2023 Bucket List | “New Things I tried for 2023 so far” How is it helping my Mental Health?

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January 30, 2023

Writer/s: Marie Nicole Ingrid Lusterio, Rafael Reyes, Christopher Jan Dumaguin
Researcher: Christopher Jan Dumaguin
Editors: K Ballesteros
Graphics: Jia Moral
Tweet Chat Moderators: Patricia Mekenzie Sevilla, Marial Lorrice Apostol 
Spaces Moderators: Alvin Joseph Mapoy 

 

As the new year begins, new exciting things become available to us.  2023 gives us 365 days to experience things we were not able to have last year. For this reason, this new page in our life offered us hope to leave our bubble one step at a time to create a list of activities. 

Considering new things for this year, let’s realign the activities with our hopes and dreams toward achieving growth, happiness, and health. Our bucket list will inspire us and motivate us to move. You do not need any other reason to try things as long as you find happiness and calm in doing it, especially after the pandemic which challenged our physical strength, mental well-being, and social relationships. 2023 is the year to start again and to create memorable and fun memories. 

Things to remember: the first step in creating a bucket list is to close our eyes and feel the things that keep us motivated in life. Our purpose and good intent are important in deciding what we must do for the rest of the year. As we self-reflect, we are not just reflecting our desire to do so, but also it helps us to know ourselves even more – our interest, passion, purpose. 

Bucket List (What Are The New Things to Explore)

As they say, time only moves forward – we grow old and grow up. The idea of the bucket list – the experiences we want to have before we “kick the bucket” – has captured our imaginations for years [1]. Keeping a bucket list creates a sense of urgency of what we hope to keep us in touch with what we find moving and inspiring. 

Bucket list ideas can be grand or simple [1], But they should align with who we are and what we care about [1]. They are rooted in our interests, purpose, and passion – the things that get us up in the morning [1]. We want to explore new things, but we do not know how and where to start? Here are some of the realistic bucket list ideas we can tick off to see how far we have come and help us put our life in order:

Start a Savings Account. “You can only live once” (YOLO) is a mantra that reminds us to experience the most out of life, including living in the present.  As much as possible, we should do and live things responsibly. Let us learn how to get insurance in case of accidents and emergencies and to invest in stocks, mutual funds, and bonds to save money over time. We can also create an emergency fund that will protect us from unexpected expenses as well [2]. We can enjoy our hard-earned money, but we should know how to set some aside for rainy days for our priorities and future goals.

Deal with Debts. Settling debts frees us from obligations that affect our other goals. Let us learn to fight the urge to borrow money again, especially if the purchase is unnecessary.

Start a Side Hustle or Business. This is one of the most practical bucket list ideas. Multiple streams of income can help us achieve our financial goals [2].

Travel. This classic bucket list idea is something we deserve as this will help us make new memories, broaden our horizons, improve our understanding of the world, and rediscover ourselves. 

Try Something Exciting. Do you want to spice up your life? Do something you have never done before, like eating exotic food, going bungee jumping, or speaking up more at school or work. Try conquering your fears [2]. Great things do not happen because of fear [2]. In anything we do, there will always be fear, but sometimes, we should learn how to take it out of the equation so we can explore exciting things!

Stay Healthy. “You are what you eat.” Becoming a healthier person involves a lot of conscious decisions [2]. Let us be mindful of what we eat, and when we are able, we can try to cut down on sugar, sodium, and fat to reduce the risk of getting certain diseases. Let us challenge that status quo by prioritizing our well-being t [2].

Volunteer. This exciting bucket list idea can help us try something new while making a positive impact in our community. We can share our talent or expertise with organizations that need it [2]. For us to stay committed to volunteering, we should choose causes we truly care about.

Stay in Love. There are many forms of love, and we can always stay in love with ourselves and the people we treasure and who care for us. We can also love the things that we are passionate about and pets. Love is something that holds us all together and makes life worth living. Without love, we cannot fully live. When we practice love, these bucket list ideas take on different meanings and can generate a sense of happiness, security, and purpose.

 A bucket list can also help us structure our lives and pursue our goals. With our perseverance, we will soon be surprised with the things we can learn and unlearn.

Check List (How Is It Helping My Mental Health)

Who we are now and what is normal for us used to be something novel—our hobbies, occupations, beliefs, habits, and other experiences. 

Recent studies examined how variety can improve mood, and a 2020 study reports that people who were in different environments each day experienced a more positive mood than those who stayed in the same places more often [3]. This is perhaps why traveling is a common goal in many people’s bucket lists: going places exposes you to new people, culture, and food to enjoy.

Seeking new experiences can teach us to be more open, and can nourish our creativity.  [4]. Further, higher dopamine levels are associated with those who are high in openness [5]. Being a creative person helps in many aspects of life, from innovating solutions outside of the box, to seeing and framing everything in life in another way, not just negatively.

Life is full of things to experience, both big and small, and yet, our life is too short to experience everything. The key to a good life, according to the Stoics, is to remind ourselves of our mortality: we are not here for long, so we need to prioritize what to do and give meaning to our experiences [6]. For an idea of what that might look like in practice, look no further than this mantra from the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think” [6].

GUIDE QUESTIONS:

Pre-Session: Make your own version of bucket list for 2023

Session Questions:

  1. What have you already tried this 2023?
  2. What urges you to try out new things?
  3. How can you encourage other people to try new things?

Post-Session: Write affirmative words to yourself for trying new things that make you happy and relaxed today.

References: 

[1] Cooks-Campbell, A. (2022). 71 Bucket List Ideas to Change Your Life. Retrieved from: 71 Bucket List Ideas to Change Your Life (betterup.com)

[2] Pagkatotohan, J (2023). For a More Meaningful Year Ahead: Bucket List Ideas for 2023. Retrieved from: Bucket List Ideas: Meaningful Things to Do This Year (moneymax.ph)

[3] Heller, A. S., Shi, T. C., Ezie, C. E. C., Reneau, T. R., Baez, L. M., Gibbons, C. J., & Hartley, C. A. (2020). Association between real-world experiential diversity and positive affect relates to hippocampal–striatal functional connectivity. Nature Neuroscience, 23(7), 800–804. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-020-0636-4

[4] Gocłowska, M. A., Ritter, S. M., Elliot, A. J., & Baas, M. (2019). Novelty seeking is linked to openness and extraversion, and can lead to greater creative performance. Journal of Personality, 87(2), 252–266. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12387

[5] Käckenmester, W., Bott, A., & Wacker, J. (2019). Openness to experience predicts dopamine effects on divergent thinking. Personality Neuroscience, 2, e3. https://doi.org/10.1017/pen.2019.3

[6] Holiday, R. (2017, June 27). “Memento Mori”: The Reminder We All Desperately Need. Daily Stoic. https://dailystoic.com/memento-mori/

 

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