A bowl of foraged botanical bits n bobs
I'm quite the happy camper lately, as I've mentioned here recently. Actually, it's more accurate to say I'm an even happier camper, since I was fairly happy before (apart from that brief period I was off my meds).
I've mentioned some of the reasons for this here and there, but here's a comprehensive list of reasons just because I like lists:
- I'm working four days a week instead of five. Less
- I'm getting up earlier, which makes me happier because I like being up that early even if I don't love getting up that early (it makes sense to me...); I like seeing the sunrise from my bedroom window; I like not rushing in the mornings to get to work and having time to potter around a bit; I like getting to work on time (or even early); and I like having the time to walk to work again.
- I'm walking to work every day and home again most days. Walking along the river to work (and not having to deal with nuisance people on the tram) is a pleasant way to start the day. I get 40 minutes of exercise under my belt before 9.00am and a little dose of nature (as close to nature as you can get when you live a few kilometres from the CBD anyway).
- I broke my almost-compulsive shopping habit (I have only about two months left of my year 12-month shopping ban and a new challenge in the pipeline). Overcoming that constant yearning to acquire more and more shoes and clothes has made a huge impact on my life satisfaction. It's hard to feel content when you are always wanting.
- I've been in a super creative phase, fuelled mostly by my Instagram feed, which is full of flowers, nature and flatlays. Foraging for the bits and pieces to use in my flatlays is fun.
- I've stopped complaining on social media and am actively being more positive (eg posting complimentary comments on Instagram). Not complaining boosted my happiness, but spreading positivity about the net wherever I go turbo-charged it.
- I spend a fair bit of time on social media, but I actively manage my feeds to get what I want from them - entertainment (obviously), and news and information on topics that are important to me, but also connection with like-minded people, inspiration and positive vibes. For example, I follow many women who are feminists and body positivity advocates and their posts have had an impact not only on how I think about my own body, but about other women's bodies too. I'm less judgemental about them and less judgemental about myself (not that I hated my body before, but every bit of extra kindness helps).
- I've been practising being less judgemental in general and trying not to let insignificant things get to me (I am normally irritated by many, many, MANY insignificant things). I do this by second-guessing myself - when I notice judgemental or irritable thoughts creeping in, I counteract it with another thought - e.g. "How can these idiots I work with not know how to stack a dishwasher?!" is replaced with, "Well, at least they're putting their dishes in the dishwasher instead of leaving them on the sink for someone else to deal with." And then I let it go. Most of the time.
- I've been seeing a dietician who specialises in intuitive eating to help repair my unhealthy relationship with food. I have a history of disordered eating (but not a diagnosed eating disorder), which hasn't been helped by a long list of food intolerances that means I just can't eat whatever I want. I'm good at restriction...until I'm not and then I eat everything in sight. I lose weight and feel OK (physically, I mean)...then I put it all back on and feel rotten. Rinse and repeat. I decided I needed to finally get this feast/famine cycle sorted out for the sake of my health (physical and mental). I've seen the dietician three times and I feel like I've made good progress.
- I've stopped eating gluten, which means I don't feel utterly exhausted and wracked with pain. Fatigue and pain really drag you down.
- The procedure I had in December has dramatically reduced the number of migraines I get (and also potentially prevented a brain haemorrhage/stroke. Not dying or being permanently incapacitated is very good for your mental state!).