During Lent this year, I read that we have to stop saying we’re ‘giving up drinking’ because it’s not a healthy way to look at it. Essentially, saying that we’re giving something up makes it feel more like a loss than saying we’re not drinking or we’ve stopped drinking, which makes it seem like a positive choice. An action. Yes, it’s word play but it’s also how it makes us feel.
Recently, a friend sent this to me (I don’t have the original link, but this is not written by me):
If you’re making lifestyle changes in order to be healthier, lose weight and feel better, it often seems like you have to give up a whole bunch of stuff – That extra glass of wine or your Friday night pizza, for example. And what you get in return isn’t always obvious. You may think, “Gee…I skipped that extra glass of wine so I can lose weight at some future and unspecified time. Good for me!” Long pause. “Now what?”
Now? You figure out the real challenge – Learning how to reward yourself in a healthy way…and in a way that feels like an actual reward. Think spa treatments, going to a movie, spending time on your favorite hobby or just doing something kind of naughty – Taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon, for example, or leaving all the chores undone and going for a walk.
Change is hard. Rewarding yourself makes it so much easier.
So when we’re making healthy changes in our life, drinking the recommended daily amount of water, reducing our alcohol intake, getting more exercise, etc. it’s easy to forget the reward part. I get that. I’m guilty of that.
Now I’m looking at ways to reward myself that don’t involve a cupcake, a drink, or a meal. While none of those things is off the list entirely or essentially ‘bad’, I do need to look at other ways to reward myself.
Yesterday, I took a walk around the neighborhood and spotted the first hummingbird I’ve seen since last summer. So, I got some help and put up the bird feeder in the front of the house – right outside my office window so I can start enjoying the birds while I work. That should bring a little joy. A healthy reward.
It’s something to think about. If a glass of wine was my usual reward and I’m reducing the wine intake, it will help to replace it with something positive.