No More Electronics

SONY DSC
Photo credit: Mr.[ A7b il7oB }™.. on Visual Hunt / CC BY
Recently, my husband and I stopped using electronics and watching TV while we’re eating. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the habits are so ingrained in us that it just happens automatically: my phone dings, I check it. If I happen to take a picture (of like, my food) while we’re eating, I immediately post it to Instagram. And then continue eating. Often while we’re having a conversation, something comes up that has to be Googled, and my husband just picks up his phone to Google it.

We have been doing well, thankfully. Sure, one of us slips up now and then, but for the most part, we’re rocking no electronics!

We began doing this because it was presented as a challenge in my weight-loss app. Who doesn’t like a challenge? Also, not using electronics during meals was part of a chapter on eating mindfully, to sort of prepare us for doing just that. Not using electronics while we eat lets us better concentrate on our food, which helps us remain in the present. It’s what mindful eating is about to me, anyway.

We’re encouraged to take a bite, chew slowly, and note the flavors, the textures, how the food feels against our mouths, what it’s like to swallow. It sounds kind of weird, but your relationship with food will change. You’ll appreciate it more. You might even eat less because you’ll feel full from eating slowly. By the way, did you know that putting your fork down after each bite helps you eat slowly?

Finally, a major point in our eating without electronics is that it allows my husband and me to have a conversation instead of vegging in front of the TV. We still eat in the living room, though, but hopefully we will eat at the table again.


Have you heard of mindful eating, or practice eating mindfully? What are your thoughts?

Massage Creepiness

woman relaxing relax spa
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Massage is wonderful for depression because you release serotonin. If you’re depressed, your serotonin level may be deficient. It also helps reduce the tightness in your muscles, but you already know that!

I used to get a massage every 4 weeks at the salon where I go regularly. Then my massage therapist took another job, and I haven’t had regular massages since. He was never replaced. This was like a year ago. Since then, I’ve only received maybe 2 massages, one by a man and one by a woman.

There’s a massage place not far from me. All they do is massage. I’ve been there once before and left satisfied. However, I’ve been hesitating making an appointment. I don’t know why. Maybe because you get any one of their 14 therapists, male or female? Though most of them are women.

I’ve had one male therapist — the one who left the salon — and I felt comfortable around him, not vulnerable. I had another male therapist one time only, and he did an awesome job. It was the best massage I’ve ever had! I didn’t feel vulnerable around him, but he was kind of creepy. He would moan and groan every so often while working on me. Yikes!

So I don’t know what to expect with guys. On the one hand, men apply pressure strongly and really get at those knots. On the other hand, they (and I suppose women) can be weird, like the Moaner.

Maybe I can request a specific therapist, or whether I prefer a male or female therapist. All I have to do is pick up the phone and call them. But I hate talking on the phone so much, which is another reason I’ve been procrastinating. Even though my muscles are screaming to be unknotted!


Would you prefer a massage therapist of the same or opposite sex? Or does it matter?

3 Things to Do Less Often

sorry
Photo credit: garycycles8 on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

The other day I posted 3 Things to Do More Often. Today I’ll examine Things to Do Less Often.

  1. APOLOGIZE: I say “I’m sorry” waaaayyyy more than I ought to, and about inconsequential things. For example, if my husband and I reach for the same item at the same time, I’ll apologize. In the car, if I don’t secure my seatbelt fast enough, the obnoxious alarm goes off, and I apologize. Out in public, if someone brushes against me and says, “Excuse me,” I apologize (and try to get over the fact that a complete stranger touched me). Well, none of these things or others like them are my fault, so why do I keep apologizing? I’m guessing it has to do with my self-esteem: it’s low. I think so little of myself that I’m willing to take the blame or claim that whatever the situation is, is my fault. I need to do this less often.
  2. PRESSURE MYSELF: I have a habit of pressuring myself to post once a day here or to my dog’s Instagram (shameless plug — follow him here! @rudy_thegoodboy). I’ll have 5 posts ready to publish in the next 5 days, but I feel that I need to write yet one more. The thought of not posting for one day makes me uneasy. Rationally, I know that I don’t have to do any of this, but in my mind it gets warped into some sort of hang-up. Not fun. I will stop pressuring myself more often.
  3. AVOIDANCE: I’m a HUGE avoider. I avoid actions/interactions because I’m scared of them. I can’t even pay for something at the check-out line without feeling anxious; I’ll step aside so my husband can pay, but he’s on to me now. I avoid answering the door when we order food and delivery arrives. The restaurants don’t always give you the total, so you only learn what it is when delivery shows up, and then I’m confused about how much to tip because I can’t do math that quickly. Plus it’s a total stranger, and you never know. I need to stop avoiding things and people.

These are just some of the habits in my life that I want to stop: apologizing needlessly; putting pressure on myself; and avoiding everyday things.


Is there anything  you need to do less often?

3 Things to Do More Often

I have a lot of bad habits, but I’m trying to establish good ones. Here are some things that I can do more often:

  1. EXERCISE: Well, I exercise nearly every single day by walking on the treadmill and doing one exercise, like jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, lunges, or squats. The former, I do for 10 minutes. The latter, according to that particular fitness challenge, I’m supposed to do 3 of the above exercises a day. I only do one because I can’t do all 3 one after the other yet.
    I can’t walk for more than 10 minutes because it is so frickin’ boring, even though I always read a book — which helps. Plus, it’s challenging for me right now. I went from doing zero exercises to what I do today. I can increase the length of time or the speed in which I walk, slowly. I feel that I can increase the exercises, but in very small increments. My therapist says that any movement is good.
  2. DIET: I feel that I can eat better than I do, like eat more salads because they aren’t as calorie dense as say, a cheese quesadilla. The problem is I don’t like salads. It’s not that I don’t like vegetables — I hate trying to spear the pieces of lettuce with my fork. It’s unsatisfying not to get a nice mouthful of food. I do occasionally eat — and enjoy eating — a salad, and I can choose salad more often when we eat out.
  3. READ: I haven’t been reading anywhere near as much as I used to. Part of the reason is I don’t have enough time. Another is because the last few books I read have bored me.
    I’m currently reading Educated by Tara Westover. It’s a memoir about how the author grew up in a survivalist family. That is, the dad was convinced that the End of Days were near and made sure his family would be protected. He also didn’t believe in the government, so some of the kids didn’t have birth certificates or drivers licenses.
    It’s interesting and I like it so far. But it’s not the kind of book I can’t put down and finish in a day.

So these are 3 areas of my life that I want to improve: slowly increase the number of exercises that I do; eat more salads/make healthier food choices; and make time to read every day, not just while I’m on the treadmill.


Is there anything you would like to improve?

Sticky

Sticky Note Drawings
Photo credit: tophrrrr on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Thank you so much to my new followers and old followers for sticking by me and my blog during the time that I took off. I don’t know when I’ll post next; hopefully it will be more regularly.

So. Since January I’ve…

  • quit, yes quit my drawing class. I went the first 2 times (it was a 5-week course); made the conscious decision not to go the 3rd time (can’t remember why–maybe because I figured out that I couldn’t learn to draw!); there was a polar vortex in the 4th week; and the last class I didn’t feel would be worth it. I know I was just posting about how good I’ve been keeping my commitments, and I’ve been good about it. I had a setback but I started over the next day, which is an outlook I’ve been trying to maintain. No such thing as failures–just mistakes, which I can learn from. I’m finally starting to see things that way.
  • just finished (all 4 weeks) of another online writing course. It was with the same instructor I had last time. The focus of this class was to simply follow where a story leads, just let your creativity flow to someplace you’ve never been, in terms of your story/writing. As a result of taking this class, along with doing Shut Up & Write’s 30-day Writing Challenge, I’ve been writing every day for at least 2 hours, for about a month. I just can’t think of anything to blog about.
  • signed up for an intermediate (though that’s relative) crochet class that starts in May! I’m very excited about this. I have been crocheting, though I stalled a week or 2 ago because the shawl I’m working on is somewhat repetitive and I was getting bored. I’m determined to finish it, even though the shape is very obviously wonky.
  • been to Savannah, Georgia, though I’ll write about that trip in another post!

Again, thanks for sticking around!