Where to even begin?
September feels like a time for renewal. On the hot and sunny days you feel the autumn chill lingering underneath. On cold, wet days you look forward to scarves and hot chocolate. The leaves are turning, kids are going back to school. It feels more like a new year than January ever does for me. So this September I'm trying something new.
When I first came across #ScrollFreeSeptember I thought "Wouldn't that be nice if I could do it", not even thinking about the possibility that I could. I didn't give it another thought. Then I had a lot of realisations about myself and my pattern of behaviour. I read The Year of Less by Cait Flanders and I was shocked how much I related to it. The book is about a woman who racks up $30,000 in debt, pays it off and decides to start living a more simple, mindful life. She challenges herself to not buying anything for a year (with a list of exceptions). While I have also done my own year free of shopping many years ago and found it extremely beneficial this isn't the part I related to.
What I related to most was when she talked about her self-destructive habits: binge eating junk food, drinking too much and retail therapy. Another addictive habit she doesn't touch on but goes hand in hand with these for me is social media as well as binging on Netlfix. I realised that I was indulging in all of these behaviours to fill some void, to distract myself, to feel comforted, to forget, to cope. I had traded the things that actually helped me feel better for instant gratification. Didn't get a job interview? That tube of Pringles Paprika has my name all over it. Feeling shit about my body? Sure, a few hours of scrolling through Instagram will fix that!
So I'm making a change. I'm self- aware enough to know how I deal with my problems and how I should deal with them instead. So I'll be taking part in #ScrollFreeSeptember.
I dreamed up Selftember as way to honour myself. To get back to who I truly know I am deep down. The person I've neglected. The person I've forgotten about. The person I lost. I made a list of activities that I want to do that I know will help me take care of myself in a positive way. September is all about me and doing these activities. It's a way to take some time out and my core again.
meditation (why did I stop doing this?)
journalling (hello writer who has stopped writing!)
thought challenging (necessary for my mental health but such a struggle to begin)
These are only a few of the things I listed. But I know they will help me find my way back to myself. I've been relying on external factors to make me feel OK, happy, capable. But now I need to start doing the real work.