Decisions, Decisions

It seems, the older we get, the more decisions we have to make. There are the easy decisions, should I wear that dress (yes!), have another champagne (yes!), walk the beach (yes!) or go the gym (probably)? Then there are the hard ones, should we stay in a relationship, leave our job, sell our house, move or have a difficult conversation? Big decisions can make you feel sick, bewildered, lost, confused and unsettled. But you can’t make progress without making decisions. Fact. So how do we make them? How do we know if a particular decision is right or wrong?

A Choice Point

Russ Harris, medical practitioner and leading authority in stress management, teaches a strategy called ‘A Choice Point’. A Choice Point is a moment in time when you choose between values consistent and values inconsistent behaviour. It is a practice in which you step back with your critical mind and evaluate whether a decision or behaviour will be moving away or towards your values and the person you want to be. Understanding your values, who you are and where you want to be in life, is vital when making choices. Is your decision going to enhance your life or will the decision mean you are turning away from what you value and who you are? Have you ever made a decision and the internal conflict has continued? If so, that is a sure sign you have made the wrong choice and going against your true direction. The right choice often gives a sense of relief as you align with who you really are.

Head versus heart

It’s hard to know what to do when your head and heart are in battle. Your head can often be screaming at you to make a certain choice, and your heart screams just as loudly for you to go in the opposite direction. So which one do you listen to? We, as humans, actually have access to an extraordinary tool that we often forget to use. Our gut. Our gut instinct is the most powerful voice we have. Gut instinct is a natural ability that helps you decide what to do or how to act without thinking. What a powerful gift right?! Yet so many of us choose to ignore it. Have you ever stayed in a relationship or job, which you inherently know is not good for you? Then years later, after you have left the situation, you look back knowing you ignored the red flags and your gut instinct, in hope that it would get better. Listen to your intuition, it’s there to guide you!

Pros and Cons

What are the pros and cons of making a certain decision? Get as much information as possible. What will you gain, what will you lose and who will you impact. What is the worst case scenario? Is the decision permanent? What’s your Plan B? It helps to write pro’s, con’s and options down. You may find that one list will overshadow the other and the decision can become glaringly obvious. This process can be a huge reality slap, as you confront a decision that clearly isn’t working for you.

When both options are terrifying

Have you ever had a decision where there doesn’t seem to be a good choice? What are you fearing? Make time to sit with it and make space for the answer to come. Be calm. Never make permanent decisions on a temporary emotion. Don’t base your decision on fear or guilt. Give yourself time. So many times we make a decision in the heat of the moment based on emotion, but good decisions take time and effort and healthy, intelligent reflection.

Talk to someone or yourself

Often we are so engrossed in our decision that we can’t see the facts and options clearly. Engage with a professional, family member or friend. Others can see a situation with a clearer perspective and sometimes provide more options guiding you to make a better choice. If you feel you can’t open up to someone about your choice, talk to yourself like you would a friend. Play devil’s advocate and consider what you would likely say to a friend if they were asking you on your opinion on the matter.

Give yourself a break

Are you finding all this analysis overwhelming and just confusing you more? Step away from the situation. Allocate time for when to think about it and when to have a break. Overthinking can make the situation worse and can confuse you even more! Catch up with a friend, go for a walk, and step away so when you decide to think about it again, you can with a clearer head.

Lastly, it is important to remember, that sometimes the hardest thing, and the right thing are the same.

“Don’t ever make your decisions based on fear. Make them on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t” – Michelle Obama

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What’s hot and what’s not about long distance relationships

So you’ve met your person. Things are going great. Hey, they may actually be ‘the one’ but there’s one issue. You live in vastly different postcodes! Living apart from your significant other can actually be really tough. You can find yourself wondering if it’s worth it and how will this work?

Let’s look at what’s hot and what’s not about long distance relationships.

First things first, what’s not.

Where are they?

You’ve just received great news. You want nothing more than to celebrate with your guy or gal, then with a quick reality slap you realise you can’t be with them to toast that celebratory glass of bubbles. You go to events alone, you feel part time single, and you find you miss them like hell. Being apart from your other can be really hard, especially when you experience important life events.

You’re alone

You get home from work and walk through the door wishing they were there to ask, “how was your day?”. Instead you put down your bag, pour a wine and make a meal for one telling your cat about today’s events and how you finally got that promotion.

You feel close but far

Your bond is tight but you haven’t the everyday contact like ‘normal’ couples do. When you see them you have to squeeze in everything you’ve missed into a couple of hours, trying to play catch up.

You live a double life

Your lives feel disconnected. You each have a separate life with your work, family and friends. You rarely can combine the two and it can feel like you have two lives. One with them and another living your everyday life. One you wish they could be a part of.

But there are some pros to long distance relationships and sure fire ways to make it work.

Your own time

Both a blessing and a curse, living apart from your other can force you to be by yourself. You have time to pursue your own activities, goals and wants. This can be extremely liberating as it gives you the time to live the life you want and a chance to look after yourself and be the best person you can be for you and your partner.

Moments become magical

When you do see each other it’s a special experience. You make every moment count and don’t take each other for granted. You catch up on all that you have missed and are positively thrilled to be with each other, even just for a moment.

The special bond

Being away from each other forces you to connect in other ways. Provided you make time to talk, you are forced to communicate on a regular, open and deep level. You find yourself knowing so much about each other so when you do get together, it’s as if you haven’t been apart.

Can long distance relationships work? Yes. But it involves committed communication, sharing everyday experiences, compromise, honesty, trusting the other and knowing that this is just one chapter to what could be a very happy life together.

As they say, distance can make the heart grow fonder. Enjoy both your freedom and the moments you share.

What’s Hot and What’s Not about the honeymoon period  

So you’ve scored yourself a significant other. Things are going well and you find yourself in uninterrupted romantic bliss. The honeymoon period, which typically lasts 6-12 months, can be the most exciting. You’re getting to know one another, you’re spending quality time together and you may be pinching yourself to believe that it is actually real. But, the honeymoon period can turn your world upside down. Keeping the vibe alive can be hard work. Let’s look at what’s hot and what’s not about the honeymoon period. 

Maintaining the goddess

He’s just phoned to surprise you and announces he will be at your house in 10 minutes! You haven’t washed your hair in four days, you’ve just eaten a garlic infused yiros, and you’ve been cleaning the bathroom in your 10 year old sweatpants. Time is ticking and you have moments to transform into a goddess (heaven forbid he sees you just as you are!) You run to the shower, wash your hair whilst frantically maintaining ‘Nut Bush City’. Your stress levels have peaked. You throw on a dress, chuck on some bronzer and scrounge through your washing basket for your sexiest knickers. Knock on the door, he’s here, you take a deep breath and greet him with an adoring kiss. He compliments you and you’re like “Oh this old thing, I’m sorry I’m a little daggy”. Little does he know the rapid effort you have expelled to look ‘effortlessly beautiful’.

Toilet dilemmas

You’ve been out for dinner and mistakenly eaten that amazing green curry that you know definitely doesn’t agree with you. You’re freaking out knowing that he’s going to want to come back to your place. You get home, passionately kissing, and then your stomach starts to twist. Oh no, not now! You dash to the bathroom and search for some Imodium but it’s too late. Even worse you forgot to buy air freshener this week. You need him out. Stat. It’s too soon for such exposure. You think of an excuse for him to leave as your intestines contract uncontrollably. He’s left, you close the door and run to the loo. You sit there, you just make it. Phew! Close call.

Just a salad, thanks

Your former single self would order Uber Eats a couple of times a week. Why not? You are the only one seeing yourself in your birthday suit. But now it’s different. Your stomach is full of butterflies and you know there is a likely chance that someone else is going to see you naked. You both go out for dinner and you pick at a salad. You want to be a skinny minny for the big event. You’ve starved yourself for days, living off crackers and water. You wonder if he can notice? Suddenly it’s time, you’re about to do the deed. And then, overcome with complete malnutrition….you faint.

What’s sleep?

You’re staying over at your new boo’s house. It’s exciting, no more nights alone. Finally. But, you can’t sleep. You’re used to sleeping alone. He seems to have drifted off quickly. He’s even orchestrated a slight, rhythmic snore. You’re wrapped up in each other’s arms. Yes, it feels nice. But, you usually sleep on your side! You eventually make a move to the other side of the bed; he wakes and thinks you want to do the deed again, so you do. Then he drifts off within moments and you have to start the whole process again.

The honeymoon period can be the best time in your relationship. But, after this stage can be even better. You feel comfortable, at ease and can just be you… sweatpants, no make up, eating takeaway and bingeing on Netflix. The right person will love you for you (yes, even if you do ‘number twos’) so relax, be authentic and enjoy the ride!