How to NOT Give Up on Yourself

Whatever habits you’re working on changing, a more gentle, balanced and harmonious approach (and it’s a great time for increasing balance and harmony with the Waxing Crescent Moon energies this week) will help you sustain the improvements you’re making

I’m endlessly working towards improving everything about my life.

I’m hoping to be a happy, healthy 100+ year old and while I don’t have a pension (oops), I invest time and energy into making life as easy and joyful as possible for Future Evie.

March 2021 saw the most dramatic changes since February 2001 (quitting a 40 plus a day Marlboro Red habit) and July 2001 (quitting alcohol) and I gave up crisps, massively reduced my sugar and processed food intake and attempted to become less Night Owl and fully functioning Morning Person.

Almost daily aura migraines, brain fog, pain, hot flashes and other symptoms were (as with endometriosis symptoms back in 2001) highly motivating. I shared some simple self coaching ideas to help others create healthier habits HERE

Progress not perfection

Of course, being a human being, my sugar allowance rose and sometimes goes too high.

And I still whine (in my head), ‘I don’t wanna’ when my bedtime alarm goes off each night, reminding me to at least begin the process of going to bed.

I’m eating much less of the processed food and am getting better at cooking with wholefoods. Being Indian Irish, I grew up on amazing curries but paid no attention when I had the chance to learn how to cook them myself and my efforts as an adult are only NOW beginning to taste even close to my grandmother’s cooking.

I made a delicious tofu tikka masala at the weekend and, sure, I accidentally used tbsp instead of tsp measurements as I improvised from an online recipe but it was GOOD. And I now have a much better sense of how I can improve it next time.

I still sometimes go overboard on the bourbons and Bournville Fingers. Especially when I’ve been working late.

And even that’s a change in terms of reflecting on WHY I may have gone overboard (instead of simply beating myself up about something already in the past).

Curiosity and self compassion not only are more gentle attitudes but result in better information and a more lasting improvement.

If anyone had told me 7 months ago that I’d been more than 6 months crisps free, NO ONE who knows me would have believed them. I’d regularly have crisps for dinner back then.

Having applied the self compassion and friendlier, gentler self talk, I can really acknowledge this instead of focusing purely on what I’d still like to improve.

How’s your self talk when you take a small (or large) step backwards in your own self care goals?

This is my work – my private practice, what I write about, present on… and talking kindly to myself is still very much a practice.

It’s an important practice (and improves everything from mood and wellbeing to sleep and making your dreams a reality) but go easy on yourself as you work with your inner critic and other mean introjects who’ve been bullying you for however many decades.

Know it’s possible to transform this hugely important relationship with yourself.

Whether the lifestyle challenge you’re struggling with is to do with nourishing yourself more lovingly (cooking isn’t anti-feminist. It’s an important aspect of self care) or ANYTHING else, I hope you find this piece I wrote for Rapport helpful

(Again, my sugary portions have got bigger again. I’m a human.)

And I hope these self care coaching ideas help you, too

  1. Take inspiration from athletes From the Mayo GAA team to Simone Biles and many many others, athletes have to stay resilient and not spiral when something goes wrong. How quickly after your own lapse can you give yourself a mental (or actual) hug, regroup and keep on keeping on?
  2. Remember ‘we can do hard things’ as Glennon Doyle likes to say. Acknowledge what’s hard (studies show swearing discerningly can help) and know that you CAN do it
  3. Put appropriate supports in place Start by asking yourself who, in an ideal world, would you want support from? They may be famous, fictional, historical or people you know. Based on this list, what and who might actually offer practical support?
  4. Accept yourself, love yourself and while you work towards this, tap it out with EFT
  5. Honour how far you’ve come What have you already done? What did Younger You find impossible and you rarely even acknowledge anymore? Celebrate your triumphs
  6. Relax Unless it’s a life or death issue, go easier on yourself and simply soothe your whole nervous system with some simple vagal breathing in order to come back stronger while also feeling better

What changes have YOU made in the past?

How might you build on these successes? What helped you then which might also help you now?

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With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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