Author Archive for Sarah – Page 2

7 Tips For Facing Your Social Fears

image501Did you know that most people on Earth say that they have social anxieties? It’s right up there with public speaking as one of the biggest fears. Social fears are one of the most common issues that a lot of people face or claim to face. It may be worse for some than for others, but social fear is a pretty universal issue. For most of us it started in our tween or teenage years. We either learned to cope with it, or it manifested into something worse.

There are some ways in which you can learn to face social fears without having to drop out of society. Most of these tips are easy to accomplish. If you have issues that exceed these tips, consider getting some professional help. You may have social anxiety and need stronger help to get yourself on the right path.

1. Start Small – If you are ready to make a huge change in your life and face your social fears, don’t choose to start with speaking in front of 1500 people. Instead, start small with a small group like a “meet-up” group, a reading group, or join a local Toastmasters group. Get a little bit out of your comfort zone, and then build up to more.

2. Plan Ahead – Most people are nervous in social situations but if you plan ahead, you’ll be more relaxed. Practice introducing yourself, and maybe ask a friend or family member to help you practice your handshake too. Bimage589eing more comfortable around people starts one step at a time, and practice will help it feel more familiar. Personally, I have issues in crowds so I may look over a map of the venue for something such as a fair or conference ahead of time so I’m more familiar with the surroundings before I arrive.

3. Love Yourself — This is a problem for a lot of people! Many social fears come from wrong-headed beliefs that something is wrong with you. You don’t think enough of yourself, and you think you’re weird or somehow “wrong.” But, nothing could be further from the truth. Most of us have something different about us; if we were all the same it would be quite boring. Embrace your differences and accept yourself for who you are. Some of the meditations I’m going to post in the upcoming Meditation Challenge will be related to this topic. Sign up for my emails to be notified when we’re about to start!

4. Avoid Judgment – Some measure of social fears come from our own poor judgments of not just ourselves but others. We think that if we are so judgmental then other people are too. So, to avoid that judgment we just avoid the situation entirely. If you learn to stop being so judgmental you’ll be able to be less afraid. I’ve been guilty of this. It’s so easy to turn out attention to seeing what’s wrong in others instead of learning to be at ease with our own shortcomings. Learning to accept other people’s differences and personalities as just being human is part of learning to accept yourself. Being human is perfectly acceptable.

5. Your Fears Aren’t Reality – Just because you’re afraid of something doesn’t mean it’s real. You may have all sorts of ideas in your head about how your voice sounds, how you look, and your perceived awkwardness. (This is so me about my hair after it started thinning after Kaida was born.) But, the truth is, most people are so tied up in their own fears that they don’t even notice that you’re nervous. Fearing something doesn’t mean it will actually happen.

6. Take a Deep Breath – When you feel the anxiety coming on, stop, and take a deep breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose, filling up your lungs completely, and then breathe out slowly through your mouth. One or two slow breaths can help you overcome your initial fears fast. I sometimes get PVCs when I’m anxious or stressed and recently found this great meditation for cardiac arrhythmias on YouTube. I’ll be posting more meditations for anxiety during my upcoming Meditation Challenge. Sign up for my emails to be notified when we’re about to start!

7. Take the Leap Anyway – Most of the time, fear is worse than the actual situation. Even if you’re doing something scary like getting a shot, or an operation, or bungee jumping – the worry leading up to the event is usually much worse than the actuality of what you are doing. If you take the leap and jump in with both feet, you’ll find that your fear level drops substantially.

Most social fear is a normal reaction that people have. You’re not abnormal to have social fears. This is especially true if you’re unwilling to allow your fears to block you from having a happy and productive life.

Let me know in the comments of any other tips you’ve found useful!

Fighting The Negative Thoughts

So Monday I was sitting in the waiting room to get a semi-invasive test done (which I may talk about later) and I was nervous. Not just regular nervous; my doctor had me on Percocet and Ativan and I was still feeling the occasional PVC and pinchy chest pain. I felt tired and wired while the medications and adrenal duked it out. Given how hard it can be to maintain a positive outlook during times of worry, stress, and anxiety, I decided to try to think of as many ways as I could to help stay positive. These are the ideas I came up with.

Fighting the Negative Thoughts

When you think of negative things, often due to depression or other issues in one’s life, it is important to try to turn that around. The only way you can truly have a happy life is if you take control of your thought process (it’s all self-control anyway). Don’t tell yourself that you have no control over your own thoughts; you do. There are several steps you can take to make it easier to get rid of negative thoughts.

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal (get your free printable gratitude journal when you sign up for our email list!) – When we are prone to thinking negatively it can become more and more difficult to see the goodness around us. Start and end your day with your gratitude journal. Write five things in it each night before bed that was good that happened or that you noticed today. Each morning re-read what you wrote the night before. Note that you can also follow the helpful prompts on our free printable gratitude journal. Did I mention I offer a free gratitude journal? 😉 Gratitude Journal Challenge coming soon! Sign up for our emails to be notified when we’re about to start! During our challenge, we’ll also explore “outrageous gratitude.”

2. Exercise – Moving around each and every day, whether it’s a quick walk, a swim, or going to the gym, is really good for getting the positive endorphins flowing into your blood stream. If you start each day with just a ten-minute, brisk walk, you will be surprised at what a difference it can make in your life. Shoot for thirty minutes of activity each day for the best results. That said, I remember reading a studying that recently came out that said you should skip exercise days. Currently, the motor in my treadmill has decided to start smelling like it’s burning when I use it, so I’ve been using this walking exercise video on YouTube:

3. Meditate – Sitting quietly and breathing deeply while thinking about nothing at all can be amazingly uplifting. Sit in a comfortable position that enables you to breathe well, and clear your mind. Try to focus on having letting your thoughts go. This can be very difficult and will take practice. Aim for 10 minutes a day starting with just one minute. Meditation Challenge coming soon! Sign up for our emails to be notified when we’re about to start!

4. Smile – It might seem silly but something as simple as being aware of your facial expression can help you feel more positive. It’s really hard to think of negative things if you are forcing a happy smile on your face. If it helps, put a mirror near your desk at work to remind you to smile at yourself.

5. Listen to Positive Music – Hardly anything is better at lifting the spirits than music. It’s one reason music is so popular and has been for centuries. Find music that you can go to right away when negative thoughts become overwhelming. When you listen, if you are able to, sing along with the song and really feel the music.

6. Find Positive Friends – The saying that misery loves company is pretty accurate. Look around you and determine whether or not you have some positive friends. If you don’t, it’s time to cultivate some. Join a book club or other group to help you find positive people.

7. Flip Negative Thoughts to Positive Thoughts – When you notice you’re thinking of something negative, try turning the thought on its ear to become the opposite of the negative thought. First, stop thinking in absolute terms. Nothing is “always” or “never” and there is usually a middle ground.

8. Take Responsibility for Your Life – This one stings a little. If you have a tendency to blame others for your failures or problems, try to realize that you have a lot more control than you think you do. In fact, it’s the idea of lack of control over one’s life that breeds discontent and negative thoughts. When you realize you are in control, you can turn it around.

9. Get Out of Your Own Life for a Day – Helping others can do wonders for your mindset and self-image. If you think other people get tired of hearing you complain, you probably are the one most sick of it since you “hear” yourself more than others. Take the focus away from yourself and put it on someone else for a day. Help a neighbor or family member, or volunteer.

10. Realize that Perfection is Overrated – No one is perfect, and you know that. You likely do not expect perfection from others, so why expect it from yourself? Be at least half as patient with yourself as you are with others. Striving for excellence is understandable, but setting the bar too high will only lead to disappointment.

11. Watch Positive Movies – Find a go-to movie that you can watch that makes you feel hopeful and wonderfully positive. Even if it is just a silly movie that makes you laugh, laughter is excellent for breeding positive thoughts and feelings. I also recommend watching The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know?

12. Read Positive Quotes – Collect positive quotes that you can read anytime negative thoughts come to mind. If you memorize the positive quotes, so much the better. Then, you can call them to you whenever the negative thoughts overcome you.

13. Eat Right – It is amazing how much eating can play into negative thoughts and emotions. If you eat a lot of processed food, sugar and junk, try to eliminate those foods from your diet for at least 80 percent of the time. Add in more whole foods, fruits and vegetables to fill you up and keep you nourished. See this video on how plant-based diets improve mood and productivity:

14. Get Sunshine – Many people around the world suffer from something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. This is feeling sad and even depressed for “no reason” during dark times or wintertime. Some people who don’t get enough sunshine even feel this way in the summertime. Ensure that you get at least 30 minutes of sunshine each day. This will not only help keep you more positive but will also ensure that you get enough vitamin D. If you really can’t make it outside, you could use a full-spectrum light in the morning. I personally use the Philips GoLite BLU Energy Light, Rechargeable and really like it. It can be powered either by rechargeable batteries or the included AC plug.

Following these tips will help you fight the negative thoughts that come to your mind any time of day or night. But remember that practice makes perfect. If you have a bad day, remember that tomorrow is a brand new day, and a brand new chance to get it right.

How Negative Thoughts Fuel Social Anxiety


Many people suffer from something called social anxiety. This is the feeling of being out of control and nervous and even afraid of being in social situations. People with social anxiety disorder feel anxiety in situations where scrutiny by others may occur.

There are different levels of anxiety. Some people are so anxious that they cannot force themselves to get into a social situation in public without being medicated, and even then, they find it awkward and difficult. Some people even have panic attacks.

Several social situations can trigger negative thoughts that can swirl around and around your head, making you more and more anxious about the social situation that may be coming up. You might even completely talk yourself out of attending, which can then lead to worse problems and even eventually lead to becoming housebound.

Negative Thought Triggers

Situations that can trigger negative thoughts include:

* Meeting new people
* Potential criticism
* Being the center of attention
* Other people observing you
* Speaking in public
* Group interactions
* Meeting authority figures
* Not knowing what to say
* Feeling unsure about what to wear
* Looking into other people’s eyes
* Yawning
* Talking
* Walking
* Talking on the phone
* Any situation where you think people might judge you (yeah, it’s a long list)

The above might seem over the top if you do not suffer from social anxiety yourself, but the list can go on and on if you do. People with social anxiety start going over potential scenarios in their head the moment they realize they are going to have a social situation. They start turning each situation into a negative event.

How Thoughts turn into Social Anxiety

When they meet a new person they imagine messing up the person’s name, forgetting their own name, or having bad breath. They imagine saying something “wrong” and being the butt of a joke or subject to criticism due to being “wrong.” They feel nervous even getting an award because people are looking at them and making them the center of attention. They start thinking that they did not deserve the award, that they are a fraud, and shouldn’t go collect or accept the award after all.

Then it just goes downhill from there. They can’t stop spinning every possible scenario into a bad thing until their heart is beating out of their chest, they can’t breathe right, and finally they have a full-fledged panic attack. Due to this, they end up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, becoming the center of attention due to the panic attack, and then being judged as weird or a drama queen.

As you can see, thoughts have a lot of power even though they’re just thoughts and not even reality. When you start to realize how pervasive negative thoughts can cause social anxiety and make it worse, then you can also realize how turning your thoughts around to positive thoughts can make your social anxiety less.

Turning the Negatives into Positives

The minute you notice you are obsessing about any future event it’s time to get out of your own head and do something different. Practice deep breathing, and read some positive quotes. If your stress is because you’re not sure what to wear, find a good friend to help you pick something out. If you’re worried about bad breath, take some mints with you. If you are scared you will say someone’s name wrong, practice the names if you know who will be going.

There are always ways in which you can turn all negatives into positives but the most important thing is to realize that no one is perfect and therefore no one expects you to be perfect. Most people have some of the same worries that you do, they just don’t take it to the higher level.

We’re going to be discussing changing negative thoughts to positive ones A LOT.

Probably everyone has times where they’re stuck in negative thinking. How have you managed to turn that around?

When Self-Talk Gets In The Way


I think I’m doing well with my self-contract. I’m consistently getting up between 6:00 and 6:30 (on my way to 5:00!), I’m listening to subliminal recordings as I work on other things or run errands, and I just received my custom hypnosis CD yesterday and plan to start on it today. The place I’m falling down is updating the blog! I’m getting better at that, I promise!

In the meantime, I’ve been kind of down on myself about not staying caught up with working on my blog and I’ve started trying to pay attention to what’s going in my head, namely the really negative self-talk I beat myself up with. I decided to delve a little deeper…

What is Self-Talk?

Legendary sports announcer Chick Hearn

Legendary sports announcer Chick Hearn

Do you know that inner voice that always seems to be going? It is constantly “telling” you what you should do, what you might do, and reflecting on things you have already done. It evaluates what you do while you’re doing it, providing opinions and suggesting possible ramifications and outcomes. This is one type of inner monologue which psychologists have identified and labeled as “self-talk.”

To get a better idea of exactly what self-talk is, psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne likens self talk to the “equivalent of sports announcers commenting on a player’s successes or failures on the playing field.” Unlike athletes that never hear a television or radio sports commentator’s voice, you definitely “hear” what your self-talk is telling you.

Unfortunately, this voice you seem to have no control over can be negative sometimes (ok, usually).

Think about the last time you did something embarrassing. You may have experienced self-talk telling you how stupid you were. Sometimes it is critical even if you haven’t done anything wrong. It reminds you that you are probably going to mess something up, because you’ve done it in the past.

As it turns out, you can respond with negative and positive self-talk to the same situation. tragedy_&_comedy

It all depends on how you lead your thoughts. For instance, pretend that you have just eaten at a restaurant that all your friends think is amazing. You thought it was overpriced, the food was average at best, the service stunk, and you had to wait too long for your food.

You find yourself at a party with your friends, when several of them corner you and excitedly ask you what you thought about the restaurant they recommended. You tell them your feelings, holding nothing back. They all say you are crazy, that it is the greatest restaurant of all time.

Your inner dialogue can respond in 2 different ways.

Perhaps you tell yourself, “Why didn’t you just keep your mouth shut!? Now you look like an idiot.” In response to the exact same situation, you could choose positive, constructive self-talk instead. You could say, “Good for you, for sticking to your beliefs. You reported exactly what happened, you didn’t overstate the situation, and it’s okay if your friends disagree with you about this unimportant topic.” This is important! Reframing is a major way to feel happier and lower your overall stress level.

Psychologists believe that consistently driving your self-talk in a positive, constructive direction can train your mind to respond that way. At first you will not find yourself able to redirect your inner voice. It will simply blurt out a subconscious response. However, by continually appraising dysfunctional self-talk and turning it around, you create less stress in your life, boost your self-esteem, and feel good about your inner dialogue.

5 Subliminals I’m Listening To Now

Headphones REVISED

I like the idea of using hypnosis and subliminal messaging to change our lives for the better, but hypnosis is kind of limiting since you pretty much can’t be doing anything else while listening (making walking, I don’t know). That’s why I like subliminals; you can put them on in the background any time as an addition to any hypnosis work you’re currently using. I like to listen to them while doing housework (dishes, laundry, cleaning) as well as while I’m driving to errands.

I have mentioned Vortex Success in previous posts, but I don’t have their downloads so can only listen to them on youtube. A bit limiting since I don’t want to kill my data while I’m out driving around. I’ve been listening to downloads from another company that I use–Real Subliminal. They do it a little differently. Where Vortex Success makes (generally) 1-hour long recordings using a variety of music (some with occasional bell/chime/gong sounds that annoy me), Real Subliminal breaks their recordings into 3 10-minute sections, using a different nature sound for each session. They are separate files so you can play them in any order you want or just repeat a particular soundtrack over and over, maybe looping the ocean wave or thunderstorm soundtrack for 30-60 minutes while you fall asleep. I like the nature sounds better than the random music so I’ve been listening to these more. In fact, I like them so much I thought I would share them. Here goes:

  1. Custom! Say what? Yes, custom! I ordered a custom 20-30 minute track from Real Subliminal using your own affirmations. Their system lets you input up 10-20 affirmations to be used on your recording and they have 10 choices for music, including silent. I ordered it for tolerating medical procedures on a Friday, it arrived in my inbox on the following Monday, and I’ve already listened to it several times.
  2. Needles and Injections Phobia Cure. Can you tell I’m getting some medical stuff done? Yeah, I need to chill a little bit about it. Also, I wonder if playing this for kids from the time they can understand words would help with all those immunizations that they’re supposed to get before school?
  3. Stop Self Sabotage. Seriously, just stop it. I like the one from Real Subliminal because it’s shorter and I like the nature sounds, but the one from Vortex Success is great if you want something that’s more “music” sounding in the background.
  4. End Procrastination. Many of us have a tendency to put off doing things we don’t want to do (laundry, anyone?). I’m sick and tired of it. I’m tired of putting one more piece of paper in a pile and thinking “I’ll take care of that later.” No, I won’t! It will sit there in that pile until the whole reason for receiving the paper is either moot or I owe a late fee! So tired of this. Again, Reals Subliminal for nature sounds, Vortex Success for music. Be advised, though, that the Vortex Success track has binaural beats and some vocals; it’s designed to be listened to with headphones.
  5. Recover From Abusive Childhood, Neglect & Abandonment – Heal the Scars. So many people have gone through bad things as children. We all need to feel a strong connection with a loving parent and it is damaging to not have that early connection. Can a person rise above that and excel and act like they’re not bothered? Sure, but it’s extremely likely to affect their ability to have close relationships in the future. I have listened to the one offered by Vortex Success. Real Subliminal does not offer a similar product, though I would strongly encourage anyone interested in this topic to order a custom track from Real Subliminal with their choice of music. That will be my next pick when I get through the medical stuff. 😉

There they are, running in the background of my days, helping in so many ways. 🙂 What are you listening to?

Update On My Contract Progress

I’m way late on updating my self-contract so I figured I’d better break my silence.

I’ve been going to bed at an almost-decent hour, usually about 10:30-11:00. Much better than 1:30 am! Consequently, I’ve been waking up usually about 7:00 am. I’m still usually pretty tired, though, so I’ve ordered a salivary cortisol test from ZRT Lab. It should be here next week and I’m going to send it back as soon as I get the last tube done the day after I receive it.

I have not done quite as well on the naps. I did have a nap today, only because I was so incredibly tired. I have been bad the past week or so as far as pushing myself. I can’t stop yet though. I’ve got to keep pushing until at least next Wednesday. The next four days are just crazy busy.

I’ve put aside the hypnosis for now. I decided that I really don’t like the longer ones that I was trying to at night. I find the pace too slow and the amount of time they took too long–they were each about one hour. The guy used a very droning voice, so that it would encourage a deeper trance I guess, and it about drove me nuts. Also, his inductions were 1/2 hour just by themselves! A half hour for an induction! I don’t have that kind of time…For the day time tracks, I just haven’t had the time. We’ve been running around too much to be able to stop. I would love to find 10 minute-long hypnosis tracks. Anyone know where I can find those? (Maybe I’ll just have to learn hypnosis and make my own!)

As far as listening to the subliminals on youtube, I’ve been hit or miss. Since I’m listening on youtube, I need to do so when I’m on wifi (since somebody else who shall remain nameless uses so much of the data on our account…). So I’m pretty much limited to listening to them at home and, well, we’ve been running around so not home so much.

So, while not thrilled, I’m accepting at this point. I’m doing what I can when I can and I feel like I’m definitely making progress. It’s surprising how much just going to be earlier and waking up earlier has helped me feel better about the progress I’m making!

Kaida’s Red Bubble Account Is Open!

Her first art piece offered to the world. Her username is darkandlight (mine is lightanddark; images forthcoming!). Check her out; she’s awesome!


New Subliminal Added For Those Abused, Neglected Or Abandoned As Children

In today’s post I wanted to spread the word about a new subliminal by Vortex Success on YouTube. It’s called “Recover from Abusive Childhood, Neglect & Abandonment – Heal the Scars.”

Recover from Abusive Childhood, Neglect & Abandonment – Heal the Scars

I’ve listened to it twice now. I think I’m going to add it to my daily “contract with myself” that I’m trying to work on.

On to the update!

  • I went to bed at 1:00 am, earlier than 1:30 am the previous night. I have to work tomorrow at 9:00 am so tonight will be a struggle to get our errands/chores done early enough to eat early enough to go to bed early enough. Ugh. Not fun.
  • I’ve listened to the above subliminal. I plan to listen to the “stop self sabotage” and “stop procrastinating” subliminals while we’re out shopping today.
  • I have not yet listened to today’s hypnosis, but I did set up a daily schedule of hypnosis sessions for Sunday-Friday. Each day has 2-3 sessions in each playlist. The shortest day is 60 minutes and the longest is 98. Most of them are close to 95 minutes. I ordered them so that the “stop self sabotage” session is on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, then alternates with different sessions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Now to find the time!
  • I made a nighttime hypnosis playlist that can run beside the bed while I’m sleeping. These are longer and by a different company. The reader on these talks..very..slowly..and..calmly..and offers the option of falling asleep at the end of each session. These would be the same 8 every night (9 in the list, but I don’t know if I’ll get to the 9th).

25 Lessons in Hypnosis

I hope I’m not pushing the hypnosis too fast (provided I actually do it). I don’t want to mess anything up any more than it already is!

I know one session at a time will work as I’ve used it in the past for a problem I developed after my divorce where my throat would tighten any time I was around my ex-husband. I was literally going into something like an asthma attack (I have milk asthma) every time he spoke to me! My subconscious was telling me that I had no voice, I was not allowed to speak. I think it’ll be interesting to see if multiple sessions about slightly different subjects each day will have a different effect.

Anyone have experience using multiple hypnosis sessions?

I’m Not Perfect – Catching Up

I didn’t want to write this post. I have been hiding for several days now. It’s easier to hide and do busy work than to admit I’ve fallen off the wagon…again.

I was told to only write positive blog posts. Many of the posts I read on others’ sites seem to come from a place of knowing how to do things, of having their lives together, of being “good enough.” I’m not there yet. And I can’t pretend to be. I’m stuck on the bumpy road of step forward, slide back, step forward, slide back.

So what happened? I got busy expecting company this weekend. I worked on cleaning up the house, washing the guest bedding, moving things out to the shed (that we finally have almost finished painting the inside of; only one bit of flooring that has been primed and still needs paint), and stressing about how I can’t get the whole house “clean enough” to not be embarrassed.

So I’ve been beating myself for getting behind on my contract with myself and for not being on here daily, reporting my failing attempts at self improvement. Well, enough!

The bad:

  • I have not laid down to listen to any hypnosis session since the first day.
  • I did not listen to the subliminal stop self sabotage or the stop procrastination either yesterday or the day before.
  • Bed times and waking times have been all over the place. I was making progress, got my bed time to be as early as midnight, and then stayed up too late cleaning/decluttering for the past three nights so I’m back to 1:00-1:30 am again.
  • I have so much left to declutter that it’s really intimidating. I frequently feel like not even trying.
  • Having to push Kaida so much to help out. I feel guilty for making her help so much, even though I remind myself that she really does have it pretty easy most days.
  • I can’t be working on the inside of the house and on outside projects at the same time. The outside is suffering. The grass is getting too long. The weeds beside the chicken coop look like an overgrown jungle. I’m not exaggerating! Our chickens were eaten by a fox, picked off 1 or 2 at a time as they free-ranged out in the pasture, leaving the ducks in the inside yard to manage bugs and weeds on their own. They apparently don’t eat as many green things as chickens do, though I guess the scratching helped disrupt roots and seeds that the ducks are not bothering. Ugh. It’s a nightmare over there. I just have to accept that I’ll get to it when I get to it.

The good:

  • I had a nap yesterday! Finally! I was so tired when we got home at 5:00 pm that I decided to allow myself to nap even though it was already so late. We weren’t hungry enough to eat dinner yet so I napped. It put us later for bedtime, but I felt better afterwards.
  • Parts of the house actually look decent! As long as we’re looking just at cleanliness and declutteredness (I say it’s a real word!) and not actually looking at the state of the wall paint or trim.

Yes, we really have that many Calico Critter houses!

  • Over the past week, we’ve taken 5 bags of trash and 2 empty paint cans to the dump. We’ve also dropped off a shoe rack and a bag of donations to Goodwill. We’ve started a donation box for Goodwill, but it only had 3 things in it yesterday so I didn’t try to cram it into the car with the trash and other stuff.
  • I built a “mud room” area off the front door using bookcases. I have to work on decluttering a little more around it (clearing up a small open bookcase that holds outside stuff, and taking some things to the barn-shed), but I’m pretty happy with it. It holds all of our current shoes, has a closet bar to hang jackets, a coat rack to hold our farm Carhartts and long farm coats, and a bench on one side with the open bookcase to sit down to put on/take off shoes, Carhartts, etc.

  • We rearranged the living room furniture to be a little more functional. We’ll have more space in the toy/craft area behind one of the settees are we finish decluttering toys and craft materials. We still need pillows for the settees, but I’m going to use blankets wrapped in sheets for now so that I can take the sheets off to wash them (dogs…). Most are 41″ long, but ours are 48″, making it harder for me to find cushions that fit for less than about $250 per settee. So, folded blankets, yeah.

  • I’ve played with Kaida several nights this week. We stayed out last night as the sun went down, playing on the swing set and taking turns listening to music on YouTube, then came inside and played on Roblox. We like to play Epic Minigames. They just did an update and had new games on there. Another evening we played Chutes & Ladders and Candy Land. I think Kaida still likes to play those because she wins both games just about every single time. I almost always end up sliding down too many slides in Chutes & Ladders and picking the peanut card in Candy Land!

So I’m trying again. Back in the saddle. Less talking, more doing, and all that. I’m tired even thinking about it. I think I’ll check the weather (to make sure there’s enough time to work outside before a storm comes), and then take a nap.

I’m not perfect, but I’m trying hard to make progress. I’m also working hard on accepting that I’m going to backslide along the way and that that makes me human, not broken. The struggle is real.

Contract Check-in: Week 1, Day 2

I’m checking in on my contract progress, as promised. The points of my contract-with-myself were:

  • Lay down to listen to a “stop self sabotage” hypnosis at least once a day (1 point per day).
  • Play a “stop self sabotage” subliminal for 1 hour a day while I’m doing other things (maybe while working on dishes, meal prep, organizing/decluttering) (1 point per day).
  • Allow at least one hour for a nap at least 4 days a week. I know most people wouldn’t  be able to do this, but I was at the point of almost being willing to try to file for disability at the end of the 2016 school year (1 point per day).
  • Keep track of what time I go to bed and wake up. Make sure I go to bed at least 5 minutes earlier each night. I’ve tried moving it by 15 or 30 minutes before and it didn’t work. Not only would I not be able to do it, but usually ended up going to bed even later than before (1 point per day).
  • Check in daily on my blog to publicly note my successes or failures (1 point per day).
  • Bonus Round! Extra points for listening to a “stop procrastinating” subliminal every day (1 point per day 😀 ).
Stop Self Sabotage Subliminal

We had to go grocery shopping today and buy paint for the shed interior so I did not take a nap today. Zero nap points. I have not had a chance to pay down with the “stop self sabotage” hypnosis yet. I’ll try to get to that before I go to bed to sleep. No point for that yet, but I’ll come back and update here if I get it done. So far I’m 0 for 2.

I did keep track of what time I went to bed and laid down to sleep (as opposed to looking at my phone or the tv). I thought it was going to be 12:45 am (I finished yesterday’s blog post at about 12:35 am and wrote 12:45 in the hopes that I would actually be in bed. It ended up being 1:15 am! Still earlier than the previous night of about 1:20 am so I’ll take it. I woke up this morning at 8:44 am. Almost 7.5 hours of sleep. I didn’t feel exactly rested, but I felt a lot better than getting 4 hours a few days ago! I’ll set an alarm for tonight to make sure that I’m in bed at least 5 minutes earlier (preferably more, but I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep). One point for this item.

I’m checking in on the blog! One point!

Last but not least, not only did I listen to the “stop self sabotage” subliminal, but I also managed to listen to the “stop procrastinating” subliminal while I was doing stuff around the house. Two points!

Four out of a possible 6 points for today, 5 if I can make myself listen to the hypnosis file.

Stop Procrastination Subliminal

Ooh! I also managed to pot my last honeyberry shrub and a brown turkey fig tree. I hope that I caught the honeyberry in time; it’s looking kind of ragged and I waited too late on all the other ones that I bought (I potted them, but it was too late). I also got some recycling off the front porch that’s been on there for, well, let’s just say too long. It felt good! Progress, however small, should be commended. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Yay, me!