HAPPY HEALTHY START TO THE NEW YEAR!
I love the festive holidays and that little bit of time between Christmas and New Year. I’m always in full veg out mode and rarely want to leave the house. It’s the one time of the year where I know I don’t have to be on call for work and I can just switch off (this is coming from someone who worked during labour)!
As usual this January I’ve set myself some goals. One of which is becoming a vegan! Yes, me, someone who doesn’t even know the name of some vegetables is becoming a vegan (purely in the nourishment arena not clothing). The thought of a pure plant-based diet actually filled me with dread at first (probably as I’m also doing no alcohol, no caffeine and no sugar). But as those little niggling thoughts started to creep up, I remembered all of the things I’ve read and learned about making things less pressurised. Right now, the prospect completely excites me – bring on Jan 1st I have my cookbooks at the ready!
Revise the word ‘temptation’.
Since I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder I’ve had to really learn a lot about the way my brain works, the way I think and how I react to things. When I’m being frantic, I binge eat. It doesn’t heal, it self harms. It just makes me feel really sick and then even worse. So I’ve learned to identify temptations. Rather than reaching for Deliveroo, Uber Eats, the local Chinese menu (delete as appropriate) I’ll take myself off for 5 minutes to sit and just be mindful of what process is taking place. It sounds so simple and a total no brainer yet it makes the world of difference. The same action can be applied to alleviating pressures of the new year. What are your short-term urges for enjoyment, that threatens long-term goals? Identify them and design your own process to overcome it.
Succumbing to pressure.
I’ve lots of goals, lessons, targets, things I’d like to achieve in 2020. But I don’t share everything with everyone. Whilst I’m guilty of driving my husband mad with everything I’d like to accomplish, some things I keep within my own home and close. The internet is there but remember that you don’t have to share every little detail. You don’t have to create pressure for yourself to prove to the world that you’re doing x, y and z.
Put yourself first.
Each Jan I hit the reset button on myself. My actions are for me. It’s unselfish because if you are well, others around you benefit. If I’m happy my husband is happy. I’m a better friend, mother, everything. Whenever I hit a bump in the road it’s usually because I’ve been neglecting myself. Not getting those early nights, drinking those extra glasses of wine, saying ‘yes’ too many times. Considering yourself, above all other things, lesses the pressure and stress.
‘Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are’ – Chinese Proverb
I read a really interesting point in a science book on micro biome (I’m a geek if you haven’t already gathered) that asked the question, ‘why do we rely solely on doctors and pharmaceutical branding to make ourselves better?’. It really resonated with me because I’m forever testing new ways of making myself better (usually holistic ways in addition to what I’m told by professionals). I’ve looked everywhere from the pharmacy to the massage chair, to herbal medicines to plants and ancient traditions for cures of my neck pain, my anxiety and more. With body builders, race horse teams and nutritionists each researching their own methods that (more often than not) are more risk taking than doctors, why aren’t we applying the same to ourselves? It frustrates me to hear “oh the Dr said x, y, z so there’s nothing I can do’. Think outside the box.
Don’t be a triangle.
I’m talking about the triangle in a percussion band. It’s tiny, on it’s own and serves no real purpose other than the occasional ‘ding’. I always say to my daughter, ‘when you grow up don’t be a triangle Mia’. It totally makes sense in my head. If a triangle were a person, they’d be lazy, would go with the flow and be defeated too many times. Take the pressure off yourself by doing something different. Go in to 2020 optimistic, open minded and want to grow. It’s ok to be chilled but don’t accept mediocrity or put downs. As Einstein said, ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.