Happy September! This year has gone by too fast for my liking, but August seemed to last about 60 days, right?
Today, since it’s the first day of September, I wanted to talk about self-care and Self-Care September.
When I’m talking with clients we talk about a lot of different practices of “self” – self esteem, self awareness, self respect. I’m still seeking a term for ‘self-love’ that doesn’t make the British cringe, because I do so thoroughly believe you should love yourself, but as Louis C.K. said,
“Self love is a good thing, but self awareness is more important. You need to once in a while go ‘Uh, I’m kind of an asshole’.”
Daily habits, of the positive variety it seems, take a lot more conscious effort than the ‘bad habits’, don’t they? I can quite easily find myself six coffees in with little recollection; I’m sure a smoker finds their own vice pretty effortless. But to floss my teeth or put my phone down an hour before bed takes a real vigorous attempt of me.
Experts say it takes 21 days to form a habit. (There’s a super piece on the Huffington Post on the science behind forming habits and it’s now assumed it’s actually about 66 days.) I don’t at all agree with 21 days; I’ve been trying to make a daily habit out of flossing for several years. I think it depends a great deal upon the habit; how time-consuming it is, how much physical effort it requires, how fun-sucking it is.
I also think that to unlearn a bad habit takes even longer, proven by the difficulty of giving up smoking or trying to stay off of social media for more than five minutes. (more…)
I confess I am an over thinker only worsening with age. Though I perhaps try to worry less about things that are out of my control, though I care much less what anyone else thinks and though I’m content with how I’m going about life & have reached the blissful age of feeling no need or desire to justify my life to others, I still overanalyse the details and I still overthink situations to the point of regular frustration. I am physically incapable of not wanting to understand how a person sees things or what they meant by what they said, or even more personally, what I could have done differently and what I should have said (I for one am incredibly witty/convincing/charming AFTER a conversation).
Overthinking has its benefits. I am sometimes infuriatingly driven to understand people and love people and ‘get’ them in any way possible. Recently I found myself trying so hard to ‘get’ one particular person that the only person I really ‘got’ any better was myself. But for the most part, it lets me have the closest relationships and it lets me learn a great deal.
However. Undeniably, sometimes it’s a f**king pain in the ass to think so much. To not let a conversation or a situation just be. The majority of the girls I coach agree; perhaps that’s why coaching has its advantages; it allows you to overthink out loud. So I’m working on lessening the habit to a healthy point, where it’s good to think a little too much but not so much that your life becomes a pattern of Shoulda Woulda Coulda…because You Didn’t and going over it won’t achieve anything.
So how do we balance out our tendency to overthink? How do we, put bluntly, chill out a little bit?
SO. A month or so ago I shared a post on my experience with coming off of the Pill after a reeeally long consistent use of it. I was fascinated by how my body reacted; it was like being a different woman. I had so many conversations about the Pill following the post; other women’s experiences with being on it and coming off it. It’s still an annoyingly taboo topic so I was glad to be able to really chat to women of all different ages, and it turns out, unsurprisingly but irritatingly, that not many of us reeeeally know what’s happening in our bodies when we’re taking the Pill, or how it’s going to react when we stop taking it (a little like your reaction when you’re dumped by text, for want of a better example). (more…)
Last week, probably edging on two weeks ago now, I was thrilled because I could fit into a pair of jeans that I couldn’t get past my thighs a couple of months ago.
I’d been rummaging amongst my pile of trousers – must organise those – searching for a pair of denims without rips and holes, and found what I assumed were my black work jeans. Faded from too many washes and not designed for long people with wide hips; require pulling up belt or no belt all f**king day.
But they went straight up past my hips, right up to the waist. Button up. These weren’t the same jeans at all; these were the £20-ers that had been banished to the corner of the wardrobe because their not fitting obviously wasn’t my fault. And here they were just gliding up those thunder thighs like they hadn’t previously caused such a fuss. Hallelujah. (more…)