Vision Board: Looking Forward
by Katie Evans
I have always had trouble focusing on my future — it used to cause me so much stress and anxiety to think about. I would worry about what I would be doing, how I would be feeling, and who I would be hanging out with. Essentially, I was anxious about the unpredictable, irrational, and unfounded scenarios my brain would create when I envisioned the future. If I didn't know how an event would unfold or know all the details of an event, I would freak out internally, start stressing, and be unable to relax. I would stress about situations that were highly unlikely to happen, and even though I knew that there was a slim chance of them occurring, they still haunted my mind. Creating a vision board is one way that helps me cope with these thoughts and encourages a more positive mindset about the future. They are a visual representation of my desires, goals, and needs for the upcoming year. As a staple, I like to include educational goals, career goals, habit goals, and self-care goals in my boards.
These boards are all about perspective. Something I love about vision boards are how personal they can be and how images can mean something different to me than for someone just looking at the board for the first time. For example, in my board above, the picture of the Houston skyline out of a car window could mean to a viewer that I want to explore Houston more or that I have career aspirations to work in one of those buildings. However, for me, that photo represents the effort I want to put into improving my driving-related anxiety and potentially tackling highway driving in the next year. My board is there to remind me that I am striving for and working towards living a more fulfilled and gratifying life.
Creating vision boards helps the future seem less scary and helps me start thinking about things I am excited to do in the next year. I also use making the boards an act of self-care by taking the time to reflect on my aspirations, struggles, and objectives. Self-care, to me, is prioritizing doing things that bring me joy and bring more positive uplifting experiences to my life. I know that this activity is productive, beneficial, and fun for me, and therefore I consider it an act of self-love. This may not work as a coping mechanism or self-care activity for everyone, but for me, this type of introspection and creation has done wonders.
Katie is from The Woodlands, Texas and attends college at The George Washington University in DC. She is majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience and loves learning about the brain and why we act the way we do. Katie was a Summer 2021 Intern at Reflect where she got to strengthen her passion about mental wellness and well-being. Katie loves her dogs, cooking, listening to podcasts, and spending time outdoors!