As we come to the end of the Easter break, halfway through a three week break in counselling, it seems appropriate, if not necessary, to review my situation and make some decisions. The break has also allowed me the space and time for thoughts to drop into place and my mind to clear.
On this last day of holiday I am two thirds of the way through my third and last of the holiday books I wanted to read. I tend to keep my reading light during term time and keep those that are more demanding for holidays. So I set myself a target and have just about achieved it. This is something I wanted to do because it gives me pleasure and for no other reason.
So why can’t I do set targets and work towards them for other things? It’s been over a month since I did any exercise; I’m still putting on weight and am struggling more and more, especially as the sun comes out, to find clothes that make me look and feel comfortable. I find it difficult not to hate my body and the way I look; and as the weight slowly goes up I find it harder and harder. I also find it hard to spend time not doing anything in particular or doing things that are purely for relaxation, whether it’s having a bath or spending time in the garden.
I came to the conclusion last year that I didn’t make best use of my garden as I thought I had to finish work first, by which time the sun would have moved on leaving my garden in shadow. So I have resolved that this year I will go and sit in the sun while it’s there, even if I take my laptop out with me but preferably with a good book. I am sitting here writing this in the glorious sunshine.
I am frustrated by what feels like slow progress in counselling although I think I have actually made quite good progress this year. I’m aware that I only have a term left with my counsellor and want to make the most of it. I have also come to accept that if there is lack of progress then it’s also because I go to my session and then flounder; I walk in not knowing how to start and it often takes twenty minutes or so for me to get going which is half the session. So I need to think more about what I want to say in advance so I can start quickly.
How else can I help myself?
Working from home has the advantage that I’m always here and don’t have to commute but also has the disadvantage that I’m always here and never walk out of the office thinking that’s it for the day. I have six hours a day to myself while the children are at school and need to think more about how I use them. I have been trying not to do any work over the weekend but I also need to try and stop working outside those six hours during the day and give the rest of the day to my children, myself and I. I could do with spending some of those six hours on me but am not quite ready to give myself that priority yet. At least this would be a start to separating out work from the rest of me and my life.
I need to write more and to spend the evenings doing this. Writing a post takes about an hour and that needs to be solid time when I’m not distracted which is why I tend to to write them in bed late at night. The problem then arises that I often need to wind down after having written in order to be able to go to sleep without my mind whirring so I end up not going to sleep until late. So I need to either go to bed earlier or write downstairs when children are occupied and generally just focus on doing it as soon as the opportunity presents itself rather than late on in the evening.
Lastly and most important is the most personal. I need to look at my relationship with food, body image, weight and exercise. I don’t seem able to tackle them directly: I can maintain a period of sustained exercise but then it just vanishes. I realised diets weren’t working several years ago and gave up but couldn’t manage to stop putting on weight. I shall try returning to where I was about this time last year when I started to really think about Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size. I have those two books and a workbook to read and think about and I’ll discuss them briefly in an immediate post. I still need to change my mindset so that I can really feel that these things are important.
I understand that the reason I find the last issues the hardest is because I don’t value myself enough to look after myself. I realise the extent to which this belief is due to my parents and my partners in later life. I know I need to change it but I really can’t get my head round how. These books started to help and will hopefully continue to provide me with guidance.
So, the decisions made here, in no particular order, are:
- go and sit in the sun while it’s there;
- think more about what I want to say in advance in my counselling sessions so I can start quickly;
- keep work to schooltime;
- write my posts more frequently and earlier on in the evening so they don’t invade my sleep;
- go back to Intuitive Eating and other guidance.
We’ll see how I did at half term.