When Ghosts From the Past Appear…

Personal, Relationships

Last week my ex emailed me – the one I mentioned in this post. My relationship with this person and our subsequent breakup unearthed a range of mental health issues, new and old. It was an intense relationship considering I was dating my best friend at the time, and I spent the better part of a year rebounding from it while in therapy, and then almost a year and a half (up to now) being single so I could heal from it properly.

Soda Free April – wrap up

Other

So, I did the challenge, but failed at doing regular updates. Whoops. In any case, here’s what went down:

  • I had coke twice – once on day 5 which I posted about, and another time I accidentally ordered a coke with a takeaway. I went a few days before drinking it, and found it crazy sweet.
  • I was extremely busy during April, and ended up eating out a lot for lunch, and – well, this is probably where things went wrong. I still craved a carbonated drink, or some kind of sugary drink, so oftentimes I’d buy flavoured water and stuff. It’s not terrible, but I wasn’t exactly trying to prioritise water instead.
  • I definitely ate worse overall, mitigating any impact of the soda stuff.
  • I’ve had a few since the challenge ended but not really enjoyed it. Part of that is because I’ve had a really bad cold this week.

As you can see, it’s a little dubious whether I can say I succeeded or not. I stuck within my rules that I set out, but I’m not sure how I did within the ‘spirit’ of the challenge.

And that’s fine! It’s been pointed out to me that going cold turkey like this isn’t sustainable for habit building and honestly, I agree. I don’t expect long term change to come from these challenges.

Instead, I like doing these month long challenges to understand myself a bit better. If I’ve got into a habit and I want to change it, which parts do I find easy or hard to change? What things trigger the habit, such as going out to lunch? What helps me stop?

Doing this for a month, you start to notice what excuses you’re likely to make, what mental gymnastics you do to get something. I clearly did a lot of them this month because what I really wanted was the carbonation – so I can think of ways around that. In short, it brings a particular area of my life into focus and I can troubleshoot habit building around those compulsions and/or addictions.

In any case, I just think it’s fun to change stuff up sometimes 🙂

I don’t have any challenge plans for May so next one will probably be June
!

Soda Free April, Day 5

Other

So… I accidentally drank a glass of coke yesterday without even thinking!!

It was hilariously automatic. I went for lunch with my colleague in the middle of some research in a shopping mall, and only halfway through did I remember. It’s mostly because I don’t eat at restaurants very frequently, so I remembered all my usual triggers but not that one. D’oh.

Oh well. I can’t undo it, so I’ll just have to carry on and remember to get water in future 🙂 …

Soda-Free April: Day 1

Levelling Up and Productivity

When I started 2019 I had wanted to spend every month work on a new challenge or habit. During January I worked on ‘Saying yes’ (no blog post) and was really successful (never done karaoke before…) . In March I didn’t have a particular challenge, but I did work on consistently doing exercise I found fun… Like dancing – badly 🙂

This April I’m cutting out all carbonated drinks! Ironically this become a bit of a problem during my no takeaway challenge back at the end of last year, which just shows how your dependencies can shift onto something else.

Rules:

1. No carbonated drinks, at all.

2. Juice or a pint or two if I’m out with friends.

3. Drink more water! I just bought a new bottle — nothing fancy, it was super cheap — and hoping to use it at work.

That’s it! I can’t imagine this being extremely hard past the first week or so — I mostly get cravings when I buy a meal deal or something like that, as I would typically get a coke or something with it. I mostly want to cut that out, and rehydrate 🙂

Will update more this week!

You don’t have to do it happily. You just have to do it.

Levelling Up and Productivity, Mental Fitness

So often, we live our lives expecting to feel a certain way. When we inevitably don’t, we question our actions, and often punish ourselves for feeling that emotion.

I’m angry about this ‘small’ thing; I must be overreacting. I’m too anxious to speak up; I’m a coward. I feel nervous about this interview; I can’t do it.

However, there’s something to be said for taking meaningful action regardless of how you feel. Repeating the mantra in the title (‘I don’t have to feel X’. I just have to do it’ takes the pressure off me to feel a certain way. I can choose my actions based on all the information I have, not just emotions — and I can avoid shaming myself for those feelings, since I took the valued action regardless.

Here’s some examples: