absolute worst. Not too long after it started, when I didn’t know what it was or how to cope with it. Besides, before October 2011, I didn’t even know what a panic attack was. I didn’t know what anxiety was, let alone what it felt like. I was a girl who pranced through life, going out as much as she possibly could, meeting people and literally – literally – didn’t have a care in the world. 

This isn’t a post about my anxiety journey (but if you are interested in that for some more background info, I wrote about it here  and here) I want to talk about the importance of looking forward to things. Because during my time of black hole nothingness, I didn’t look forward to anything. I had nothing in my life to keep me above water. Every day, hour, minute felt pointless, knowing that the next day was going to be the same. And all the days after that. I had absolutely nothing to look forward to and it was hard. Really bloody hard.

Since developing my complex anxiety issues, I’ve learnt a lot. Make the most of what you’ve got is one of them. And look forward to things is another. Lavish holidays 3 times a year just aren’t feasible for a lot of us but finding something to look forward to doesn’t always have to mean something big. And that was one of the most important lessons I possibly could have learnt at this extremely difficult time in my life. If you’re only looking forward to the “big things” then you’re going to go through life very disappointed.

At the time of writing this post (2nd March), I’m looking forward to watching James Bond tonight with my boyfriend, doing Yoga in the morning, the new Formula 1 season starting, our weekend trip away to the Severn Valley Railway in Shropshire and going out for tea and cake with my mum for Mother’s Day. Oh and giving her her Mother’s Day presents which I’ve worked hard to get together. None of these things are particularly life-changing or note worthy. Especially in the eyes of people who can afford to look forward to things all year round. But they’re important to me. They keep me ticking over. (I can confirm that I had a lovely trip on the Severn Valley Railway and my Mum liked her Mother’s Day gifts!)

So my homework to you is tell me one thing you’re looking forward to this month or even sometime in the entire year. Just one thing – big or small – as I’d love to hear them. If you suffer with mental health conditions (or even if you don’t, actually) it can be incredible easy to just float through life, not thinking about the things that are happening to you, just rolling with it. But joy can be found in the tiniest of things and the easiest of activities and you certainly don’t need big parties, lavish meals or expensive holidays in order to look forward to things in your life.

So go on, tell me one thing you’re looking forward to!

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

87 Comments

  1. Greatness Reinvented says:

    Hey,

    Great post super important to have things no matter how small to look forward to. For us it’s being able to have picnics in the park feeling the suns rays and relaxing with a great book.

    GR | https://www.thegreat.uk/

    1. Sounds lovely!

  2. Such a great post! Having things to look forward to is really important, even if they are small things. I’m looking forward to seeing my grandparents this week, and to celebrating my first wedding anniversary with my husband!

    1. Awh yay! Happy anniversary 🙂

  3. Ever morning I like to read positive words that will get my mind in the right place: either a personal development book, a bit from the Bible, maybe some positive affirmations… I usually can only squeeze in 10-20 minutes, but I truly look forward for that bit of bliss before the demands of my day begin.

    1. That sounds lovely 🙂

  4. akjmusicblog says:

    It’s so nice to look forward to things, as it gives you something to get excited about. Like you I’ve had mental health problems and felt like there’s nothing good in this world. But then an opportunity or occasion comes along and makes you believe in happiness again.

    Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

    1. It really does. It gives you that little spark doesn’t it x

  5. I love how open and honest you’ve been in this post Jenny! I think you’re so right – it’s so nice to have something to look forward to especially when you’re not in a good place mentally – when my depression and anxiety were really bad, little things like that used to just help me get through each day a bit easier! xo
    Sian | http://www.siankathrine.co.uk

    1. It really does help 🙂 I was in a bit of a funk like that last week but I’ve had a few nice things to look forward to and my mood has totally changed x

  6. I really relate to this. I feel like I need to have something to look forward to, and when I don’t my mood is definitely affected. It makes life a little easier knowing that something good is on its way, even if it’s something tiny. At the moment I’m most looking forward to meeting a blogging friend who is coming up to Edinburgh next month. Just thinking about that is keeping me going!
    Beth x

    1. Awh yay that sounds fun! Have a lovely time 🙂

  7. Looking forward to things can really help, it makes me feel so much better and more positive!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Same here x

  8. Having things to look forward to are so important – it doesn’t matter how small or big. Something for me is going for a walk on Sunday to the local cafe.

    1. Absolutely 🙂 anything can be worth looking forward to!

  9. alohalola says:

    I suffer from anxiety too, sometimes holding on for something nice, something that will lift the spirits, can make everything seem worthwhile. I agree it doesn’t have to be lavish like a holiday – as, like you said, many of us can’t afford such privileges – sometimes it’s just getting to see an old friend or seeing a film. I am looking forward to going on long walks again, I need to gear myself up for this but I am working towards it x x x

    1. Absolutely. And I hate seeing articles which are like “how to improve your mental health – go on holiday!” Like yeah… we can’t all do that. Maybe try short walks first and just go that little bit further each time?

  10. Thank you so much this post is just what I needed to read right now. I know this may seem silly but I am really looking for a few hours tomorrow that I already have carved out to sit down and read. I don’t usually do this but I find reading relaxing and I really need that right now.

    1. Not silly at all, sounds lovely!

  11. Lisa's Notebook says:

    You’re absolutely right, joy can be found in the tiniest of things, it’s so important to have things to look forward to. Flora brings me joy every day in one way or another, as does Alan most days (!). Sappy I know, but true, my family is the most important thing for me. And on that note, I’m looking forward to our holiday to Lanzarote next month. Going abroad is lovely but spending two weeks together is lovelier still! x

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    1. Lanzarote is gorgeous have a great time x

  12. You are absolutely right! Looking forward to and appreciating the little things is just as important. I’m starting to realise that life is not all about big events and that is helping me feel a lot more satisfied in life. I do have some big things to look forward to: going to Athens in May, going home for a long weekend in June, seeing Beyoncé and Jay Z perform and seeing My Dad Wrote A Porno Live. However, I’m equally looking forward too hugging my dogs when I see them and the egg mayonnaise I made for lunch.

    1. That’s a wonderful array of things to look forward to!

  13. I’ve got 2 holidays coming up this summer and I honestly can’t wait! My first year of uni has been mega stressful and getting away is exactly what I need now! <3

    1. I bet it is! Have a wonderful time xxx

  14. I think you have made a great point- looking forward need not be only looking forward to big things! This is extemely crucial today as we become more and more career obsesses, our measures of success change & we want everything fast & now! Looking forward to even small things like an early sunrise with your partner or sharing a cookie with your kids- these are the small moments which always make your day!

    1. Absolutely agree! We can become SO engrossed with work and goals can’t we.

  15. I am looking forward to throwing my fiancé a big 30th birthday party in June 🎈🎉

    1. Woohoo! Hope it goes brilliantly. Funny that… my partner is 30 in June as well!

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