My Selph health coaching journey - Week 2

In Week 2 we approached the theme of Curiosity, which helped me to feel more fulfilled and find a form of exercise which I actually find fun!

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I’m going through Selph’s Coaching Programme and recording my journey as I go!

My name’s Sarah-Lizzie, and you might have seen my other articles on our Learn page! Like everyone, I have my own goals and challenges to overcome. I can admit my health needs improving. Holistic health coaching sounded like the right place to start. A few weeks later here I am - looking back on the second week of my Selph coaching journey.

You can read about my first week to find out why I chose to start my coaching journey and what I found out in Week 1.

Week 2: Curiosity

My second week of health coaching began with positivity. I had made it through the first week, kept up my daily gratitude and meditation practices and was feeling more present and aware in each passing moment.

The flow between the two weeks felt so natural for me. I was ready to explore being curious. I continued to use the daily check-list to note down my thoughts and feelings, this time surrounding the theme of curiosity. Each day brought a new message from my coach, encouraging me to bring a curious perspective to my activities, or congratulating me for forming a successful cue to lock in new habits.

Childlike wonder

A date with myself

In Week 1, I realised that I love to experience escapism and feelings of childlike wonder. I wanted to incorporate this into Week 2, the theme of Curiosity. One of the suggestions for this week was to take myself out on a date! Imagining the best experience or day I could have and doing it for myself. Planning it out in advance and setting aside that precious “me-time” once every week going forward.

I made a list of all the things I had been thinking it would be nice to do. I picked out simple ideas to start out with, like finally getting new makeup from the shops, walking to a bookshop, finding a book. I wanted to re-discover my love of reading and the escapism that it gave me.

I thought about where I’d like to read, where would give me the most meaning? I remembered a lovely woodland cemetery with lots of bluebells at this time of year. I went exploring and managed to find it. It ignited that wonderment and excitement that I felt as a child, exploring, not knowing where I was going. Then I buried my nose in my book and escaped into another world. A perfect day! Even when the raindrops started to fall and I made my way for shelter.

Bluebell cemetery

Diet

When doing the weekly shop, I find myself picking up more vegetables to add to our meals. I started eating a handful of nuts every day, eating apples when I felt like something sweet. I was scared of having temptations in the cupboards, but found it easier to turn away when I ate my meals mindfully until I was pleasantly full and satisfied. I could rationally choose the fruit over the biscuits that I didn’t even really like.

Activity

I received a handout this week with some suggestions on bringing more fun back into exercise. At first I thought it wouldn’t give me anything I didn’t already know about, but I found my thoughts drifting back to the suggestion of yoga. I had done it in the past and never kept it up as a habit. But I loved how it made me feel, so I gave it another shot!

If you’d have told me a month ago that I’d be looking forward to doing several yoga sessions a week, I’d have laughed in disbelief. Now, it’s a reality and I want to keep it up - even better, I believe I can! Maybe I’m already in a better place because of my health coaching to notice the joy it brings me, the way I’m choosing to use muscles that ache from neglect.

Yoga practice

Daily practices

My gratitude and meditation practices became a grounding anchor for me, to remind me each night and each morning that I was putting my health first. My nightly ritual of practising gratitude became more and more natural. I found it easy to think of 10 things some days, others I found I had more than 10 to write down. This week I had body scan meditations, which once again brought with them acceptance of my drifting thoughts.

On Sunday of this week, I missed my morning meditation. I thought it wouldn’t be noticeable throughout the day - I’d only been doing them for two weeks - but I actually felt like something was missing. I was less grounded. I didn’t blame myself for missing a day, just focused with curiosity on the feelings I experienced. Knowing how it felt was a worthwhile experience.

My time was filled with more noticeable happy experiences and positive thoughts, even on the stressful ones. My days felt more distinctive - I could remember what I did last Wednesday, and the Saturday before that… my weeks used to spin past without me noticing. The daily practices helped me to slow down, examine the potential and rewards in each day.

Gratitude practice

What Curiosity did for me

Part of this week was paying attention to what drained and sustained me. I found that walks, yoga, meditation, listening to music and reading made me feel energised after doing them. Something that drained me was scrolling social media on my phone. Instagram reels had been my biggest time sink for the past couple of years. I distantly remembered my initial lack of interest, especially when TikTok erupted on the scene. It wants to get you addicted, I told myself, and I wouldn’t fall for it.

I looked at the hours I’d spent on the app in the last months alone. I paid attention to the feeling I got when I opened the app, clicked on the first video. I felt a moment of hesitation and dread before scrolling up to the next video - a feeling which I usually ignored and dulled with the distracting, attention-grabbing videos. I knew going in that I dreaded it, but I did it anyway.

I remembered the feeling of dragging myself out of the hole I’d dug for myself after 30 minutes, an hour, longer... Feeling annoyance and shame. For the chance I’d see pixels of a pretty waterfall or an inspiring video that gave me validation or perspective on my life.

It was too easy to sort out. I went into my settings and limited the time I’d spend on the app. 30 minutes to gently ease myself in, then to 20, then to 15. I wasn’t strong enough to quit it completely (yet) and I didn’t blame myself for it. Slowly does it. I’ll replace it with something I do want to do - reading more. Making small steps and choices every day can make a huge difference. I can already feel a weight has been lifted.

Reading escapism

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