Learnings from Dry January

I did Dry January this year. A friend said to me, ‘wow, that’s hardcore, doing Dry January in a lockdown.’ And yes it has been a tough one (I have done it for the past few years) but I think I’ve learnt from it too.

On a number of occasions this month I’ve had cravings for red wine, and what I’ve learnt is that if I just sit with that craving feeling, acknowledge it, and wait for a bit, it goes away. It’s a revelation, the craving for alcohol can fade if you just give it a bit of time.

And so it got me thinking that actually, the same is true for many emotions. If we just allow ourselves to feel frustrated/ low/ bored/ worried for a while, it will eventually change. Apparently, according to the School of Life, we only actually feel a feeling for 15 minutes at a time, and so if we stop resisting feeling that way, and just sit it out, things can shift.

It can be hard to be with a feeling, but I’ve learnt that half of the ‘hardness’ comes when we struggle against the feeling. When we try to push the feeling away.

Actually if we just remember to breathe through the feeling it becomes a little easier to navigate. It’s a reminder that all emotions are beautiful and that we are here to feel them all.

*It’s important here to note that I’m not suggesting sitting with the thoughts (or gremlins) that make us feel overwhelmed or sad or worried, it’s more about being mindful of the breath and being mindful of our emotions.

Other learnings are not drinking saves loads of money, gives you your Saturday mornings back and encourages you to be more creative in terms of how to have fun (I have dallied in the cuisines of Argentina, Italy and Lebanon this month!)

Alcohol, like anything we lean on a little too much for comfort, can stop us experiencing other joys. There is of course joy to be had by having a glass or two, but remembering there is so much richness outside of the booze is super important too.

With love as always, Hannah and Team Bird

PS. If you would like to discuss resilience webinars or coaching for you or your team we are taking bookings from mid March onwards. Please get in touch for more information.

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