I’ve been vegan for about five months now. My transition was spurred by a lot of things that happened this year, both to me and in the world. Personally, I finally arrived at a healthy and happy place in managing my depression and anxiety. This year, I felt for the first time like my health and happiness were completely under my own control, and I chose to switch to plant-based diet for my own well-being. I also saw the already uncertain future of our planet’s health and safety grow even shakier in the wake of many policy and personnel changes that took place in 2017. I shook my old attitude, the one that told me that “I’m just one person, my impact won’t help anyone,” and decided to live out my beliefs and start sharing delicious vegan food with others.
One of the first techniques that really stuck with me from therapy was this: every night, before I go to sleep, I make a list of all of the things that made me happy that day. Even if it’s just a mental list, this helps me to quell anxiety and focus my mind on the friends I saw that day, the things I accomplished, and anything else that put me in a good mood. This seems like a good strategy for ending not just each day, but each year—so here are some veganism-related things that made me truly happy this year:
- My digestion improved SO MUCH. If pooping is uncomfortable or irregular for you, try going vegan. Just saying.
- My skin is improving. I’ve struggled with the same two patches of acne for the past six years. Through cutting out dairy and gaining an understanding of anti-inflammatory foods, I’ve seen a serious improvement. My acne is still red and visible, but a lot less inflamed and painful. Maybe I’ll finally have clear skin in 2018?
- I’m consistently staying active. This year, I learned how to ride a bike (yes, I’m 22 years old, let’s not talk about it) and it’s helped me stay active without needing a gym or large amount of space indoors. Gaining muscle has been so satisfying, and I have more all-around energy.
- I cook for myself a lot more. Once, during finals week, I ordered two Domino’s pizzas pizzas and ate them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a few days. I’m glad to say that those days are behind me (just check out my Instagram)!
I’m very excited for 2018 and all the new lessons and opportunities it brings! What made you happy this year?