Hey guys, happy belated new year. It always takes me a few days to adjust to the new year. New Year’s Day is a bit write off for me and I always feel slightly weird; like I should feel different just because it’s a new year. Really it’s only the day after the 31st December. Plus the over consumption of alcohol the night before doesn’t help that feeling of blurgh (more on that later.) I don’t think I’ve ever really done a new years resolutions blog post and I didn’t actually think I’d even make any this year but I’ve been thinking a lot this first week in January, uh oh! A little reflective perhaps but more about what would really make a difference to my life, to me. There’s a lot of self help material around this time of year which I’m all for dipping in and out of for inspiration but it sometimes takes us a little off track. Oh that girl on Instagram is going to meditate for every day in 2018 I better do that too or your best friend has signed up to do a new hardcore gym and convinced you to join her, but are these resolutions the best for you…
I tend to re-evaluate my health and wellness goals and habits on a week by week basis as I adapt and change throughout the year so I wanted to go bolder this year with three specific resolutions. The first one is health and mental health related but it’s a pretty big one, giving up alcohol has been something that I knew I’d get to one day but my excuse to not commit to that decision was always the thought that I’m in my twenties I should be having fun and out and drinking; there’s weddings, birthdays and holidays and so much that I’d be missing out on and I’d be “boring” if I didn’t drink.
If you change the way you look at the things, the things you look at change.
But recently and perhaps when I think about it a lot longer, alcohol and me combined is not pretty. Alcohol affects everyone differently and sometimes a glass or two of wine has a positive care free effect but often alcohol has really negative effects on my mental health. I also suffer from extreme PMS which is even more enhanced if I’ve been drinking more that month. So that 1/2 a bottle of wine that I had to switch off or unwind with might feel like a self loving thing at the time but then comes the anxiety, the fogginess, the tears. After New Year, it was like a flick switched. I thought to myself, what’s the most loving thing you do for yourself this year. Take away the one thing that, excuse my french, f***’s things up.
They were speaking about it on Lorraine this week (one of my guilty pleasures.) Cambridge University did research and showed that DNA gets damaged sometimes permanently from alcohol even for people who just drink moderately. I did a month experiment back in July and did feel so much better for it. We know the damage that alcohol does. It’s about doing what’s best for you. That horrible feeling after drinking too much. Is it worth it? I’m seeing it as the most loving thing I can do for myself, I’m excited for it. I’m excited for all the benefits that may come like better quality sleep, improved concentration, more energy, less cravings, my liver and every other organ in my body will be better, digestion will be better, mood swings will be less, my skin won’t feel dry. Hopefully my PMS will improve.
So number 1 is: self loving decision to give up alcohol.
I’ve got myself some Seedlip, the worlds first distilled non alcohol spirits and my favourite fever tree tonic to have around my birthday time which is 16th January. I also hear of people drinking kombucha as a nice alternative to processo and beer. I’d love to know if you guys have any non alcohol drink ideas? Are any of you doing dry January or already don’t drink at all? I’d love to know how you feel and what you notice health wise and socially etc?
The other evening I flicked on the W channel (random I know) but a new series was on called The Davina Hour, I’m a huge fan of Davina and love everything she does. I think every week she’s going to be discussing different topics of interest with a group of people. This week it was “is our pursuit for perfection making us unhappy?’ and the guests as well as Davina gave some really honest insights into there own struggles with body image, they also touched on tech addiction, stress, mental health and relationships. Definitely find it on catch up if you can.
I’ve always been a bit of perfectness, not necessarily with things like tidiness and home organisation to my dismay but with myself. Sometimes the way I can talk to myself in my head if things aren’t, in my opinion, perfect is super unhealthy. Making a mistake is unacceptable, feeling and looking unfit is unacceptable, losing my temper is unacceptable. I have this idea in my head that I must always show up and be the best I can be and I do think it comes a little from childhood and my dance background. I was a straight A student, I was always the slim one because of ballet school and was always the lovely well behaved child that my parents were so proud of on parents night. The only thing about achieving lets say “gold stars” from a young age is that you start to expect that of yourself and as soon as you don’t, it feels like you’ve let not just yourself but everyone down.
The first and in some peoples opinion probably quite silly and trivial step I’ve started to make to overcome this idea is to not wand my hair all the time. What the? Well when I let my hair dry naturally it’s really dead straight, quite limp and definitely doesn’t look “done”. I’d never turn up to a meeting without doing something to it and wouldn’t dream of going on a night out without making it wavy it or even getting a blow dry. My hair is now so damaged from heat and I care more about that now then anything so I said to myself, Lottie you need to go on a night out with your natural straight hair girl. The funny thing is I got so many compliments from my best friends, who were like your hair looks so nice just natural like that. Another light switch moment, making my hair wavy and bouncy was only my own idea of what perfection is. It was pressure that I was putting on myself, no one else even cares!
I still have high standards of myself and I value that side of me, it’s kind of stuck in me more than anything, it’s why it’s taken me all day to write this blog post rather than an hour. It’s in my bones to want to do and look well and feel well but the pressure is going to be off and I’m going to let go that little A star girl inside that maybe just wants to be liked not just by others but by herself.
Number 2: To let go of my own idea of what perfection is.
I’m a worrier. It’s not been as bad as I’ve got older but I remember being little and worrying so much if my mum was a little late home or I’d worry if I didn’t have enough time to do my homework etc. With worrying comes overthinking and getting oneself in a little bit of a muddle. I can let my imagination run wild and my mind can make up such ridiculous out of proportion stories that it keeps me up at night. I’ve had some let downs in my twenties which have caused me to have trust issues in all relationships in my life not just romantically and there’s one quote which sums up how I’m getting over this, “are you in your mind or are you in your body?”. Most of the time we are in our mind, if you actually visualise yourself getting out of your head and down into your gut you feel it, you know the truth. You feel in your body whether to trust or not trust and I’m going to take this concept into decisions I make this year in all areas but also when I’m overthinking something. Get out of that thinking mind.
Number 3: To listen to my gut more than my head.
So here’s to a tee total, unperfect, going with my gut 2018!
Love, Lottie x