This is a Wellbeing Wednesday blog, albeit rather late in the day! I had planned to write about the blackbirds I noticed in the garden yesterday morning feasting on some ripe yellow berries on a bush. I decided I would take a photo this morning before I left for work and then use that to accompany the blog. I intended to write about how much I have found stripping back my diet to pretty much nothing other than organic meat, wild caught fish, organic fruit and veg including lots of berries has really supported my wellbeing in the last month.
But when I came out this morning, there were no berries left and the blackbirds were nowhere in sight! They ate the lot yesterday. Which left me a bit stumped about what to write about. Until I put the telly on lol! Here I am, watching last week’s Bake Off on catch up and wanting to write my Wellbeing Wednesday blog and instead of images of “eating natural” I am seeing images of food containing masses of refined sugar, flour, butter and some quite unnatural colours!
And you know what, this is just as good for my wellbeing as the diet in some ways. I ‘ve had a great day, those of you who were there on our ILM Level 7 workshop will know what I mean and I worked for another few hours when I got home just to catch up on stuff from being away last week. A bit of innocuous sugar-coated TV is just the ticket for a wind down before bed. I’ve realised that I probably would benefit from more of this kind of relatively mindless activity during the week as I tend to keep going with work n weekday evenings on a regular basis.
Please let me know if you have a different view of me. I think I am very mindful, I am purposeful, I am switched “on” to myself and others most of the time and it’s almost like a mind-detox to just get drawn into the quiet tension and drama of the Bake-Off. It doesn’t feature much angst or stress, people aren’t shouting, there is some drama but in a kind of genteel and non-important way that I find very soothing.
I get that for the contestants it matters hugely and at the end of the day, it’s just a lemon meringue pie or a bakewell tart or a scone of some kind. Nothing world-shattering, definitely a bit life-enhancing in terms of watching people with a passion do something they love and I have learnt to just enjoy the tastes I can imagine, rather than immediately have to rush into the kitchen and whip up some kind of sweet, chocolately creation! Which I have been known to do in the past . . . !! And eaten the lot entirely by myself.
I’ve been a bit of out sync with writing blogs due to being away in Canada last week and I’ll definitely be using that as subject matter for future reflections to share with you. But I wanted to make sure I got something out this week that I had taken the time to write, had put some thought into and supported the theme of the day.
So on the theme of wellbeing, what the lack of blackbirds and berries has led me to conclude is that part of my personal wellbeing is supported by switching off in a much less significant way than what I know I’m good at when I go away, or decide to focus on everything other than work at weekends or days off. Just some time out, an hour even, doing something that doesn’t involve much, if any, commitment, energy or focus from me is really pleasurable and feels good for me. A bit of Mary Berry rather than blackbirds and berries.
“I’ve never been so stressed about dough in my life” is a line that I’ve just heard on this programme! It was Tom, for those of you who are interested and may remember last week’s episode.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been stressed about dough or producing any food to a particular standard at any point in my life. I am a pretty good cook and I would describe my style and approach as “rustic” which of course is code for “a bit messy but tastes good”.
In hearing that comment just now, I’m reminded about another aspect of wellbeing, which is recognising similarities and differences and not getting attached or into judgement of myself or others around this. We’re all different and similar in similar and different ways. I doubt I could muster much enthusiasm under any circumstances to get stressed about dough, but I can be aware enough to recognise how much that might matter to someone else and just be present with that person, even someone on TV, to pay attention to their priorities, interests and values. We learn about people by paying attention and learning about others supports our learning about self and that supports our wellbeing.
We had a great conversation about that today in the coaching workshop, about how as coaches we do of course take ourselves, with beliefs and ethics, into each coaching session. Being aware that I do, holding myself in attention to that, is also good for my wellbeing, as well as good for my coaching because it means I am present in the moment, with myself and my coachee.
Being present, learning to live in the now, free of fears (fantasized experiences appearing real!) and able to manage myself, my responses and the impact I have on others. Wellbeing in terms of emotional intelligence, I think, supports our overall sense of calm, feeling grounded, connected to ourselves and aligned to our values.
Ooh look at that! I’ve written nearly 2 pages and I thought this was just going to be short blog with a key message that a bit of TV for gentle relaxation might well be a good thing for wellbeing . . . and somehow or other some deeper and hopefully interesting realisations and thoughts have emerged. I guess that’s the impact of being soothed by sugary creations and some gentle tent-based tension.