The whole purpose of taking a gap year is to fill the 'gap' with wonderful and life enriching things and possibilities. While my gap year was unexpected and unplanned, I plan to take full advantage of the free chunk of time that has been thrown my way. Here are some of the things I plan to do on my gap year...
1. Adopt and maintain a positive energy and attitude
While this may not be possible every single day because fluctuations in mood are more than normal (hello woman hormones) - on the whole, I want to be more positive and radiate happiness. Every day has the potential for new opportunities so I plan on having an embracing attitude towards every day. Although I wouldn't at all describe myself as moody, negative and pessimistic - I'll admit that there are times where I'll have a little internal winge and moan to myself over the most insignificant thing (a human attribute). Erasing a few of these inner complaints will benefit me greatly. Be gone negativity!
2. Eat Clean
My multiple food intolerances mean that unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I cannot simply eat my way to eternity on hamburgers and doughnuts. Both delicacies contain wheat and dairy - two ingredients I completely avoid for the sake of not pestering my delicate, pathetic little stomach. However, crisps and sugar are my weakness and while I'll still be eating them on occasion, I want to eat nutritious, beneficial foods! I've made the first step and I have bought some really interesting books on food nutrition and how to have a healthy, balanced diet - the next stage is putting the recipes into action!
I have set foot in a gym only once in my life - I was on holiday in California and the hotel gym looked cute and quiet so I snuck in. Alien to the experience of 'going to the gym', I think my first experience was very fortunate - it was un-intimidating, unplanned and didn't cost a penny. I didn't have the scary 'gym contract' so I wasn't stuck with a membership that I couldn't maintain. However, in the new year I fully intent to sign up to a gym to ensure that I exercise at least three times weekly. I enjoy exercising, so the thought of going to the gym would actually be enjoyable for me. First - I need to save up some money! For now, I will be walking the dogs - but look out gym - I'm coming for you!
4. Read more
During sixth form my reading activities were mostly dominated by the reading lists for my subjects. I took mostly essay-based subjects so the reading material was quite hefty at times. It has been a while since I have had such a space of time to choose what I want to read and actually have time to leisurely sit and read without having other things weighing on me that I have to get done. I'm going to use my gap year to explore books and read more - hooray for the return of Holly the Bookworm!
5. Get employed!
Job hunting is tedious but it has to be done. In today's day and age getting a job is almost as easy as winning 'The Hunger Games' - so let's hope I'm Katniss Everdeen. Getting employed will introduce money back into my life and oh how I am missing those numbers in my bank account...
6. Explore and travel
As much as I would love to spend my gap year travelling around the world with friends - the majority of them are all in University already. Plus, travelling costs an obscene amount of money that I, at present, do not have. However, for now, within the UK I want to travel and explore! Hopefully by the Summer I will have saved some money from my future job (that is waiting just for me) so that I can fly the UK nest and see some more of the world.
7. Start the day early
If there's one thing I can be quite guilty of, it is getting out of bed at moonrise. While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, I would like to use the most of my day. Getting up at a 'reasonable' hour will ensure that I make the most of my hours and essentially become more productive and organised!
8. Blog more
Now that I finally have some wonderful time set free, I will be able to blog more often. Ensuring that I stay organised enough to factor in blogging time, I have very few excuses for not keeping my blog posts more regular! This will not only be super enjoyable for me but will hopefully make my blog content more appealing because there will be more bursts of it coming your way! I also want to try and vary my posts a little bit more - branching out (but not away) from fashion and beauty and dabbling in some lifestyle posts. This might include some healthy recipe ideas, my travels or books that I've read and have loved - the possibilities are endless!
Volunteering would be an awesome way for me to use my time to help out others in some shape or form. If I can find a suitable placement, I fully intent to find a volunteering job on the side of everything I am doing.
10. Focus on me
It may sound odd but I am so excited to finally have some time to breathe in life and focus on me. Getting my health whipped back into shape has been a priority for a few months now and while I am excitingly close to a full recovery, the whole process has made me realise that I really need to take some 'me time'. In the midst of everyday life, I rarely take five minutes to step back and think about how I'm feeling and ensuring that I de-stress. I used to be quite good at putting time aside for myself like this during my GCSE years (three years ago) but as life gets busier it sometimes gets harder to factor out some time for yourself. Relaxing and de-stressing is going to be a priority for me. Even though I am on a gap year, I plan to fill it with work and there are some potentially stressful things coming up (such as re-applying for University - which I am actually really excited about).