THE "CELEBRATING OUR AWESOMENESS" ONE - Issue #12

Because we don't celebrate ourselves often enough :(

Hi there!

Welcome to issue #12. I hope you are well and coping with life alongside the COVID risk? Without stating as much, the government has dropped us into herd immunity now that the greater population have been vaccinated. I hope you are managing to stay safe & well, and if you do succumb, it doesn’t affect you too much :)

Following a total lightbulb moment earlier this week, I realised that I (and probably most of my generation) don’t really credit themselves enough with the amazing things they do. Let me explain - as a freelancer, I’d finished a work project with a rather distant client. Distant in the sense that they only communicated what they needed to communicate - there was never any pleasantries. So, as the project came to an end, I knew there was a next stage in their project that needed my help. But, as quiet clients go, I didn’t hear from them.

So that meant I had to contact them, and although I’ve done outreach tons of time for clients, I always have a wobble when it comes to doing it for me. Think a “avoiding sending the email for a week” kind of wobble. But, realising if I didn’t do anything about it now, I’d have a huge hole in my work plan (and finances) come the Autumn. So, a day or two ago, I spent about 20 mins or so composing the best email I could - friendly but still communicating why I was emailing (gently asking for work) - and sent it. I really didn’t think I would hear back for a day or two.

But within 30 minutes, I’d had a reply stating they definitely wanted to go ahead with the next stage of the project and as the client was on leave that week (he answered my email whilst he was on leave!!) he would contact me for a meeting once he got back.

Now, my usual response to this would be just to be pleased for it about 30 minutes, then I’d get back on with my work, probably subconciously rebuking myself for the other things I still hadn’t done. So, to buck that trend I made myself take time out and FEEL what an amazing job I’d done in sending the email, and how well I must have done in the first part of the work I did for them. I didn’t do anything else but allow myself time to wallow in feeling good for a good five minutes or so.

And do you know what, it was the best feeling that lasted for practically the rest of my day. I relished in taking the time to feel good about myself and realised I don’t do this anywhere often enough.

It seems too, that how often we congratulate ourselves is more than important than the size of the win. As B. J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University in the US states:

“The frequency of success matters more than the size of success, so don’t wait until the big wins to congratulate yourself”.

Instead, come up with daily celebrations for yourself as your brain doesn’t know the difference between progress and perceived progress. This in itself is an amazing fact - you can cheat your brain to make it think you are winning big - even if all you’ve done is a tiny, tiny win

So I’ve made a mental note to try and spot times when I have done something right - no matter how small - and allow myself time to really wallow in being awesome, rather than my default reaction of thinking “Yeah? So what”.

What about you? Are you savvy enough to know when you do great things and wisely submerge yourself in allowing yourself to celebrate it? Or are you like me - not acknowledging it and brushing it off before rushing off to do the next thing on your list?

If so, please make a note to recognise your awesome self - it’s important :)


THE SUBTLE BENEFIT OF TAKING A HOLIDAY - What I learnt from spending a week in London

I’m just back from a week’s holiday in London. Now London is not your normal holiday destination, is it? But that’s the pandemic for you. This year, I would have killed to take a break by the sea in Devon or Cornwall, but the rest of the UK beat me to it and I baulk at paying £1000 for a week in a tiny flat, which would have been the case in either of these locations. So we found a very nice Air bnb in London less than £1000.

So, there we were - in the midst of London in the summer - climbing off and on London buses (which are excellent, by the way) to get to places we wanted to visit; trying to fathom the intricacies of the Tube (you need a degree!) and generally being in the midst of a very fast moving city that doesn’t seem to sleep much.

So, you wouldn’t think I returned feeling relaxed, refreshed and generally inspired to resume my day to day life. BUT I DID! Nobody was more surprised than me with the renewed energy with which I’ve slipped back into everyday life and I’ve spent quite a lot of time wondering why.

And, I think I’ve fathomed it out. It’s the very fact that I took a week away from my everyday life and did other things. It’s been the complete change of scene that restored my energy. So, following this theory through - it wouldn’t have mattered if my holiday had been on the Cote D’Azur (I wish!) or on Blackpool beach. Providing I’ve done things other than my normal day to day and had a change of scene - whether beautiful or a bit run-down - then that period of change allows the brain to re-set.

There will be some of you reading this for whom this fact will seem perfectly obvious to you. But, apart from the all the amazing things we saw and did, this staycation in London has been a real life lesson for me. I needed to physically experience it in real life.

May that lesson stay with me :)


PARLIAMENTARY BILL TO RECOGNISE MENOPAUSE AND GETTING FAIRER TREATMENT FOR MENOPAUSAL WOMEN

In June this year, the MP for Swansea East - Carolyn Harris - was successful in getting a Menopause Private Members Bill being heard in Parliament. Private Members Bills are where an MP lobbies for an issue to be heard, and are notoriously difficult to even get to the first stage. So the sainted Carolyn has done extremely well for us mid-life women.

In short, the bill lobbies for:

  • To force provision to be available for all menopause issues and support to be legally available at point of need.

  • To ensure GP’s and healthcare professionals are given mandatory training to understand and be sympathetic to all menopausal problems. Currently, there is very little menopausal training given to GP’s and frontline healthcare professionals.

  • That all HRT treatments and prescriptions become exempt from NHS prescription charges.

Although the bill was heard in Parliament in June, the progression of a Private Members Bill is notoriously slow and it could be a year or more before we saw any changes in current legislation.

But, to my mind, the fact that this is being heard in Parliament and the ensuing media coverage the bill will receive, can only help to de-stigmatise and help normalise menopause, rather than menopausal women hiding in the shadows.

I’ll follow the progress of this bill and will update you when (and if, sadly) the next stage is reached. But, a massive thank you to Carolyn Harris.


So, there you have it - I’m hoping the above has inspired you and given you something you can take away. I use the premise that if I see something in the media that inspires me, then I hope it will inspire my lovely readers. But if there’s something you’d like me to investigate/and or cover, then just reply to this newsletter email and it will find me :)

That’s a wrap for issue #12. Stay safe, well & strong

Till a fortnight’s time

Una x