forming new habits

How to shovel yourself out of the shit!

August 16  |  Adversity, Mindfulness, motivation, overcoming adversity, Self-Help, self-reinvention, self-transformation, single women  |   Cynthia









We all feel down in the mouth at times. It’s part of being human. However, we needn’t stay there for long. Here are some simple tips to help dig yourself out of the vortex.

Prioritise your physical well-being

Practise physical self-love – stop punishing your body – treat yourself to nourishing and healthy foods. A car won’t run properly and reach its destination without the right fuel. Cut down on booze and pills. Pamper yourself. Don’t get into the debating society on this. You deserve it. Find a form of manageable and above all enjoyable exercise in which you can indulge regularly.

Take charge of your emotional state

Claim courage and take responsibility. Accept that we’re not responsible for the tragedies which happen to us but we are responsible for how we react to them and the messes we make of our lives. Identify which areas you play the victim in. Break these areas into bite-size chunks which you can then tackle. Pump yourself right out of that victim mentality. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Care enough about yourself to learn to lighten up. Look for the humorous side in your situation – it really is there, even if you have to emotionally contort yourself to find it. Do so because it’ll be worth it and be measured by the enormous sense of relief you’ll feel.
Stop the name and blame game – take responsibility where you need to and discard the rest. These habits completely destroy your inner power, because they prove that you’re still expecting solutions and changes from others. You’ve no power over anyone else but yourself.

When you’re wallowing in an orgy of self-pity, stop enjoying it. Force yourself out of that tangled up, childish, emotional nappy. What do nappies contain? So why stay there drowning in it? Take positive daily action to help yourself, no matter how seemingly insignificant or minute. This can be as simple as calling an encouraging friend, when all you want to do is sit and stare into space. Small actions like this will propel you out of the navel-gazing, analysis/paralysis syndrome and you’ll soon begin to feel immeasurably better.
Don’t indulge in negative talk. What you focus on expands and what doesn’t get taught, gets caught. Don’t touch it with a bargepole. Read inspiring literature. Keep a gratitude list, not a hit list. Write down five things every night which you’re grateful for, then review your list in the morning. The blessings are always there, even in the worst situation.

Take responsibility for your feelings and reactions.

You’re in charge of your life – no one else. Don’t be immobilised by or afraid of failure. Most seemingly successful people have made it after disastrous failures. Simply pick yourself up, dust yourself down and move on with belief and determination.
Don’t be a victim to others’ expectations. Be yourself at all times. Stop being a people-pleaser and a chameleon. There’s never any need to seek anyone else’s approval but your own and in this area practice does make perfect. Keep your own counsel and have the courage of your own convictions. If you have erred, don’t beat yourself up. Use that energy to forgive yourself.

Stick with the winners and not the whiners

Stick with the winners. Stay resolutely away from people with victim mentalities. Find someone you trust to help you to make a realistic appraisal of your situation. Treat yourself to a mental clear out. Find a support network with positive peer role models. There are thousands of resources out there for every area and every stage of our lives. When you’ve found your role model, be brave enough to ask for help and copy what they do as best you can. What’s the downside?

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It’s Not What You’re Eating – But What’s Eating YOU!

August 7  |  Fitness and the mature woman  |   Cynthia

The Silver Vixen Reclaim Your Body Challenge – Day 12

I can barely believe it!  I’ve actually stuck to my own challenge for 12 whole days, without slithering out of it – much as I’ve sometimes felt like doing.  Making it “public”is such a helpful mechanism.  I stick to what I’ve said I’d do – and hopefully I simultaneously encourage others to give it a whirl too.

Yesterday I had a really rubbish day.  The sort which would in the past have compelled me to head straight for the chocolate, biscuits, crisps and other such crap, and engage in a full blown-out binge.

Somebody hurt me deeply and despite the binge impulse resulting from the wounding offence, I chose to “mind the gap” between impulse and action, share the upset with a few wise, close friends – and not permit what was eating me to compel me to eat something really damaging.

This is the beginning of a new habit for me.  And it’s going to be a case of progress and not perfection in transforming it into a permanent change in my way of being.  I’ve been reflecting on how much we self-medicate with food.  Perhaps this comes from the early association of food and comforting mothers – for those of us who had a nurturing mother – which I didn’t!  Many of us were probably given food to soothe or reward us.  Perhaps this was because we did have mothers who just couldn’t give of themselves, so food was used throughout our early lives as a kind of dummy.

As somebody who’s battled multiple compulsions my whole life – mostly successfully over the last 18 years – I appreciate how tough it can be to choose wisely, when the addictive madness is upon us.  The “normies” just don’t get it – the fact that the compulsion will win hands down, over logic and rationality.  And for so many of us, once we’ve achieved some sort of reprieved status with one compulsion – up pops another and here we go again!

The bottom line is – we do have that moment of choice to choose another way of being.  At first it’s so damned tough. Then bit by bit, one minute, hour or day at a time – we make progress – but never perfection!

So – the painful moment is passing – as long as I don’t keep feeding it with more fuel.  Impulse has been restrained, just for today, so that a bad situation isn’t made worse, and can perhaps be addressed face to face later on.  I don’t self-medicate with food, booze, drugs, spending, compulsive internet surfing, look for my husband to fix me – because I’m here to tell you after 3 husbands – that the only one who can fix you is YOU! I focus on the gratitude I have for this amazing life which I’ve created and I sit with the discomfort, knowing that this too shall pass – and I practise self-care, albeit it by taking baby steps.

Have a great weekend!


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