anxiety, healthy living, mental health, mind maps, retreat, shit sandwich, sleep, social media, thrive, wellbeing

The A-game: Certified PG … or X-Rated?

Life can be complicated and life can also be a bitch… but hey! ultimately life is wonderful! – so we can shake our pom pom’s baby … it’s not all doom and gloom!

I’ve begun to realise this more as I’ve gotten older… just like I’ve also begun to realise that when I’m on my a-game, I can pretty much ride out life “successfully”, by which I mean “well”,  as in mind, body, and spirit.  Yep, I think I’ve pretty much sussed what I need to do daily now, so that I can function to the best of my ability. Which – trust me – really freaking helps when you’re riding the shit storm that life can be!

But seriously … I’m now questioning if knowing our a-game is really sexy or X-Rated enough? Or, could its PG certification or its “adulting” nature seem to put us right off?!   As you might have seen in my last blog, I recently mind mapped my wellness needs because, despite the fact I said that I am doing well and that I believe I now know what I need to, and should do… I don’t always do it!

Looking back on this now though, I do wonder if this was because my a-game seems a little too safe, too PG rated… I don’t know about you, but maybe I wanted an X-Rated version?!

For example, I’ve been thinking and talking about a lack of sleep a lot of late – for all the wrong reasons!  – as I know that this tends to alter my perceptions, my moods and my mindset… and this can dramatically change how I interpret and act to “things” (hubby is more than willing to verify this!). All of which usually results in me either upsetting myself, others or simply just making a mess of things! Sound familiar?

So, whilst recently reading Ariana Huffington’s book “Thrive” I found myself nodding away vigorously at the conclusion she drew from research undertaken by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research suggesting that:

“…sleep deprivation reduces our emotional intelligence, self-regard, assertiveness, sense of independence, empathy towards others, quality of our interpersonal relationships, positive thinking and impulse control…”

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Nodding away, mentally ticking all the above, I now see why, when I’m lacking sleep, that I’m sometimes way too quick to blame the “situation” I’m in – for my dramas – but the bottom line is, it’s (usually…) all down to ME. At least aging has gotten me to a stage in life where I can at least hold my hands up to that shit!

It’s easier said than done though, I know… but when you do, it’s freaking empowering! Why? I hear you ask… well, put simply, because it allows us to put things straight!

So, for example I was recently having one of those days whereby “nothing”, or so l thought, was going right. I had all “those” thoughts come to me… you know the ones, those that automatically pop in to your head, bold as freaking brass, out of nowhere and these ones got the better of me. Making everything appear black or white, affecting how I felt and resulting in some crappy behaviours. I also couldn’t help but notice that things just kept getting worse, a viscous circle spiralling downward.

Finally, after realising just how much I’d strayed away from my “a-game” I held my hands up, took responsibility and held myself accountable.

I owned up to myself that I was going to bed later and later and eating less than nourishing food… in fact I was eating shit. It was these choices that were making me feel and sleep like shit and yeah, as Mark Manson points out:

 “…we all get served shit sandwiches in life, everything sucks, some of the time…”

Clearly, I was contributing to this… serving up the shit sandwiches at a midnight feast?!

At the time, part of me blamed my situation… I was “anxious” and it was this anxiety that was affecting my sleep and my diet and I had no control over it. If this really were the case, I could then justify feeling sorry for myself and complain! Which, if I’m freaking honest… is exactly what I did.

The turning point came whilst visiting a wellness retreat in the Blue Mountains, curtesy of Valentine gift from hubby which, couldn’t have come at a better time. It allowed me to step out of day to day life – including all the social media feeds! – and reflect upon myself, who I was and what I’d been doing of late…

btw: If you haven’t already, I’d recommend you read a great, recent blog post by Vic questioning the relationship we have with our phones…

blog TFC

Anyway, it was at the retreat that my superwomen Lycra came out or… more like, my head came out of my arse! Because, as Craig Harper rightly puts it:

“It’s impossible to see the lesson or hear the truth when your head is up your arse”.

So, with my head out of my arse, my hair washed and my makeup fixed – joking – I don’t tend to wear makeup… it was time to get back on track!?

There was no denying it, I had stopped playing my “a-game”.

I could go into overthinking mode here, but NO! let’s not. That’s how it started in the first place… too much thinking! For now, for whatever reason, let’s just get back to the “doing”. Quite ironic really when you think the act of “not doing” at the retreat was the stark reminder that things needed to be done again!

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Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that, yeah, the “a-game” is a very simple concept but… that is also its main problem. We can start to see it as just too simple and so we start trying to overthink things, searching for more complicated reasons and solutions and that, can simply undo us.

If I’m to expose it for what it really is – it could be seen that the a-game comes with a mundane, boring sticker, almost a PG rating, rather than a sexy, dramatic  X-rated one … but hey stop playing the a-game and see how quickly we become X-rated, in all the wrong ways … you’ll get your X-Rated eventually, or a drama king or queen badge?!

So, going back to my bad sleep patterns and poor diet, this is now my PG rated a-game:

  • Turn my phone off at 9pm
  • Allow for 8 to 9 hours sleep
  • Return to daily meditation
  • Eat nourishing food, applying the 80:20 rule
  • Eat less sugar, experiencing less anxiety in the morning, no brainer, duh!!!
  • Drink more, no not wine! Water…

AND finally,

  • Catch myself before I start to over think every situation!

It’d be great to see your comments on this perspective… and don’t be shy in sharing your own “a-game rating” … I can only hope it’s been a little better than mine?! … although I’ve been playing by the PG Rules I’ve gotta say that I’m starting to feel a little sexier of late – for all the right reasons – how about you?!

Heaps of love and wellness …

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15 thoughts on “The A-game: Certified PG … or X-Rated?”

  1. Bang on as usual Sarah! Sleep is a massive part of keeping my agame with a capital A! A recent change in routine has seen much earlier starts and which has led to a lowering of my determination and mid afternoon snacking – of course of foods that don’t agree with me, which in turn causes it’s own issues…it’s a vicious cycle!! Your post is perfect timing, time for head out of the arse and conscious living again. No point over thinking it, just accept the slip up I say and get back on the agame horse. Well written gorgeous xxx🙌🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading Kristie

      Those pesky vicious cycles are upon us before we know it … and old habits die hard too, so hearing you on that one … don’t know about you but I’m going to keep pushing, replacing with new ones. If thoughts pop in my head, gonna accept them, not fight them, then move right along …we can do this right?!

      Not known you long gorgeous, but you come across as one determined lady … let’s keep our arses down, heads up and do this! xxx

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  2. Well said, as usual!!! ❤️ I love your guideline at the end! Now, if I can work it into my attempt to change a diet filled with wine and sugar (vacation) my attempt to retire at night at a reasonable time (obsessed with your instagram😂) I will apply them! Love love love you! ❤️❤️❤️ C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love you too Cristy, thanks for reading gorgeous!

      Hey wine and sugar are okay in the 20% bit honest, although if you’re anything like me you’ll have to watch that bit creeping up!

      Hey, hope you had an amazing vacation. Time maybe to get back into some new habits now … and you’re right the 9pm role call is a killer … you can get to like it though if sleeps starts to get better?!

      Anyway, I shall be watching your space to see how it works out, what works for you … then you can kick my arse when I fall behind …

      Sarah xx

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  3. Great post Sarah. I blamed not enough money, time, support blah blah blah for years. When the real problem was me. I don’t like taking risks and putting myself out there (fear of failure/rejection and all that). I know now that if I want to live my a game, that’s what I need to do. It all comes down to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Rani that’s powerful insightful stuff right there!!!

      It’s amazing to see the bigger picture, but even more amazing to put things into action! From the day I (virtually) meet you I felt you were on a journey and it’s fantastic to share it with you!

      I’ve seen your empowerment, the changes, you getting out there …

      Total A-game!!! xxx

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    1. Hey Mike

      I’m thinking, a few years ago, we were in the exact opposite situation?! … and I remember a certain PT suggesting a good few things I should be looking at to improve my overall wellbeing!!!

      Boy do I miss our “put to the worlds to right” with manic laughter, (totally inappropriate in the gym at times) … but so freaking life changing … all whilst we were trying to push weights!!!

      Great to see your new adventure and looking freaking incredible!!!

      Thanks for taking the time to read big guy!

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  4. Oh yes, as I wrote, simple is not easy. Simple means uncomplicated – which your steps are. Turn off your phone at 9pm – that is a simple step. Yet it isn’t easy!!! No, it is super hard, and we are so quick to say, oh I’ll just look one more time. All of a sudden, it is an hour later. Right???

    Yes, my a-game to reduce stress. Right before reading your post (on my lunch hour) I am thinking in my head how much stress this job is and why it upsets me etc etc. Instead, I should be practicing my stress reducing tactics, and not blaming the job. Own up man! (or girl lol!)

    Hope you can back on your “good sleep” routine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, especially in your lunch hour Lisa, although I hope you were mindfully eating and then reading (chuckles)

      Hey, it’s not easy huh?! The 9pm switch off is getting better and my FOMO, going, going, gone … can’t wait to hear how you get on with it …

      As for the stress at work, it can be both, there will be some factors that we do not have the gift to change, maybe working hours, a simple example I know, but an example nonetheless, we know they cause stress but we cannot change them, so the alternative is to protect and adapt … taking breaks, nourishing our bodies with great food, etc, etc … so like you say no blame, it is what it is …

      How great is it to just recognise that and just do what you need to do for you … I for one am loving watching your a-game unfold …

      .. and hey thanks for asking yeah, my sleep has started to improve and my anxiety much better … woohoo we’re winning Lisa

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sarah’s wellness #agame has meant a lot to me over the past three months. This past spring was especially stressful at work and I happened upon her first #agame blog post via a friend’s IG feed. This post spoke to me right when I needed it and I knew I wanted to join in to be a part of it. Historically, I intermittently used exercise as a way to reduce stress, and her #agame was an opportunity to really commit and focus on it. Joining a community, led by an enthusiastic, supportive lady really helped me keep up with my efforts. Then along came her blog post about creating a mind map to help discover strategies to keep on track and commit to your wellness #agame. As a former teacher I was all over this – mind maps, hello? Yes! I quickly came up with one that addressed my stress from five different angles. I can’t tell you enough about the difference this has made for me. As I looked at my wellness goal from each perspective, I found three new ways that really worked to reduce my stress, and they were in my control (unlike my work load). I also most importantly realized that I was creating a lot of my own stress through my habits. Changing these habits have made a huge difference in my stress level on a daily basis. Sarah’s excitement and cheer leading have also been a big factor in helping me continue to persevere on my wellness goal. Being accountable to others, sharing ideas, and sharing successes has really motivated my efforts. Thank you Sarah! 🙂 ~Lisa M

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  5. I have just read this and have to agree.

    I like the idea of the phone off at 9pm, this is something I have been trying to do but finding it hard. Realize I have a slight problem! 😁
    Will start at it again tonight .

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  6. Hey Sarah

    An insightful, information and thought provoking post (as always :))

    Hmmmm, well I can say for me my #agame was way off balance, I had to take a long hard look at what I was dedicating my time and energy to (in a positive way) and the harder stuff that was taking a back seat.

    I found that my time dedicated to social media and working on posting 1-2 times a day was just not manageable any more. My work commitments were pressing and I was working later and later which was really beginning to impact on my decision making and general well being.
    My daughter was also voicing her views on ‘loving your camera and phone more than me’ So I took stock of that and started weaning myself off the daily grind of trying to keep up with Insta.

    So now I just post when I can, scroll through in short bursts when I can and forget about it and get on with the rest with no longer the fear of missing out – it’s always there on a return and life goes on. My work commitments have gotten more into order and I realised the time that I was dedicating to social media was excessive in comparison to meeting my deadlines and dealing with day to day situations.

    Ok, so I’m not giving myself a high rating just yet, I’m definitely in PG and comfortable with that for the moment, but I know this will shift as the tide turns.

    Much love

    Claire xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read Claire sounds like some major shifts have taken place at home, especially in your work life! I hope new projects are coming together well and your best friends support invaluable, it can make all the difference?!

      Social media has a great allure for sure, especially when real life becomes difficult at times. As you said though, Insta is always there on return and life goes on …

      I feel, finding your own a-game can sure turn the tide, let you be the driving force, your wind, your sail, your terms!

      Great to hear all is becoming well once more …

      Sarah xx

      Like

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