Why is drinking enough water a habit we should all adopt?

Water makes up two thirds of our body. It is vital we drink enough fluid to maintain a healthy balance. Many people get dehydrated by not drinking enough fluid or by losing fluids and not replacing them.” (NHS)

H20

Water is incredibly important to our health and well-being. Without water you wouldn’t be able to anything you love to do; as quite frankly, you would not exist.

Humans require water in order to survive but how many of us actually take our hydration seriously? Many people see water as boring and tasteless, they don’t enjoy drinking it so forget to, or would much rather grab a quick bottle of fizz to quench their thirst. Even if you quite enjoy water we can still sometimes get through the day without even acknowledging that we haven’t drank enough of it.

But why is it so important that we top up on H20?

Sourced From

Water helps create every part of us. Every system in the human body requires water to properly function and without it we would not survive long at all. As you see in the image above the organs and structures of our body not only require water to operate efficiently/at all but they are actually made up of more water than you might of first realised.

Furthermore, water has a direct effect on:

Your healthas previously stated your body needs water to operate and function properly but it can also help remove toxins from your body, reduce the risk of disease and even help reduce joint pain.

Your mood if you are dehydrated you will be fatigued, experience dizzy spells and be all round more irritable and not much fun to be around.

Your skin – although there are many external factors that help to keep your skin hydrated if you don’t drink enough water your skin will become dry and lose it’s elasticity. When dehydrated it is also more likely to wrinkle.

Your weightfor many reasons your weight will be effected by how hydrated you are. Water helps aid digestion and the movement of energy around the body. If you aren’t hydrated not only will your muscles not be able to perform to their highest potential but their recovery will also suffer limiting your ability to move/exercise effectively.

Your brainwater has a direct effect on your concentration levels, your cognition and your memory. Plus the brain runs the show so if you’re not keeping it lubricated the entire operation could fall apart.

All in all water is necessary. If you want to live a long, happy, healthy life it is important that you ensure to keep hydrated, and with water being easily accessible you don’t have much excuse for not working on this particular habit,

See the source image
Also a good way to check for dehydration is by noting the colour of your urine.

So if you struggle to remember to drink through the day – carry a bottle around with you so you are constantly reminded (plus you are more likely to drink something when it is with you), try setting an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to have a drink, or you can download apps that will help you remember (I have used Plant Nanny before which I would recommend). You can even make a pact with yourself that when you go out for drinks or for a meal that you will have half a glass of water in-between your other drinks – this helps keep the hangover at bay too! Win-Win!

Don’t be guzzling down 3litres at the beginning of the day and ticking it off as done (like seriously don’t do this), but water your body throughout the day (aiming for between 2-3l or 8 glasses) and see the benefits that ensue.

#bettyoucan

Movement First; Exercise Second

How much do you move?

Do you have an active job that keeps you on your feet for most of the day? Or do you have an office job/a job that requires you to sit down for hours at a time?

When we look to change our activity levels the majority of us automatically jump to exercising; feeling we need to get more workouts in during the week. We think, especially if our goal is weight loss, that this is the best way for us to burn more calories and therefore move closer to our goal.

In reality the thing we should focus on first is day to day simple movement.

The majority of our daily calorie expenditure comes from our non-exercise-activity-thermogenesis (NEAT); basically the day to day movement we do that doesn’t fall under the ‘workout’ category. Things like walking, doing the housework, doing the shopping and even fidgeting all fall into our NEAT category for energy expenditure. So if we are looking to be more active to help us manage our weight we first need to look at how much we move during the day as opposed to how many times a week we can get a sweat on.

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NEAT takes up more of your day than exercise.

Step trackers are a great way to monitor this as majority of them are fairly accurate and if you spend most of the day sat down you can use the tracker to work on building up your activity without too much effort – it just takes being a bit more conscious. If your tracker is telling you you have only completed 800 steps at the end of your working day you can then acknowledge that this ideally needs increasing and so you can either go for a walk after work before settling in for the night, get some fresh air and up those steps for the day, or you can think; “tomorrow I will go for a little walk around the office once an hour/when I’m on the phone I will pace around my desk rather than sit down/on my lunch break I will pop out for a little walk…” By being aware of your daily activity you can implement little changes, little habits that help you in the long run. They don’t have to be difficult or intense but by doing small things like taking the stairs, standing on the tram, going for a little walk on your lunch or standing up and stretching your legs every hour you will increase your NEAT and therefor be in a better position to manage your weight. These little habits will also be more sustainable for most people than getting up at 5am every morning to get a daily gym session in and therefore you are more likely to keep going rather than miss your gym session and feel guilty about it causing you to write off the entire week.

Exploring Movement First – away from weight management

Of course the reasons why we should focus on our fundamental movements first before jumping all in with exercise, goes deeper than just for our weight management.

As humans it is in our nature to move. That might sound very obvious; but with a world full of ‘easy-options’ at our fingertips we have become unnaturally sedentary whilst conditioning ourselves to think this is natural.

We don’t need to go out to the shops as everything can be delivered to us, we don’t have to stand and wash the dishes as we have a machine that does it for us, we don’t even have to go out to the cinema as Netflix, Amazon, Sky and the rest, provide a huge variety of shows for us without us needing to leave the comfort of our own home. We have become lazy as a society and the majority of people would rather queue to get in a lift than take the stairs even if they are running late.

Ultimately by buying into all of the ‘easy options’ we are conditioning our bodies to be lazy and we are doing ourselves a disservice. When you reach your elderly years what do you want your standard of life to be?

Do you want to be struggling to walk unassisted, if walking at all? Do you want to be able to do the simple things like make your own lunch, pop to the shops, have a shower…? Or are you looking forward to needing assistance with every aspect of your life?

If you don’t take the time now to work on your movement habits you are most definitely declining your standard of living not just in the present but for the future too.

The basic movement patterns for humans are: Stand, walk, run, lift, bend,
hinge, squat, push, pull.

So try to do these during your day. Do them often and do them well.

Lift your child up. Bend over to pick up your washing basket. Squat down to see whats in the back of your cupboards. Push your vacuum around the house. Keep performing your day to day activities and don’t take the short cut. Move because you can and so you will continue to be able to do so for as long as possible. Don’t look back when you are 85, waiting for someone else to pick up the fork you just dropped and wish you hadn’t been so lazy in your earlier years. Don’t take for granted your body’s ability as one day it might not be able to do these simple tasks.

Respect your body. Move because you can. Work on increasing your natural daily activity before filling your week with hours of exercise. Not just to help with weight loss/maintenance but also to do what your body was designed to do. Keep body your body and your mind healthier for longer.

#bettyoucan

woman walking on road with trees on side
Move first. Exercise Second.

I am (not) good enough

I am not good enough.

The past few weeks, if I’m being honest, have been tough for me. Mentally.
I am usually someone who can pull themselves out of a ‘low moment’ before I spend too long there as I have developed my own little positivity tool box full of tools that I know help me get out of a ‘funk’. However the past few weeks, even when I’ve tried to pull myself out of the pit, it hasn’t lasted long; if worked at all.

There are a multitude of reasons contributing to me not feeling great – from being done with isolation yet anxious to get back to work, from feeling exhausted and drained both physically and mentally, and even from the heaviness of the world right now with everything going on (2020 is definitely a year for the books!) but the one thing I think has kept pulling me back down this time round is the feeling of not being good enough.

I am a very positive person. I am someone who believes we should all learn to love, or at least respect ourselves, I love cheesy life quotes and continually promote creating a life that makes you happy. No matter who you are or where you come from, I believe that no matter what your story has been up until this point you are ultimately your own author and you can choose to write the story you want going forwards. Yes you may have some unexpected plot twists along the way but it is up to you how you let them affect the overall narrative.

But I am also human. I have moments where negative thinking creeps in, times when I’m not kind to myself and where I let the weight of things pile up until I can’t hold them anymore and I collapse.

This time round (and I must say it is a recurring contender) one of the weights pinning me down was the feeling that I’m just not good enough; in any way. Not just in one area of my life but in all.

I suffer with imposter syndrome, as a lot of people these days do, and I constantly battle with the feeling that I am not able enough to do the things that I want to do/achieve. I don’t feel clever enough, talented enough, fit enough; I’m not a good enough daughter, sister, friend, let alone the fact that the world dictates that at my age I should be close to ticking of certain milestones (house, married, kids…) if I haven’t started to already…. which I haven’t and I am not.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to get it right, to smash life out of the park, and by a certain age; that we are actually limiting our ability to succeed. Through allowing the feeling of “not enough” to build up and seep into every corner it can find, you end up drowning in your own self doubt and ultimately lose yourself.

I definitely felt lost.


I have finally managed to pull myself out of my funk. I have used the tools in my tool box and when they haven’t worked I have tried out new tools. But this time the one thing I kept having to tell myself to help me climb out of the pit, even if I didn’t truly believe it at that moment in time, was that;

I am good enough.

After all why not me? Why shouldn’t I achieve the things I want to? Why can’t I be the person I want to be? If other people can, why can I?

Life is full of ups and downs, bends and twists, obstacles to trip you up and many opportunities to help you fly. The difficulty comes from you not allowing your own mind to hold you back.

So fill your own tool box, find things that help lift you and allow you to soar but never forget to tell yourself often that you are good enough.
You can be wanting to self-develop, you can still have plenty to learn and need room to grow but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough as you are.

You Are Enough.

P.S. Don’t struggle alone. Ask for help if you need it.

#bettyoucan #bettican #bettwecan

Are you too stubborn for your own good?

There are so many opinions in the world. You can have so many different conversations about the same topic and learn so many different points of view; which can be incredible… if you open your mind up to have these conversations without stubbornness stunting your ability to listen.

Sometimes having an element of stubbornness in your nature can be useful and a good thing as you are more likely to not be easily manipulated and it can come from a place of passion; which is a good attribute to possess.

However, just like anything, too much of it can have a negative effect.

There is always more to learn and room to grow.

So if you enter a conversation with a narrow mind, completely set in your ways, you miss out on the opportunity to grow and learn.

I can’t tell you how many of my opinions have changed over the years. Growing up our main opinion source is our parents/family so it is very likely you will have the same set of fundamental beliefs that they do. As you get into your teenage years your peer group takes over somewhat and you are more likely to oppose your parents opinions if they differ to that of your friends. As you keep moving through life you will surround yourself with many different people and be a part of a variety of groups – social, work based, relationships etc, and you may find that your opinions on certain subjects alter depending on the people you associate with.

This is not a bad thing.

It is not a weakness to change your opinion.

Some people see it as a lack of mental strength and even intelligence to allow others to change your mind (roll on stubbornness) but, as I previously said; it can actually be that you have learnt and grown into new opinions that are more developed and educated than the ones you previously possessed.

You will find as you age you opt for who you spend your time with more than when you were younger. You will naturally gravitate towards people with similar beliefs to you, however I don’t think you should ever stop having conversations with people who think differently to you; not necessarily to challenge them but to challenge yourself.

It doesn’t have to always be a heated discussion or debate, it can just be a sharing of opinions, after all we are allowed to think differently. Just try not to allow yourself to be so set in your ways, so close minded and stubborn that you don’t actually listen and digest what you are listening to. Passion is great. But not all passion is sister to stubbornness. Your stubbornness could actually be holding you back.

If you think you know it all, you’ve already lost.

And it doesn’t solely apply to conversations – be careful you don’t let your stubbornness stop you from apologising, from taking opportunities that come your way, don’t let it create rifts between people you care about or keep you from being happy.

Don’t stunt your own growth by being too stubborn for your own good.

So have a look around you. Who do you predominantly converse with? What kind of shows do you tend to watch? What books, magazines, news articles do you read? If you don’t have much variety in there just try mixing it up a little bit. Until you open yourself up to things outside of your current mindset you will never truly know if your opinions are based on bias and a lack of knowledge or if they are 100% your own beliefs. Where as if you open up to the world around you, if you step out of your comfort zone and collate opinions from as many sides as possible, you can form your own opinion and know you haven’t purely been a subject of your environment.

Things change constantly. Don’t be stubborn and never allow your opinion to change.

Learn from others. Grow in yourself.

#bettyoucan #bettican #bettwecan

Are you happy?

Are you happy in the NOW?

Do you reminisce on the past and wish you could relive those moments?

Are you waiting for the future when all your dreams come true?

We tend to struggle to live completely in the present, to appreciated what we currently have and not dwell on what has been or what is yet to come.

Too many times have I heard, and said myself, “I will be happy when…” as if the future holds onto the happiness and I have to live in misery, or at least some cousin of unhappiness until I get there. But the thing is you will never be happy ‘when…’

Lets say you accomplish all your goals, that you are living your dream life; do you really believe you will be 100% authentically happy? Or will there still be something missing? Something else to work towards or crave? Something else to place your happiness on that is currently out of reach?

You can not be happy unless you work on being happy now. Until you find a way of feeling at peace with who you are and what you have. Now that’s not to say you cant hope and dream and work towards more, of course you can, you don’t have to settle, however you do have to find a happiness in the now in order to have happiness in tomorrow.

As the saying goes “tomorrow never comes” so don’t waste time waiting for something that you could discover in the here and now. The future is full of endless possibilities but the truth of the matter is; no one knows what it will bring. You could achieve everything you’ve ever longed for, your dreams and desires could change, you might not progress from where you are and you could even never see another day. Morbid as it may be; it’s true. We have no clue what the future with throw at us, no way of knowing how we will respond and react in those moments, all we know is we are where we are right now so lets work on our happiness in the NOW.

How do I work on my happiness in the NOW?

Everyone is different and what might work for some may not work for others, so it’s really about exploring your personal preferences and discovering your own pockets of happiness and how to bring them out when you need them.

Try to be in the moment. Relax your mind. Concentrate on something around you. Give it your attention. Think of what you see, hear, touch, taste and smell, experience them and live in those thoughts for a minute or two.

Breathe. It’s simple but it works. Taking a few moments to just focus on your breathing, to clear the thoughts from your head, maybe with your eyes closed, can be a great way to centre yourself and be in the now.

Get creative. Doodle. Paint. Draw. Sketch. Bake. Cook. Sew. There are a plethora of things you can do to let your creative juices out. Not that creative? It doesn’t matter, you don’t have to be doing it for any particular purpose, you don’t have to share it with anyone else, but you may find some enjoyment in just letting a little bit of creativity flow out of you. Just see what happens and where it takes you.

Be grateful. List, either on paper, out loud or in your head, what you are grateful for. You can start small with say 3-5 things and over time push yourself to 10 and then 20+ things you are grateful for. It can be something as simple as the weather that day, of the fact you have air in your lungs. You can be grateful for others in your life, opportunities that you have been given, even your own personal traits. Nothing is too big or too small to have gratitude thrown its way. Practicing gratitude allows you to live in the now instead of longing for the future.

Once you allow yourself to live in the NOW you can figure out what things are best serving you and what is not. You can adapt and grow rather than hold on to something or someone else to be your source of happiness.

I’m sorry to say that you wont find true happiness when you…

“get that promotion”
“lose that weight”
“have that relationship”
“buy your first house”
“go on the holiday of a lifetime”
….etc etc….

True happiness can only come when you work on the NOW. Those milestones may bring you joy for a moment but that joy may soon be lost unless you have taken time to be present, grateful and happy without those things at your fingertips.

So enjoy reminiscing on the past, learn from it’s lessons and appreciate the memories. Dream of a future that fills you with fire and know you are capable of whatever you put your whole self into. But know happiness doesn’t live in the past nor in the future, its lives in the now. So breathe it in, live in the moment and discover what your happiness can be.

#bettyoucan #bettican #bettwecan

Mental Health Awareness

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week.

Firstly, it is incredible that we have weeks dedicated to certain taboo’s as, well, they shouldn’t be taboo, so the more we bring them to the masses the more people will be educated and understanding (hopefully); allowing us to feel able to talk more freely about such topics throughout the year.

don't give up. You are not alone, you matter signage on metal fence

But what is Mental Health? And how do we monitor it?

The WHO (World Health Organisation) constitution states: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Therefore Mental Health is not merely the absence of a diagnosed condition. Mental Health ties directly into your overall health, it is not a separate entity, and it has a hell of a lot to do with your wellbeing as well as it does any medical conditions.

You can have a diagnosed mental illness; such as Depression, Bipolar or Schizophrenia and still have a good mental wellbeing, or similarly you can be free from a medical diagnosis and suffer with bad mental wellbeing.

Mental Health and Mental Ill Health are more than a medical record.

If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing there are many options for you to gain help. Not only can you reach out to someone you know, if you have someone you are comfortable enough to talk to about what’s going on, but there are also many professional bodies and volunteer charities that are there to listen and aid you in your journey to good mental health.

I also think it’s worth noting that if you think someone is struggling don’t be afraid to ask them if they are ok, and then if they are sure. A lot of the time we say “yeah I’m fine” as we don’t want to ‘burden’ people or feel silly or ashamed of our feelings; so if you think someone isn’t currently in the best mental health double check with them even if they initially say they’re fine, whilst also making them aware that you are there if they do need to talk about anything in particular. You can’t force people to open up and these kinds of conversations can take time but just by showing them you care and offering your help you can make a huge difference. Try to not use yes or no questions, allow them the opportunity to open up and explain in their own words and repeat back to them what they have said to show you are listening. Alongside this you yourself can also reach out for help by asking a medical professional for advice on what to do if you know someone who is clearly not doing well. Help is there for everyone; all you have to do is ask.

Mental Health is not a subject we should fear. Especially right now under the current circumstances, as I guarantee pretty much everyone is struggling to some extent at some point during this pandemic with their mental health. You are not alone. So one way for us to battle it and come through the other side is to talk to each other, be kind to one another and be kind to ourselves.

person holding piece of paper with phone a friend written text

Credible Sources of Information, Support and Guidance:

Mind – https://www.mind.org.uk/

The Samaritanshttps://www.samaritans.org/ Call: 116 123
Email: jo@samaritans.org

Action for Happinesshttp://www.actionforhappiness.org/

Rethink Mental Illnesshttps://www.rethink.org/

Time to Changehttps://www.time-to-change.org.uk/

The NHS https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/ and https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/

Please don’t suffer in silence. Know you are not alone and that things can get better.

Be Aware and Be Kind.

#BETTYOUCANSURVIVETHIS

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Just a little note to make you smile.

This week I just want to try and spread a little bit of joy. We are still in very uncharted waters; everyone is doing their best to find the safest route out of this situation however it is completely new to us all so we just have to keep coming together and doing our bit.

Most of us are still fairly uncertain and confused at whether anything has actually changed for the time being in terms of lockdown but until we have a clearer path marked out for us, unfortunately we just need to stay on the same one we’ve been on for the last couple of months.

So lets try to find a little bit of joy to help us through.

Obviously there are the many challenges going on on social media right now, all the tiktok dances and parody videos. We can be getting out in the fresh air to help blow the cobwebs away, soaking up as much vitamin D as we can, and of course the majority of the population will be coming out of lockdown as master quizzers.

But make sure you’re doing the thing that fills you up. Don’t feel you have to jump on every quiz offered to you, or that you must be getting outside every single day… you do you and fill your own cup up with what ever you like most. Me I enjoy a flavoured green tea in my cup; or a black coffee (I am missing coffee from a proper coffee machine I wont lie!).

Incase you’re struggling to fill your own cup up though, and the generic – have a pamper session, do something arty, read, listen to a podcast, ring your best mate for a natter…. aren’t quite hitting the spot right now, here are some wonderful ‘bad (or dad)‘ jokes that might make you smile.

 

A guy walks into a chippy with a large salmon under his arm he asks the owner;

“Do you do fish cakes”

The owner replies “Yeah we do fish cakes”

The customer replies “Fantastic! It’s his birthday!”

 

What is Red and Juicy and Round?

A Lemon disguised as a Strawberry.

 

Two muffins were in the oven and one turned to the other and said

“Gosh it’s hot in here!”

The other muffin replied,

“ARGGHHH A TALKING MUFFIN!”

 

What does a house wear?

A dress

 

A family of 4 tomatoes were crossing the road. Suddenly a car came along and ran over one of them. The others shouted back to the squished tomato; “KETCHUP!”

Dad jokes are the best!! 

Keep your chin up. Keep you cup as full as possible. And if you need anymore bad jokes just let me know!!

#BETTYOUCANSURVIVETHIS

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You can’t social distance from yourself – Isolation Addition

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Social distancing is a thing of the present.

Whether we like it or not we are being told to keep a safe distance from not only Joe Bloggs in the Supermarket but from the ones we love most in this world (unless you are lucky enough to live with them that it).

However there is one person that we can’t social distance from, no matter how much we may want to at times.

“Everywhere you go, there you are” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

The one person that is attached to you through thick and thin, through isolation and beyond is YOU.

So wouldn’t it make sense to be kind, and even maybe be friends, with the person who you spend all your time with?

I know it’s easier said than done. I know unpicking a lifetime of self-loathing is a daunting, and seems like a somewhat impossible task. However, I promise you it is doable, and if you give it time and take small steps you can move towards a happier relationship with yourself.

We might be struggling right now to be left alone with our own thoughts and we might be doing everything we can to keep ourselves busy, or avoiding having any quiet time just us. Yet maybe this could be a time where we try to get to know ourselves a little better.

Obviously this alien time in life does not call for you to do anything in particular. You don’t have to use it to enhance your skills, to get fitter, to learn, to do all the DIY you’ve been putting off, or to even become your own best friend; but wouldn’t it be an idea to contemplate the opportunity at least to learn more about yourself and get on better terms with who you are?

Even if you just try to be kinder to yourself. To not criticise yourself as much or feel guilty for not living up to the expectations you put on yourself. To accept that you are only human and no human is perfect, or maybe even start to compliment and congratulate yourself for the little things.

If you have ever been bullied, or had someone criticise you despite your efforts, you will know the power words can have.

Below is an extract from a piece written by Julia Guerra in 2018 from Elite Daily.

In honor of Anti-Bullying Day on May 4, IKEA brought two plants to various classrooms around the United Arab Emirates. Each plant was housed in a glass case, given the same amount of sunlight and water, and put on display for the students to study over the course of 30 days. The kids recorded different audio messages for the plants, one of which was forced to listen to bullying messages day in and day out, while the other enjoyed positive audio messages and compliments during the 30 days.
After one month of internalizing these different messages, the results, IKEA said in its video of the experiment, spoke for themselves: At the end of the 30 days, one student described the plant who listened to positive messages as “thriving” and “beautiful,” compared to its plotted counterpart, whose bullying messages ultimately led to the plant’s demise — or, at least, so it seems.

green leaf plant

If negative words can affect a plant then imagine what they are doing to you and what you are limiting yourself from achieving by constantly tearing yourself down.

Now you may not have any belief in the noted experiment but I think you can agree that words are powerful and have consequences.

Imagine if the only words you spoke to yourself were kind ones, that you didn’t chastise yourself but gave yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments and even learnt to give yourself a compliment once in a while.

As previously stated, you are always with yourself. There is no escape. You are the only person that, without a doubt, will be there with you for your entire life. Surely you agree it is worth investing time into making that relationship the best it can be.

I’m not saying you should love yourself from this point onwards; it will take time, it will be a process of unlearning all the self- critical habits and thought patterns you have grown to be accustomed to but if you start today you will gain time in the future being happy with yourself, rather than missing out on even more time by not taking that first step.

Isolation can be tough. Life can be harsh. Don’t add to the negatives.

Be kind to yourself. Trust you can do this. Be your friend.

#BETTYOUCANSURVIVETHIS 

brown framed eyeglasses on white printer paper

How Do I Cope With Change? – Isolation Addition

Who likes change?

As humans we aren’t as keen on change as we would like ourselves to believe. Even though change is one of the most natural things in the world we naturally struggle with it. Strange.

Whether it’s due to the lack of control, the fear of the unknown, past experiences, not wanting to risk losing a current comfort or for some other reason, on a whole we struggle with accepting too much change into our lives.

Yet with the current situation we have all had to find a way to adapt to a change that we never saw coming.

How have you coped?

Have you managed to adapt?

Are you still struggling?

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future” – John F Kennedy

Change is inevitable in every area of our lives. Our bodies constantly change as we age, we change jobs, move houses, alter our relationship status; even in situations that we keep routinely we will have changes even if we try to keep it the same.

The thing is change allows progress. If we just stay as we are, where we are, with no room for movement, we will never grow, never experience something greater.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” —Jim Rohn

Independent Insights – Change is Good - Travelweek

So you’re comfortable, you’re fine with how things are, maybe you’re even happy with your current situation. Contentment is not a bad thing, it is nice to feel secure and satisfied however, if we aren’t open to change, if we aren’t prepared to allow ourselves modification or transformation then how will we cope when the choice of change is taken away from us?

What if you are fine in the job you’re in? You might not be fulfilled but it pays the bills so you have no desire to change it, you’ve just been called into the office and…. you’ve been let go. What now?

What if you are settled in your relationship? You wouldn’t exactly say you are happy but you’re not unhappy and you know things could be worse so you have no lust to move on and find another, potentially better, relationship; as there’s no guaranteeing you would find anything better anyway. You’ve just come home and… your partners bags are packed, they are leaving you. What now?

You go to the same holiday destination each year, you love it. It brings back so many good memories and you worry that if you went anywhere else you wouldn’t have as good a time and it would be a waste of your only time off. You go to book your next trip and prices have gone up; flights, accommodation, everything you usually pay for has increased and is now out of your price range. What now?

You may suddenly be told to stay in your house because there is a global pandemic and your normal daily routine has to immediately alter. What now?

Some things are out of your control. So even if you are not actively creating change yourself you can not guarantee change won’t be placed in your lap to deal with.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” —Lao Tzu

assorted-color lear hanging decor


So how do we learn to deal with change?

It is not a simple “just deal with it” answer as different forms of change will effect each individual differently. However there are a few things you can implement and over time you should have a better ability to cope with change.

  1. Mix things up – even simple things like getting up out of the opposite side of the bed, switching your morning coffee for a green tea, taking a different route to work, trying a new class at the gym, opting for a different takeaway than usual… will make a difference. Our brain should be in control of our bodies yet due to our ritualised habits we allow our bodies to run on autopilot and our brain just goes into memory mode so when something disrupts our learnt pattern we usually have an instinctive negative reaction that can effect our mood for ages afterwards. Whereas if we choose ourselves to make change on a regular basis, even with the smallest most insignificant things, we allow our brain to lead the way again; we open ourselves up to learn new ways of doing things and therefor will be better equipped at dealing with change when it is thrust upon us.
  2. Be aware of your mindset – mindset holds great power. It is through our mindset that we control the effect change can have upon us. If your mindset is closed then you are likely to react badly to change. Also if your mindset is negative to begin with then you won’t be able to have a positive reaction; especially if your mindset is self-limiting. If you put yourself down, or don’t believe you are capable then the fear of change will always control you. Working on your mindset, developing the skills to free yourself from unfavorable thoughts will enable you to tackle change head on.
  3. Forgive past regrets – if you hold on to changes made in your past that didn’t quite have a happy ending you will struggle to move forward with change. I am a firm believer that there are lessons to be learnt from everything we do, experience and witness. So see your past challenges as education, they are teachings to help you grow. Forgive your past and let go of regret.
  4. Do things that scare you –  Get out of your comfortzone by not just mixing up your day to day routine but by every now and then (or as often as you are willing) do something that scares you a little. I’m not talking about something that terrifies you; not all of us are adrenaline seekers that could handle jumping out of a plane or something to that effect, however whether its asking that guy out for a drink, applying to your dream job or even going skinny dipping… do things to keep your heart pumping and your brain excited.
  5.  Make a change – Finally if something isnt serving you learn to make a change; and I am talking about things more than changing the hand you use to brush your teeth in a morning. To make a big change is scary, it is anxiety inducing but if something isn’t serving you then change it. Don’t hold onto things out of fear, comfort or excuses; friendship, relationships, jobs… whatever it is learn to let go and move on. These things could be taken from you or change themselves at any given moment, so be the one to initiate the change to begin with.
  6.  Find your de-stress tool – I would also recommend finding something that helps you with stress, something that focuses your mind and provides you with a healthy outlet. It could be exercise, art, meditation, axe throwing (in a safe environment that is), sport, writing, cleaning, singing at the top of your lungs… something that will help you de-stress once change has been made. 

If you do these things more often in your life you will develop a thicker skin when change is made. It won’t solve all of your problems, it won’t cure you of your fear but it might aid in coping with things slightly better.

“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.” — Graham Brown

Change has been thrust upon us in the form of isolation.

Don’t fight it.

Adapt. Learn. Grow.

In change is where we learn to live.

 

#bettyoucansurvivethis

Leading Change

What is Motivation and where can I find it? – Isolation Addition

Who is lacking motivation?

The response to this question would unfortunately see the majority of you raise your hand.

Some of you might be coping really well and be enjoying lockdown to a certain extent but what about those of us that are really struggling to even get dressed each day?

How can we find the motivation to get up and get stuff done? To do the things we need to do or even want to do? Even if there is nothing we can think of to do, nothing that we desperately want to do or that we can think of doing that has much point to it right now. Where is the motivation generator and how do we use it to get stuff done?


What is Motivation?

First off what would you say motivation is?

An ability to perform tasks that you don’t want to do? A desire to do the things you know you should do or need to do in order to reach an end goal? The completion of any task that is solely necessary rather than just for fun?

According to Oxford Dictionary; motivation is “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.”

Therefore we can argue that motivation is inside each and every one of us all the time and its just a question of which acting upon it.

white concrete building with if not now, when? text

We all have reasons for doing things. We all have reasons for not doing things. The motivation for both is always apparent it all depends on which reason is stronger as to which way the scales will tip.

Unfortunately the majority of us sit around and wait for motivation to suddenly spring itself upon us; to wash over us and engulf us in its productive energy. When in actual fact our motivation to sit around and wait is stronger than our motivation to act upon getting stuff done.

The Oxford Dictionary goes on to describe motivation as a; “desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm” and I feel this is where we all get confused.

Let’s take for example exercise. You know exercise is good for you, you know it is proven to have multitudes of benefits, you know that if you persevere with it and give it a good go on a regular basis that you will undoubtedly feel better for it in the long run – mentally as well as physically. Yet, despite having plenty of reasons to do exercise, so many of us say we don’t have the motivation because we may lack the desire or willingness – we lack the enthusiasm.

Now the reasons for that could be tenfold and would require a whole blog of its own to delve into the ins and outs of it all. However, in a very condensed summary, just because you lack enthusiasm for something doesn’t mean it is impossible to still do it.

You still have the motivation inside you to get it done you just have to make a choice to act upon it despite the lack of desire; and then the enthusiasm will start to make an appearance at some point down the line.

black card

Still using the example of exercise; there are some days I have no enthusiasm to do any form of exercise and other days when I’m full of desire to get my sweat on. Some days my desire to avoid exercise is greater than my reasons to just get it done, yet other days my reasons as to why I should do some exercise motivate me despite my lack of enthusiasm. On the days that my reasons to exercise motivate me, I, on the whole, tend to feel a hell of a lot better for getting it done and find some form of enthusiasm through being proud of myself for doing it in the absence of desire. Whereas the days I let my motivation to not do anything triumph, I only feel less desire and willingness and struggle further to make that ‘motivated’ step. (This is not to say you shouldn’t have rest days… rest days are important and should form part of your workout schedule).

If you aren’t careful your motivation could be going round in circles and you might be trapping yourself in a pattern, making it harder for you to ever do the task at hand. Obviously it isn’t just exercise that causes the ‘lack of motivation’ excuse, it could be to get your work done, to clean the bathroom, to assemble the garden shed, to ring the bank… the list goes on. We all have things that cause us to use the excuse “oh I haven’t got the motivation for that right now”. However we do, as we have our reasons as to why we should do it, we are just choosing to not act up on it.

That might anger you to read. You might feel like I’m calling you lazy or pressuring you to do things that you just don’t want to do. I am not. I am just simply offering you the empowering knowledge that you can do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it. You don’t have to wait for motivation to miraculously appear. You can use your pre-existing reasons to do something as motivation to get it done and eventually see the enthusiasm to do it and sense of achievement from doing it flow out of you.

white ceramic mug on table

Yes there are certain things you might never find full enjoyment from – I don’t think I will ever be full of desire to do the washing but through using the reason; “it needs doing otherwise I wont have any clean clothes to wear” to motivate me to do it, I will then find a happiness once it’s done due to the fact that I pushed through my lack of enthusiasm and completed the task.

Motivation doesn’t grow on trees. It doesn’t get delivered to your doorstep wrapped in a bow. It’s already in you; waiting for you to unleash it. So next time you find yourself asking someone how they are so motivated; first try taking control of your own motivation and act up it. Don’t sit around waiting for the secret to rush over you. Just do it. And see how liberated you feel, to own your own motivation, to BE your own motivation.

Side Note: It is ok to allow your motivation to be unproductive to be greater than your motivation to be productive on occasion; don’t beat yourself up for not getting things done asap. However, just be conscious about which one you are allowing to take centre stage more consistently – only you can control it. So ensure you’re not doing yourself a disservice by engulfing yourself in a circle of ‘no motivation‘.

You’ve got this!!

#bettyoucansurvivethis 

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