Journaling was one of the tools I used regularly when I was getting sober. It helped me get out of my own head so I could focus more clearly on what I needed or wanted. Which, as it turned out, was never actually alcohol.
I don’t drink alcohol anymore and quite frankly never give it much thought nowadays yet I still keep up my journaling. This is because, like a lot of the tools in my sober toolbox, journaling still benefits me in all areas of my life.
So with this in mind, I wanted to share with you my recent trip to the Lake District, what’s going on in my life and UK Lockdown 2.0.
I have arrived home after a wonderful few days away in the Lake District, UK. We stayed in a new glamping cabin (think tiny living) and it was just right for us all. At this time of year, it can be pretty miserable camping but I still enjoy the outdoors, so this was a great upgrade. Heating, a bed and a toilet. What more does a girl need?
Not being able to mix with other households at the moment due to Covid meant we just hung out as a family. We spent a day doing GO APE in the forest. For anyone unsure what this is, it’s a high rope treetop challenge. It definitely tests your nerves and you need a head for heights, but it’s great fun. The kids enjoyed the extra challenge of being responsible for their carabiners and clipping on and off safely to.
On our second day, the weather turned for the worse however that’s the norm in the Lakes. You just have to come prepared. We weren’t deterred, we packed our sandwiches and headed out on our walk regardless.
I love being outdoors, it reduces my anxiety and centres me. There is something about the fresh air and change of scenery that makes all my worries seem small and insignificant. On returning home I always feel worn out and calmer.
I didn’t discover how much I enjoy being outdoors and how much I need it to maintain good mental health until I got sober. It is one of the most effective tools in my sober toolbox now. Being outside gets me out of my own head and helps me focus on what it important in life.
Oh and the views from the top weren’t that bad either.
As for my eating, its going erm… ok… I have continued eating normally. I have not dieted but continue to reduce the amount of sugar (biscuits, sweets, chocolate etc) I eat. This has helped with the diet/binge cycle, albeit not completely.
The first week, I did really well and maintained a normal diet, though the cravings for biscuits and cake were strong. The second week was harder as we were away, so treats were had. I was careful not to binge but on return from our holiday my first thought was to severely restrict my calorie intake to compensate for the treats on holiday.
I have fought with myself over this. Despite knowing that starving myself won’t help anything. It just results in bingeing on cake and then feeling awful, the thought still pops in there.
There is a strong temptation to put some rules into place, like only having sweets on the weekend or restricting my calories 2 days a week etc… However, this sounds a lot like the rules I put in place around my drinking, which never worked.
As the UK heads into its second Lockdown tomorrow, I am so grateful that we have had some family time away. The uncertainty and the restrictions being imposed due to Covid, makes me feel anxious. I like routine and structure and lockdown interrupts this, but most of all I hate being told what to do. It’s just who I am.
During Lockdown 2.0, I will be more vigilant surrounding my mental health and wellbeing. I will continue going outdoors regardless of the weather. My focus will be on what I can do rather than what I can’t do. Planning some healthy meals will help, along with not beating myself up if I have a few treats. I think I will also start implementing some non-food related treats too.
These may be small things but they make the world of difference to me. x