Learning to Live a Life of Less

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Other Ways I Aim To Consume Less

Over the past week I’ve spoken a lot about consumerism in the sense of purchasing, but there are other ways I consume that need working on as well.

I’ve developed many habits that involve me consuming in order to distract my mind from the bad stuff.  The worse of a place my head is in, the more I consume.  It’s a form of escaping, and something, again, as much as I don’t want to admit, is a habit I’ve developed from watching my Mum act in a similar way.

I’ve spoken briefly about my Mum’s addiction to alcohol in this post, but that wasn’t the only thing in my eyes that she was addicted to.  My Mum spent many, many hours playing online games.  She was deeply depressed in the last few years of her life, and those games were a form of escapism for her.

On the one hand I can see the pros of this.  She made friends all over the world who she had total control over what they did and didn’t know about her.  She didn’t have to tell them the horrible stuff if she didn’t want to, but the huge negative, and the one that affected me massively was that I felt like her online life and her online friends were becoming more important than her real life and the people who loved her most and who were right in front of her; her daughters.

The moment I realised it was becoming a problem was when I got home from work one evening at around 7:00pm.  My Mum was on her game, and I went about my business for the evening and went to bed at 10:00pm ready to get a 6:30am bus to work the next day.  When I came downstairs to get my bus at around 6:20am, there was my Mum, still on her game from the previous night.  She’d not been to bed, and not eaten anything from what I could see.

It was a tough time for us, and being a younger me, I was hurt and angry with her.  However, as unfortunate as it is, I realise now she’s gone that she was human too, and she was hurting and doing the best she could.  I know this now because I’m doing the best I can, and I don’t always get it right either.

Although I don’t get lost in online games, I do get lost in social media a lot.  I know when my anxiety is at an all-time high because before I know it I’ve been scrolling mindlessly through Facebook for an hour, which then makes me angry with myself because I’ve wasted an hour of my time where I could have been far more productive on reading updates from people I haven’t spoken to in over a decade.

This is something I’ve really been working on already, before I started this year long challenge.  Just by doing little things like keeping my phone downstairs at night so I’m not losing out on sleep to Instagram, and by having my phone out of sight I get ready in the morning so much quicker than I did when it was by my side.

I’ve also started keeping it out of my way when I’m watching TV, blogging or reading.  For years I’ve been saying I want to do more of these things, but saying I don’t have the time to, but that was all because I wasn’t giving myself the time.  My phone was getting all of my attention  This has improved a great deal over time though, and I'm hoping to kick the habit completely come the new year.

my biggest vice right up there next to shopping is food. Oh my goodness I love food so much!  So much so that over the years I've eaten more and more food and gained more and more weight.

I'm definitely an emotional eater.  Found out some good news?  Let's eat to celebrate.  Found out some bad news or just had a bad day in general?  Let's eat to commiserate.

When it comes to food I'm my own worst enemy, but this is a habit I want to kick as well.  It's time I took control over my weight and my bank balance.  So much so that come the beginning of next week I'm going to set myself a challenge to eat cleaner.

For a whole working week I'm going to scrap the chocolate, sweets and crisps and instead eat lots of fruit and veg.  I'm going to weigh myself at the beginning and end of the week, as well as keep track of how I'm feeling each day, and build up my healthier lifestyle more and more over time.

As I'm sure you've guessed by this point over the past week consumerism as a whole is a major issue for me.  It's going to take me a long time to kick the habits I've perfected over the years, but I feel so ready for it.


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