Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest

I’m going to set you a challenge and you have a week to prepare.

From August 1, I want you to push yourself to do the simple things that you know you should do and you know would make you feel better, but it feels hard.

We’re pretty good at doing the easy difficult things - you know, showing up to the job you hate five days a week; eating the food you know isn’t great for you but someone else is doing it or it’s easy to make (or whatever other excuse you regularly find yourself using); or watching the TV instead of doing some stretches or simply going to bloody bed on time.

But generally speaking, we’re not so good at doing the things we know we should do, the ones that feel difficult. Resting when you’re tired instead of powering through and ignoring your body's cues; saying no (to most things, generally) to dessert, a(nother) glass of wine; or prioritising your own mental/physically health over someone else.

Over the next week, I want you to observe the things in a day that trigger you.

  • What causes you to feel anxious?

  • What causes you to get overwhelmed?

  • What causes you to reach for snacks instead of a good meal?

  • How many times did you work overtime?

Then, what could you have done to change them? What's the simplest way you could've changed them?

  • Could you have eaten a good meal?

  • Could you step away for a walk to get space from the stressor?

  • Could you talk to someone?

  • Could you say no?

  • Could you have cooked instead of order?

  • Could you have gone to bed earlier and made it to the morning gym session or walked to the office?

I don’t live in your world, so only you know what would really make a difference for you. Only you know why you’re not currently doing it.

For August, I want you to do the things that will make you feel better by September, and even better by December.

Yes, saying no to a dessert is a bit crap at the time. You may think about it for 10-20 minutes. But that’s better than it repeating on you for 2-3 hours and disturbing your sleep because you feel sick, or making you feel guilty the next day.

It’s a simple action but surprisingly difficult to do.

If sweets aren’t your problem. What about tidying up your desk at work, filing your paperwork, sorting your emails, or completing your time sheet. What is the potentially small job you keep putting off? Spent 10 minutes and just get it done.

For me, the hardest thing is to stop. I cannot sit still, I’ll plan down time but often I find myself feeling anxious and fidgetty. I am much better than I was a year ago, but it’s always a battle to allow myself to just be still.

This is going to be my focus for August. Allowing myself to have an afternoon off. That may be on a Sunday, or it may be a couple of hours on a Wednesday. But I know that I need to allow myself to stop, breathe and recharge. Before something else forces me to do it.

Tell me yours!

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