How is it already the end of November? I enjoyed leaving my funk of October behind and challenging myself to a month of self care and self compassion. It’s been a good month and I’m grateful as I, like many of you, are gearing up for the holiday season. For this post, I’ve decided to finish it off by going inside- out. People, it’s time to get real. We are talking feelings.
If you’re like me, you tell yourself a lot of BS that you so desperately try and believe. You internal-lies and then you rational-lies. Lies. We do this to avoid discomfort; discomfort with others and discomfort with ourselves. You see, we’ve been taught to stuff, avoid, downplay and basically to do anything but feel our emotions. We numb ourselves. And sometimes, we don’t even know we are doing it. So, what does numbing look like?
Tough day at work? A glass of wine is waiting for you when you get home. This one glass turns into more and one night turns into most nights. And all of a sudden unwinding is synonymous with a few glasses of wine. I get it, I am as guilty as anyone for indulging. I am also a huge fan of harm reduction. Maybe just start small? Sip on a Perrier while you cook supper. Have a tea with Grey’s. Your sleep, your morning routine and your bank account will be just a few of the perks. Not convinced? Try it. One day, one less drink at a time. Let’s start leaning on each other rather than the bottle.
Facebook is one of the biggest culprits in my life for numbing. I check into so many others’ lives (#creeperalert) to check out of my own. Seriously, WTF. A few months ago, I gave myself a time out and I went off facebook. I did the detox and I even journaled about it. It was such a great month. I truly experienced JOMO (The Joy of Missing Out). I felt myself filling my time with things I actually enjoyed and even being comfortable in my own quiet company. After a few days I found myself caring less about what “everyone” was up to and focused more on what I wanted to do. I felt like I had more time in my day and my evenings didn’t speed by so quickly. Since being back on, I have tried to be more intentional with my use. More recently, I have failed at this and need to get myself back on track. I need stop scrolling Facebook while watching TV or while I wait on the corner for the street lights to change. I need to look up and look around. I need to check back in to my own life, one less refresh at a time.
Food is another big culprit for me and one that I am working hard to create a healthy relationship with. Can you relate? I know many can. We eat because we are happy and we eat because we are sad and we eat when we are bored. Sometimes, we do not eat at all. We reward and punish ourselves with food and we entertain ourselves with food. I mean, who hasn’t reached into the chip bag to wonder “Where the hell did they all go!?”. We need to have a better relationship with our food; being more mindful of what we eat, when we eat and how we eat. Mindful does not mean perfection. Mindful does not mean no chips, no carbs or no sugar. Mindful doesn’t even mean no fast food. Mindful is simply being aware. When possible, turn off the TV. When possible, sit down. And while you’re at it, maybe drink some water?
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. We numb out in so many ways; sex, gambling and spending are just a few other examples. In a world that is so connected, we have never been more disconnected from our selves. We need to reconnect to ourselves, we need to get in touch with who we are and most importantly, how we feel. It’s crazy that feeling needs to be added to our list of healthy habits. But, that’s the reality. Numbing is the new addiction and it’s time to sober up. How?
1. Put the phone down. Be intentional with your time and if possible, get an actual alarm clock. Don’t start your morning with the noise of the world; start it with the sound of yourself.
2. How did I nourish myself today? Answer that question on the daily. You have one body. Forever. Be kind to it. Love it. Nourish it. Don’t starve it. Don’t stuff it. Just love it, the best that you can. Come home to your body.
3. How am I feeling? I want you to answer that. All. Day. Long. Check in with yourself. We need to be proactive rather than chronically reactive. Once you know how you feel, the next question is what do I need? Much of what we need is inside of us, we just need to ask the right questions and then listen.
4. Drink more water. You’ll feel better. It’s free. And it’s one of the easiest things we can do for ourselves. Also, before you reach for the chips, drink some water 🙂
5. Last but not least, throw the pity party. I am serious. I know this doesn’t seem to belong on the feel good list but sometimes things are just really shitty and we need to be angry, mad, hurt, upset, disappointed… and that is okay. Feel it. Process it. Talk about it. Just please, don’t stuff it.
And you, how are you feeling?
Keep doing the best you can and stay tuned for my December Survival playlist coming at you next week.