I used to want to be perfect but I’ve come to learn that all I want to be is the best version of myself possible. It sounds cliche but when you actually believe it rather than simply hear or read it, there’s a huge amount of truth and meaning behind those words.
Recently, I’ve been on this major mission to fill my own footsteps instead of following others and actively support the things I believe in. Although I know all my dreams and wishes are not going to come to life over night, it has made me happy just to know I decided upon a path that is healthy for me.
I wanted to share some more of the small yet challenging lifestyle changes I’ve made in recent weeks with you guys, to showcase just how many different things can contribute to our health and bring awareness to just some circumstances/outer aspects that can too have a real negative impact on our mental and physical wellbeing.
I guess my hope is that by being open with my experiences, feelings and processes, my readers will feel less alone, well supported and better accepted. There are plenty of glamours, glossy places online where you can indulge in articles that dictate how you should live your life or conclude what diet you should be “really” be on but there are far less places where you’re welcomed to take what you will and join in the conversation.
Let’s change that here. I’ll share first – you share second? OK, let’s go…
Switched Coffee with Organic Chicory Root
Hands up – I drink A LOT of coffee. Far too much for someone who suffers with anxiety but I try to minimise consumption on bad days. I also have a bad belly on occasion (mild, managed IBS) which is related to stress, so cutting coffee out is something I’ve always needed to do but quite honestly always had trouble with.
Someone suggested I try organic chicory root instead and though I was skeptical, I did. It’s nowhere near the same as coffee as just it doesn’t pack a punch in the same way. Nevertheless, it is a nice hearty hot drink… comparable to tea but with an earthy depth to it.
I’ve started to get a real taste for it and have successfully replaced it with coffee (most days of the week). It doesn’t hurt my stomach and you can sweeten to taste. Sometimes I froth up my milk to make it extra enjoyable and I’m not planning on stopping the experimenting there!
Cut-Down My Nicotine Intake
I’ve smoked for years and always said “I’ll give up when I’m pregnant”, not because I don’t want to give up now but because it always tends to be an impossible time to comprehend giving up such a strong addiction without some sort of intense motivation.
The thing I hate most about my habit (addiction) is the nicotine and what I love most is its ability to relieve my stress. I tried electronic cigarettes when they first came out and didn’t think much of them. Their effects were poor and my cravings too strong but in recent years technology has advanced and products have improved.
I decided to look on the market for some sort of smoking device that would allow me to relieve my stress and cut-down my nicotine intake.After a little bit of research, I came across Snoop Dogg’s G Pen – a dry herb vaporiser. It opened up a whole new world for me and before long I was learning how to create my own dry herb smoking mixes and familiarising myself with the different health properties and benefits.
So far, I’ve only smoked Cannabis (yes, I’m pro legalisation), Green Tea and Passion Flower from it but I plan to order a variety of other dry herbs suitable for smoking (like Peppermint, Lavender, St Johns Wort) and test out different combinations.
The G Pen tokes really nicely and dry herb poses a much healthier alternative to traditional smoking for those like me not quiet ready to go cold-turkey and/or completely sold on the medical benefits of marijuana. One step at a time, aye!
Consulted The I-Ching
Guidance is something I seek a lot. The I-Ching intrigued me as soon as I heard about it. I’m not going to attempt to explain it here fully as I couldn’t possibly and would encourage explore it for yourselves, but I will provide a brief description from my understanding/research for those interested:
The I-Ching is a collection of practical wisdom, pertaining to every conceivable situation. It originates in ancient China and is the oldest Chinese classical text. “I Ching” means “Classic of Changes” or “Book of Changes.”
I found the “consultancy” process enlightening in itself and decided to go with the question “what is my calling in life”, as I really liked the idea of being broad and letting the reply sit with me. I can’t say I understood the answer – but it made me feel content and as if I’m on the right path.
I didn’t feel like anything had to be “done” next but I love the idea of independent counsel. Overall I’m really excited to have learned how to do this and believe I will turn to the I Ching regularly throughout my life.
Removed The Words “Ought” & “Should” From My Vocabulary
At least, I’m trying to. I believe what you tell yourself is really important. When I took the time to discover how many times a day I did things because I figured I “ought-to” or really “should”, it quickly became apparent that I was living my life under some sort of dictatorship. Constantly trying to do the “right” thing and appear “normal”, I had lost the ability to use my own critical thinking power to make decisions.
This mean’t I was ultimately undermining my own values each and every day, without so much as a question. It isn’t easy to reverse habitual patterns like this. It takes time and determination to unlearn and do different. It’s also emotional to keep slipping up and catching yourself on the wrong path. I guess that goes to show how deeply absorbed I was (still am) in modern Western Society.
We all are. Driven by things we don’t need. Spending money on things we cannot afford. Expecting more than we have earned. Unable to reach the place or person we were told we were born to be. Pining for validation and missing out on true love. I could go on and on… instead I simply urge you to try doing the same, even if its just for a day.
Listened Attentively to My Intuition
Throughout my life I have both used and ignored my intuition. As a five year old girl, I spoke out, breaking the devastating news to my mum, and later my dad, that I had been sexually abused by the parent of a school friend. I do appreciate I’m bringing this up fairly abruptly, but I believe it to be relevant and it is not as if you aren’t somewhat aware of my baggage by now! Anyway, from that point on, up until around the age of 8, I listened attentively to my intuition.
It served me well most of the time. But as I grew older it became harder and harder to listen to my instincts when they seemed to go against so much of what was praised and appreciated (or just “the done thing”) in the world around me. My honesty was not appreciated. My truth had to be hidden.
I think it’s safe to say that I lost my way a few times. Probably will a few more in the span of my lifetime. As a teen I was at war with myself and the world. I still am now, only difference is that I’ve clocked why… and realised where I really want to end up.
Now that I see things like never before I know that I cannot fight my mind nor my body and therefore must accept and follow my intuition like it is a personal bible. I’ve found that intuition is similar to a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger you become. I don’t intend to let mine waste away again like I have previously. It is important you don’t either.
Sought Out More Comedy
When you see the world ‘for what it is’, as I say, you certainly need something lighthearted to balance things out and make you smile. I have a tendency to watch dramas, crime thrillers and documentaries but all that alongside my personal issues is just too much at the moment. That’s why I have been purposefully seeking out some more comedy to mix up our TV schedule and actually make us L-O-L.
So far we’ve got back into New Girl, South Park and Family Guy – all solid faves we’d been neglecting. I’m also quite keen on Brooklyn Nine Nine now that I’ve given it a chance, and I find Magic Mike laughable enough to slip in a mention. Let’s be real, Channing Tatum is always going to cheer me up 😉 If all else fails… XXL has got a girl! Haha.
And that’s all of them – all 14 lifestyle changes I’ve already made this year for a healthier and happier me!!! If you’ve found this mini series interesting or have a question please do leave a comment below to let me know, and if you missed Part 1 be sure to catch it here. I can’t wait to hear from you 🙂