Category Archives: sometimes wellbeing

Knowing Me, Knowing No : Building Intentions In Our Day To Day

This one Sunday, I sat in Dundrum town centre for several hours hoping to get some peace and quiet. Those were the days when pure silence in a shopping centre wasn’t based on it being deserted because of quarantine. It was a time that I had been so inundated with options of places to go that I simply set my phone to airplane mode so I could peacefully read my new book. That’s not to say that I’m sooooo popular, it’s more based on the fact that actually, plans are like buses – either one comes or they all arrive together or at least this was the case prior to pandemic-life. Therefore, disconnecting can elicit the most exceptional FOMO.

Thankfully, that particular day I purchased a book called ‘Fuck No!’. This bestseller by author Sarah Knight covers the topic of saying no to what we hate, what we are unsure about or simply can’t be bothered with. It can apply to all areas of life from work & friendships to random self-care. It reminds us that indeed, we don’t need to do anything out of obligation or because we think we should. Rather, it emphasises the importance of our own time and energy management as we go about our days and lives with clearer and more deliberate intention.

Sarah reminded me of what I already felt in my gut: indeed that we are here for a short time, not a long schedule-filled time. Therefore, we need to make the most of it and be clear on what we want and where we’re headed. For if we don’t know where we’re headed then how do we get there?

A big part (probably the biggest is how we spend our time). We have 24 hours in each day where we need to sleep, eat, work, exercise and maintain our sanity. In that time, we want to self-develop, form and navigate hobbies and that applies to those of us without kids. Add on top of that 1 or more children, pets, uninvited family members and friends plus social media time and being distracted and well… 24 hours can seem like not quite enough.

Being deliberate in what we say no to is as important as what we say yes to. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find this hard as you want to keep people happy and don’t want to miss out.

In quarantine life, this can apply to endless Zoom calls, phone conversations or even, walking the dog. It can mean that instead of having a ton of meetings that you send an email instead. It can also mean you take a rest rather than racing around pretending that productive is always better – it’s most definitely not always better.

Remember life before? This is a great time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t when it came to saying yes or no.

What does that look like and how has it left you as a person? Did you spend some time each week visiting people you didn’t necessarily like? Did you have an unhealthy balance between work and personal life and did you want to say yes to every plan that popped into your calendar? That’s okay either way, reflecting is key – that’s all.

Some considerations as you weigh up what works or not and where you want to say no when that yes pours out of your mouth.

When does your energy increase and when does it feel drained? Your body is always listening and can tell you when you’re invested or not. This is not to be confused by a reaction from your body when out of its comfort zone – start to listen and recognise what you’re being told.

Always ask yourself, ‘do I have the time for this?’ and could it be more of a pause and think about it rather than a ‘oh why did I bother?’ kind of reaction, afterwards.

What is your biggest goal you want to move towards and how are you going to get there? In what way can you get there and what do you have to say yes to? This can be broken down by looking at your time, what resources you have available and your ‘why’ behind what you do. In any way that you can, honour your goal and maintain that as much as possible.

Know the reasons for the yeses and know yourself. Be aware that we are here for a certain amount of time and being as intentional as possible is necessary to get the most from our days and goals.

Sorry, that was the Pandemic talking.

Ever have those days you feel like uttering ‘Feck off, Pandemic’?

Thought so.

Thankfully, that’s not today for me. It’s out of my system from last week when I got into a rut of ‘should I be reinventing myself’ or ’embracing my past self?’.

That phase passed with enough chats with my friends and walks in this glorious sunshine.

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This week, I’ll get back to the bizarre balance of getting as much rest as possible while also multiplying my skillset in a bunch of areas that I didn’t even know I wanted to.

Most days, I try to focus on the ”thank you, Pandemic’ mentality. The ‘what have I learned’ & ‘which parts of normal do I want to return to’ one that it seems, a lot of us are grappling with.

I’ve done the banana bread thing, replanted my unidentified living room flowers and added a few bulbs to my endless Dealz supply of plastic pots. Meanwhile, I’m celebrating the fact that I’m super flexible as a result of the yoga sessions, random challenges and downloading fitness apps. Those 21 day meditation challenges have allowed me to find myself a few times over (nice to meet you again, by the way).

You see, the rules are different in the Pandemic. We get to rediscover ourselves while getting lost in endless realms of our past lives. Our brains can’t help but remind us of those old encounters when our Instagram feeds fail to do so. Our old erroneous mistakes and once forgotten chapters resurface and oh my, how they’ve shaped this inevitable reflection time.

 

Meanwhile, being away from all of those who are loved most has re-iterated the fact that yes, we can build a stronger cadence of contact once we are out in the free world again as it’s already being done.

This blog post title is aptly named though. Sometimes when we’re against a wall and such a huge area of our lives is uncontrollable, it can impact our behaviour in a multitude of ways.

While I maintain that indeed we are responsible for how we act and how we consciously manoeuvre our days or interact with those around us, our emotions have the power to inevitably drive this, should we let them. When our emotions get carried away, so too do we and trailing back to calm can be a tricky journey to navigate. The map to this also happens to vary from person to person.

Thankfully, as is the case with everyone around us, we can build in habits that help us to balance our minds and reset ourselves when a rut of uncontrollable reactions tend to surface.

*Building and maintaining a support network who we trust and who lift us up is important. This applies to Pandemic days more-so than our normal lives as we need it. We become like the five people we spend the most time with & that includes Zoom calls and random Tik toks.

*If you must, follow social media that incites positivity. That’s not to say that we only follow those who are being productive and teaching us that we ‘should’ be doing all the things. No. Follow those who inspire you (in whatever way that is) and encourage you and yours to feel good and to do what’s right for you and your mindset. (Feel free to hit me up for some suggestions).

*Do some exercise, please. I’m certain this point has featured in so many of my posts because well, I’ve learned from this myself. Sure, resting is important and please do lots of that. Doing some form of exercise releases endorphins and helps to build you, your body and mind up. Check out Yoga with Adriene, Joe Wicks or Well Fest Ireland this weekend.

*Do some journaling or write something (anything) down.  All those thoughts need to go somewhere. Chat through them or write them down so there is an outlet to make sense of them. I’ve filled a journal in the past month and it’s helped me make sense of so much when I would’ve otherwise felt pent up with ideas and thoughts.

There’s so much more. The main thing is here is well, this is going to be over soon and we will get back to our lives. I’ll keep sharing ideas and tips on moving yourself forward and taking care of yourselves.

Be kind to yourself now and always as you navigate your way through quarantine life. If you don’t feel great, that’s okay. Do what you can with what you have wherever you are.

 

 

Sorry, I forgot to write it down

It’s been a bit of a crazy six months. Excuse the lack of writing and certainly, I’m aware at this stage that I’m a serial procrastinator. I love writing but I haven’t had a clue of what to put on paper. When I did think of something,  I thought “well this is boring” and so, I procrastinated some more.

Cheers for your patience, by the way.

There’s been some change in my life. I’ve changed house, changed relationship status and changed momentum. My values have remained the same while most areas day to day have been varying quite a bit. I know that I love my job, have the best friends in the world and have some fun adventures planned.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Hi, my name is June and I’ve just turned 33. I had always believed I’d have it figured out by now.

Actually, I really don’t.

Here’s what I do know. Essentially, that everything is working out fine. I know what I like and that the majority of my days comprise of beautiful moments surrounded by amazing people. I’ve got hoards of friends, kind people and I’m told, potential. I love what I do, have fun and rarely mope. When I do, I know that it’s only short-lived and going for a run or chatting to a good friend will instantly help. There’s plenty of opportunity, you see – to feel good and to move to the next chapter.

My relived realisation this week is that actually I’ll end up exactly where I’m supposed to and that any worrying has been totally un-necessary. Let’s just say that things have worked out so far and that indeed, they will continue to work out.

Some lessons I’ve learned (in case you’d care to read them) are the following:

*If you’re in a place where you’re not as happy as you know you can be well then it’s time to go back to basics. Ask yourself these three questions:

What do you want?

Where is your passion?

What are your values? (and not how this aligns with where you are).

*Having a difficult conversation can seem like a mountain to you. In fact, once it’s been had, it’s like a weight has been lifted. Truth over harmony means that it’s better to say the truth and be uncomfortable than to allow it to fester and keep the peace.

*It’s okay to be sad and say that you are. I’ve spent quite some time the past few months working on this and allowing myself to admit that the fires going on around me are impacting on my mental health. Smiling and keeping positive is important however showing some vulnerability will allow you to be your authentic self. This authentic -self will always attract real people and situations.

*Remember who’s in your circle and be extra mindful of how they’re there for you. Only spend time with those who make you better and adjust accordingly. They say you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with so start recalibrating.

*Do some exercise at least a couple of days per week. I know it’s been said time and time again but hey, here we are again.

Ever been cooped up in the house for more than a few hours and felt gross? Some exercise will release endorphins and get you moving. Any week I’ve had without adequate amounts of exercise has been less than it could be.

As for the rest of it? You’ll have to check back more regularly as I continue to share and avoid procrastination.