S2 Episode 41: Impulse or Inspiration? Why It Matters and What To Do About It.
Note: Transcripts are computer generated
Sugar and Spikes is a science backed and semi sarcastic mental health podcast for a new type of business leader. Mental health concerns are occasionally addressed. But this podcast is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition mental, physical, metaphysical, or otherwise, that's a job for your doctor or therapist, not a podcast. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get on with the show.
Welcome back to another episode of the Sugar and Spikes podcast. I am Dez.
And today, we're we're talking about...Well, a few things.
Well just listen and see. D
Yeah. Today, most of us are running on next in no sleep, right, and exhaustion, and an overwhelming amount of stress.
And with all of these factors combined, um,
Exactly I mean, when when else is a good time to record, then when you're at your prime, right? So fun.
Everything's like working.The brain neurons are firing,
But I mean, like, this is super common. And this is what everyone has to go through, right? Where we all have 5 million things to do, we all get bogged down by things that are happening, like internally, externally, like on a more like social level, even.
And like, we can't, like, we can't stop like there, though, we've talked about those times where you can and you can like put the brakes on it and say, hold on. And also we've talked about the fact that like, you know, there are things that have to keep going in one way or another. And also this idea of a the day to day process, like it gets wearing. But then the almost without cause or reason or seemingly without cause or reason, like it's not uncommon, at least for me, I think maybe for you to and other folks, where it goes from like, overwhelming and just drudgery and exhaustion to, Okay, it's not so bad and being on like the sort of upswing.
Yeah, so I think that that's true, right? Like, if you think about regression to the mean, if you want to really have like a sciencey term for it, like you don't stay at extremes for a long time, everything has a tendency to kind of come back down towards the mean, that's why it's a mean like, so yeah, those terrible times will start to get better, the progression could be different. And like, I know, we think of changes like going up and down and straight lines, or even, even not in straight lines. Like if you're going over a hill, but it's still moving in one direction. And even if you go up, you're still moving. Yeah, right. And so like, sometimes change isn't like that sometimes, like you'll have a great day and then a shitty day and then an okay day and then a pretty good day and then an okay day, like it's just kind of more all over the place than them. And so, um I totally got off topic, with what you were trying..
Will I mean like, when we say
It's not linear, that was the point I was getting to.
When we say okay, day and stuff, it's not the right now for this episode, we're not necessarily talking specifically about like depression, or
That's not what I meant
Like mood or anything, like anything, just in terms of stress and even productivity, like, there are some days where, like, I'm super on it and just knocking stuff out. And then there are other days where I can't finish the sentence because I'm so distracted by other things.
Right. That's what I was meaning not about mood. Yeah.
So I don't know, whenever I think like, okay, days and bell curves, I'm always like, depression, um,
I mean, but that works for stress levels, too.
Right. And, and I think like, really what Tammy was trying to get to perhaps one thing that I've been thinking a lot about is the fact that we are kind of cyclical creatures. And like once once we become aware of these patterns, there's a lot of power in that.
Yeah, like knowing your process, right? Like, knowing where you're at, where how that works for you, and kind of where you are, can help you navigate those more difficult times are when you're more scattered, or when you have these feelings, because you know that that's your process. And you can kind of gauge where you're at, right?
Yeah, I mean, it's twofold. Like, it helps you develop the skills and really refine these skills, like, especially if we think about in terms of clothes and everything, like when you're trying things out, or like if you're buying workout clothes, but you're not sure you're going to stick to like a workout schedule, so you go to like Target for the $20 pants, but then when you do it for a while, then like you treat yourself to like the Lulu pants or like the Athleta pants.
And that's like better quality, but you know, what you're looking for.
You know, and you know, what suits you you know, what style of workout you're going for. Things like that. And I think that, but like those things, you learn to look for those things. After going through it.
You become a more educated consumer, I mean, consumer or whatever.... You go, sorry.
Um, and the same can be said for, you know, like watching stress levels in terms of like jobs. And there's so many different cycles and seasons to a job like I think about where both Tammy and I are, like Tammy has been with her organization for a couple of years. And there are still differences and like learning like, the the pattern in terms of what a month looks like, because your position is changed. Over the last couple years, couple of years, your position is changing multiple times. So there's more learning. So you can't just sit back and say, well, I've been working full time for the last couple of years, I should have things like figured out Yeah, but that's not true. Because it's a different situation. There are different expectations. And so, you know, you can look back and say, Well, as I was doing um, I liked these pieces of my self care routine, or of you know, what I've been doing to keep my head above water, those words, I'm going to hone in on that. And these other things didn't necessarily work. So I'm, I'm not going to go buy the expensive pair of pants,
Right. All I can think of now is Lucy and how much I miss it.
They were bought by Columbia.
But they're gone now.
I love them.
Sorry. (laughter) It's funny that you were talking about that, though. Becauseafter kind of what we talked about in terms of like the one strategy and like, Oh, my gosh, I only have one strategy and like, that's not going to work anymore. And this idea that I really wasn't taking burnout prevention very seriously. So I've really noticed, like, in the last week, that I've really thought long and hard about how I'm going to work now that I have that insight, because it totally shifts my worldview, and the way that I think of myself and who I consider myself to be. And so I've been thinking about how to have better boundaries and do things that are meaningful and fulfilling for me.
And, you know, part of that we're even talking about yesterday is like part of its not checking email on my day off. And then right, as I said that I was checking my email, and you're like, Hello, and I'm like, okay, but like I'm trying, I'm really trying. And, like, I think sometimes when we had those kind of really insightful moments, and then we expect that we're going to be able to just run with that right away. But I think like there's a difference between having inside and changing behaviors, changing routines, and that I would encourage folks to be patient because that tends to be a slower process. And it doesn't come on suddenly, like aha moments kind of do, but involves, like, thoughtful consideration about how you're going to do it.
Well, I think at its core, what is an insight, right, an insight is perspective into what causes actions, thoughts, feelings? What is the reason behind this, right? Insights don't necessarily trigger movement and an insight does not mean that there will be change.
You know, and I think that that's something that kind of gets glossed over a lot is the idea of Oh, I had this really big insight things are going to be so different. Will like who says unless you plan for Okay, like, I've had this insight, do I like this insight? Do I like what it means? Do I like what it says? Do I like the path that it like, that it's pushing me on? Or it's pushing my relationships on?
And then if not, okay, well, what do I do about it?
You know, and really being intentional and focused, I think in in those moments.
Yes, sorry, I'm listening. I don't.
My cat is she's harassing her.
She always waits until we're recording. And then she's like, all up in my a business. But that's a really good point. Right? So like, now I have to get back to what we're doing
Well, okay. So just like I, as I was saying...
I remember what, okay, so it makes me think about professors that we had in grad school. So we had one who consider themselves to be a straight behaviorist. All be no cognition, like, none of that. And I remember her saying, like, we all have insight into things that we know need to change. But that doesn't always prompt change. Right. So clearly, insight on its own, isn't sufficient.
Well, yeah, continue.
But so I remembered her saying that, because I had a couple classes with her and wh---? No claws, no claws. My goodness. So like, insight, I think a lot of times will kind of prompt that behavior change. But it may not be sufficient. Right?
Well, and it goes back to the idea of which comes first in terms of change: thoughts, or action and cognitive dissonance around those pieces. And you can think something until the cows come home, right? But unless a behavior changes, nothing's going to be different. But then when we talk about behavior change, suddenly, it's not necessarily a matter of insight, fueling it. Now we're talking about the stages like the cycle of change,
Right? And I think it's important because insights can happen really quick, like all of a sudden, you're like, oh, my goodness,
Well and they can be like a mountaintop moment.
Where like, you have this surge of adrenaline and hope and inspiration, and oh, my God, this skies have parted and everything is fabulous. *laughter*
Exactly. *laughter* But sustainable change, sustainable behavior change, works in a really slow way. And so having those two things kind of juxtaposed against each other, I think sometimes that can make us feel like the behavior change isn't happening fast enough. But I think a lot of times in business, too. I mean, in relationships, too. But with business, you need to be real thoughtful about the changes that you're making. Right? Before you just change everything. And then now, oh no like this is having unintended consequence, right.
Like, what are the implications? What does this mean?
So you need to be very thoughtful, which automatically almost slows that process down.
Um, but that can be a good thing, too. Because we don't, that's why I mean, being impulsive. Okay. There's, there's a place for everything in moderation.
There's a time and place for everything.
But probably right after you have this insight, taking a few minutes to kind of or a few weeks to think about, okay, what does that mean for me now? And how do I go carry, how do I carry this knowledge into what I'm doing in my business, or what I'm doing in my personal life or whatever, and then figuring out what changes you want to make, because you and I can have the same almost insight, because we kind of did. But the way that's going to look for me and how I implement that in my life, and the way it's going to look for you, and how you implement that in your life are likely not going to be exactly the same.
Yeah. And I also think that it's worth noting, there's a difference between taking a moment to process, a shift in world view and a shift in perspective and a shift in almost values. Because that's kind of what we're talking about, like when when you have a huge insight or a huge moment of realization, that shifts something in your core values and how you yourself operate as a person, there's a there's a difference between navigating what does that mean for my behavior versus, you know, having this idea for a way to test out something in business? Like, if if you have this new sales strategy that you want to try out? And that's still good next to your larger, deeper value of growing your business, then fine, you don't have to think about it for weeks, you know, like, right, work through, like, whatever your style is, like, We're not saying sleep on action. Yeah, you know, but when, when there are these kind of internal, almost life changing, quote, unquote, moment or worldview shifting. You're going to be shook. It's going to take a moment, like if anyone has ever experienced an earthquake, like, they tend to be pretty brief, but then it's all you can think about for at least a few days later. Yeah, like, that's the type of thing that we're talking about is like internal earthquakes.
Yeah, exactly. I think that's a really good example. And, you know, when it when something shifts your perspective, so completely like that, and, like, you also start to realize what your values ar.,
Like, Oh, so that's my one strategy, right? Like, all I do is I put my head down, and I deal with it, and I get through it.
So, okay, so I had an insight that that's not working, right. But working, how it's not working at work, it's not working at home, it's not working, how I treat myself is not working, how we do our stuff on the side. And like, having a radical shift like that, is almost like, Fuck, you know?
Well it leaves you feeling... not necessarily empty, but almost helpless, in a way. Yeah. Because there's this moment of realization, where I thought I was holding things up, I thought I had it together. And I don't and this moment of truth that you have to have with yourself and not like you, but people larger you because I think anyone like either building like their, like, business leadership stuff, or entrepreneurs, anybody had, like, we have these moments where we realized strategies don't work anymore. These things that we thought were doing good, like, aren't. And it's, it's really hard. And it's really terrifying. And it requires, you know, a lot of time and space to figure out what does this mean, in the long term for sustainable change? Like, you could have these impulsive, like, you could have the earthquake, and then go buy the earthquake kit the next day, but then what good is that actually doing you? Right? You know, it's already happened. Like, now you're being reactive. Right? Versus well, how do I plan for this?
Yeah. I mean....yes. Trying to gather my thoughts for a minute. Yeah, left me. Oh, yeah. No, you go.
I was going to say it's, it's a lot. And as we talk about so often is, our lives are so integrated, it's really hard to separate these breakthroughs, as like, a business leader or an employee versus an entrepreneur versus a partner versus a parent. Like all of those are so wrapped up in your self identity, which is why having the awareness to develop skills and know what's not working early on, and what does work, so you know, where to invest your focus, is really, I think that that's key, because, you know, I don't want to keep like harping on self awareness. But that's the thing like, we are so bogged down. And I been thinking about this so much recently, I'm sure Tami's, like annoyed about this tangent, I'm about to know I'm not. Like we're so bogged down with like, noise and just mind numbing bullshit, that we don't have time to process how we're moving through the world. Right? And that's, it's making us stressed out, it's making us less productive in a positive manner. Like we're filling our lives with these kind of menial tasks that don't survive any more than 10 minutes or less short.
Or like short dopamine bursts.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And we're losing very large pieces of our identity.
Mm hmm. It's true. I mean, even from like a scientific perspective, you have bounded rationality, right, which is, we can only pay attention to so many things at once, we can only be aware, and the rest kind of gets filtered out, because we're being hit with so many things at once. And so, having insight into Oh, I didn't realize I was like filtering this piece out. And can create a lot of substantial shifts, just like you're saying.
And you can't have that if you don't, if you don't make space for that. Yeah, you know, like, whatever that looks like to have that driving to work without the radio on, or, you know, doing yoga or like, you don't want to keep throwing up these cliches of mindfulness or awareness.
Are you can say, bath, don't say bath.. *laughing*
No like, meditation, like, but the research is out there showing that those things, those mindfulness practices, really tune in with your brain, like your driving force, do really good things. In fact, I was reading a book where like, UCLA has so much research, like supporting meditation that they have, like, a ton of research sources online for meditations that are no more than three minutes, because they're like, we get people are busy, but also, it's really good for you like meditation is like the mental form of running essentially.
I mean, and you know, you can change it from meditation, to like, basically, I think the idea you're getting at is making space however you can..
For these moments of quiet, even if it's five minutes, because I promise you you never know how long five minutes is till you have to time it.
I mean, even three minutes late, quite honestly. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I have the I have my little smartwatch and it does the breath reminder thing. And that's for 60 seconds. And sometimes it flies by and sometimes I'm just like, Are we done yet? I've been breathing for 20 seconds. Never mind.
It's like when I was building up to doing a plank. I'm like, I can do a plank for two minutes. And then I'm like, Surely it's been a minute. It's been like 20 seconds. Yeah.
Man, that two minute plank is? Like, I haven't decided if it's better for your core or your brain strength.
Oh, maybe both? Yeah, maybe both?
Mind Body connection.
Exactly. And I think going back to the finding something that works for you. And I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this, because I kind of challenged you on it in a previous episode.
But no, you threw me under the bus.
I tri- I kindly, therapeutically challenged you by hitting you in the face of the pan.
Okay, I'm going to give you my thoughts.
Like, if you have this experience of Well, I've tried x y&z before, and they haven't worked, but maybe x y&z were three years ago, a month ago, something like that, how do you, how do you view those things with new eyes?
Well, I think the thing that's important, and the first question I would ask is, what about them wasn't working? Cuz, like skills can kind of there's different ways to approach that, without really knowing what about it wasn't working, you can't really it's difficult for me to say I would just do this, because it's not like that, because it depends, like everything does. But a lot of times if like a client's telling me this skills not working, I'm like, Okay, great. Take me through how you're doing it. And let's problem solve. And then even if we do that, or maybe they say like, they hated it, we're not going to try and keep problem solving that will move forward. But if it's something that would be really valuable, and they just need to tweak it a little bit, cuz I also caution people, like the first time you try to do something, it's probably not going to work the way you want it to. And so you have to give it time.
Well and starting off with kind of, like, no expectations of what you're going to get out of it like which is so so difficult, right? I mean, I would hypothesize that that's one reason why a lot of people don't like meditation is because they think, well, I'm going to meditate for three minutes. And suddenly, the sky is going to part I'm going to have this huge epiphany. But really, when we talk about like three minute meditations, we're talking about like lower cortisol levels, that you're probably not even going to notice until they are reduced significantly over the course of a few weeks of met, you know, like these, these things that you can't really like, identify, so getting rid of the preconceived expectations
And recognize you're probably going to have them anyway. So like, I do hypnotherapy, that's one of the things I know how to do, and an intervention that I use quite a bit. And when I use it, the first thing that I do is I kind of, we don't do a lot of therapeutic work on the first session, because people are more like, hesitant, I don't know what to expect, am I doing this right? Kind of all that kind of stuff. And so you take them through it, more like a relaxation exercise, so that they can get used to used to how it's done, and so that they know what to expect. And so you can kind of say, okay, because it's really hard not to have expectations, like, just don't have it any explanation, right. But like, a lot of times with hypno, it's like, notice what you notice, feel what you feel, but you're like, I don't know, if I'm feeling the thing I'm supposed to be feeling. I don't know if I'm like noticing the right things, quote, unquote. And so you kind of have to get through some of that. And so with meditation, it's like that, too. Like, I don't know if I'm doing.
Yeah, right. I want to, yeah, it's still here. Yeah. And like, sometimes people will say, like, Oh, I don't like meditation. I'm like, great, What don't you like about it?
And a lot of times, they'll say things that is a form of meditation, like, close your eyes, and oh, man, you know, cross like position. And I'm like, oh, but it doesn't have to be like that, right? And then you're like, it could be x, y, z, and also, or, and then kind of providing perspective, more providing options that people didn't know, were there. So if you tried something two to three years ago, and you didn't like it, okay, what did you like about it? So what were you trying to accomplish by doing it? And how can we then either tweak it to help you accomplish that or insert a different skill to help you accomplish that?
Yeah, I think the idea holds true for skills that maybe have been tried and true. But then you've started noticing that they're not working the same way. And this kind of goes back to like the head down, keep going, and then realizing, oh, this isn't working. I went through this experience. Maybe within the past month, six weeks or so where it's no secret, I talk on here a lot about the fact that I'm a huge fan of gratitude lists, really staying focused on that type of stuff. And I noticed that my gratitude list in the morning just like, like, I was just so disconnected from them at some point.
Didn't you say that it kind of almost was just like, yeah, okay, this.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And then I'm, like, while kind of processing, like noticing that, like, what is this doing? Like, this isn't, it's not connecting anymore? And then well How could you know, to what you were talking about? Like, well, how can I shift it? What? What are possible ways that this could be different? Do I verbalize it? Do I draw? Do I do other things?
Do I do it at a different time of day?
Exactly. And so I shifted how I did that. And just like a very minor shift, has completely rejuvenated, like that part of myself care kind of practice and my mental practice.
Well, it's like having jeans, right? Sooner or later jeans get worn out. Like that's gonna fucking happen. Exactly. But nobody's gonna, like, not have jeans in their wardrobe. So then it becomes what kind of jeans do I want? Do I want skinny jeans? Do I want to boot cut jeans? Do I want high rise jeans? Do I want low cut jeans, like there's like a million options. So it's like that here, too. So maybe the skill you're using got a little worn out and now we're having to either replace it or renew it, but it's not going to be exactly the same as the ones you had. And even if you get them from the same place, exactly.
Because things change, right. And then the other thing that I was thinking about as you were talking about the skills piece was an outcome specifically is there's also a difference between a skill kind of enhancing your life versus a skill supporting your life. So jeans versus belts, kind of, yeah, cuz I think like, we can notice, we can notice what something helps keep. We can notice when something makes us feel better, but then there are also times where we have skills that once they're gone, we realized they were helping keep us like neutral. Yeah, like, almost like drinking water. Yeah, like you don't realize how much you need water until you stop drinking water. Yeah, you know, then you're thirsty all the time, exactly like, and it's so easy to right those skills off and not not think about them as self care or maintenance or, you know, not view them as important because they're, they don't make you feel on top of the world, essentially. But they let you function. And because you're just like functioning, you let them slide, I almost think of like, this is probably a really bad example. But when you're on like antidepressants, and then you hit like equilibrium, and then you're like, I don't need my antidepressant. So then you stop taking it. And then it gets really bad if you don't do it with the help of a doctor. Yeah. So that's kind of the point that I'm trying to make, like, there are things that help keep us at a level that we can start to take for granted.
Yeah, I mean, cuz a lot of times the way like self care is in more pop culture ways. And like baths and Ben and Jerry's
And spa days, like there was that article that Lizzo put out about how like, she was like, I was too poor to not, like, develop my own version of self care. And here's really what that means. Yeah, you know, and she like, talks about how self care is really, like the Pinterest self care is more white, not necessarily white privilege, but like mid class privilege, things like that, which, I mean, the ideas that are perpetuated a lot are very much that. Uh huh. And I mean, I would say like, my self care basics are included, like that gratitude stuff. I talked about it all the time, like, working out. But that's the one thing where, like, if I don't do it, then I notice my anxiety is heightened. And I get much more moody and I'm already an anxious and moody person. Yeah. So if like, I don't have that, that just, it's like crash and burn. Right, exactly. So I those are the things that I want to point out, when you're working on the self awareness for skills and how to navigate the cycles of there are different levels, and there are different types. And it would, it would be a missed opportunity if you simply kept self care and stress reduction and things like that to one specific kind of category or idea. Yeah, it's very multifaceted.
Well, it is. And I think you have to start with what's your conception of self care? What does it mean to you? How important is it? And if if you think it's very important, great, what are the ways that you're doing and, but getting beyond those kind of like mid class privilege, like, I go to the spa, or I took a bath? Like, that's not what I mean by self care. It's more like what you're saying, like, what is the foundation of how you keep yourself going, not in like survival mode all the time, but like living a life that's meaningful and fulfilling for you, and doesn't just drain every ounce of your energy.
And going back to the whole cycle patients to bring it back around. Like there are, there are core pieces were like, knowing how to shift four different times. One example is when like my work schedule gets really busy, and I'm traveling all the time, my exercise looks completely different than when I'm at home for two months. Sure, you know, but I still maintain that idea. Whereas, like journaling and gratitude, like, I'll be thankful. But I'm like, I'm going to run through my gratitude list while I'm sitting on a plane waiting for take off. And I'm not going to necessarily be journaling it, you know, but then other other elements of that mindfulness practice that I carry, I don't even bother when I travel, right, like I keep it to like a core minimum. And it's, it's knowing like the ebbs and flows, because I used to very much be the person who was like, I do this every day.
And that doesn't work.
Because that's a fixed, right, it doesn't allow any kind of flexibility. And even if your routine is the same, quote, unquote, every day, at the same time, it's also different. So it's like that dialectic enact in action, right? So, yes, it's the same, and it's not at the same time. And so you have to have some room for flexibility. Um, so I was thinking, as you were talking, I'm like, so what do I do for self care? And I'm kind of just getting to the point where I realized I wasn't doing anything for self care. So I was thinking about that, because like, I realized I don't have much of a self care practice right now. And I'm working on that. I'm, like, legitimately working on it, not just saying, Yes, I'm working on it, because I wasn't
Well and I think there's this idea. Like, even with self care, I think there's this almost stingma around it where it does almost reek of privilege, like saying like, oh, myself care, like blah, blah, you know, because we've been almost conditioned to be like, spa, like, get my nails done. Exactly. Yeah.
So there is I agree. Like, I know, I was guilty of that, like, Okay, I know, I need to do self care, great, but I, I'm not going to.
And figuring out, so I didn't actually think of one thing that I do like speaking of cyclical, so I don't get out in the sun very much. Because I burn really fast. Well, one thing we know that helps with mood is I'm not a medical doctor.
Is vitamin D. And vitamin D, one of the ways vitamin D is created and your body is by being in the sun. So and it also helps to kind of account for like that cyclical depression that people sometimes experience, right? Like seasonal affective disorder, like follows that cycle, right in the winter when there isn't a lot of light. And I actually have a happy light. And I use it in the winter. Yeah, so that's the one thing I thought it.
Pragmatic self care. Yeah, I'm actually with the seasons changing. I have already noticed a shift in my mood and everything. And I remember how hard it was for me last season, like going back to that self awareness piece. So I've started kind of planning like if we think about like, cycles of change. Like, this is a great example. Yeah, I, I became aware. And then I have, I've hit like my preparation phase of looking at Happy lights and everything. And then I will take action to buy a happy light. I will use it. Chances are I will relapse and forget to use it and then repeat the cycle.
Right. I mean, you're talking about stages of change. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. It maps onto that really beautifully. And I will say that the winters here are rough. Like they affect me so much more than the ones like back in Oregon. Even though in Oregon is like gray a lot. But here, it's just there's something really brutal about it. And so accounting for that, and having to revisit your skills and update and refresh exactly right. Like you need to have your coat here that you need in Oregon. Exactly. And it doesn't mean the foundational part of it hasn't changed. Like, I still have a coat.
And it's this this still the same style. You know, it's just warmer.
Yeah. So like that. But also recognize like, we're all works in progress. Nobody's perfect. I'm a therapist. I'm a psychologist. I'm definitely not perfect. Like, I mean, I am.
I'm pretty fucking close.
You are. It's true.
No, but I'm really not, so.. *laughter*
But like, I think, you know, it's important, I think, to show fallibility because, like, we live in a plastic world with plastic people, and perfect online like curated Instagrams and all of that. And so I think sometimes it's important to share, like, Hey, I teach this and do this for a living, and I'm not necessarily always good at it. And I'm also a work in progress. So it's like, okay, so maybe it kind of can help take the pressure off. And recognize that, like, it's hard to think about changes when you're so stressed out, and you're like, barely keeping everything up to think about changing because it seems so scary, because you're so certain it's going to all come crashing down. But is it really? Or is that just what our brain is telling us?
Like, that was kind of the realization that I had, which was that, okay, I am balancing everything, but it's getting harder and harder to do. And it's kind of not working anymore. And so I have to do something different. And I wouldn't say that I've even implemented very many things at this point. Because I've really been thinking about like, what does this mean for me at work? What does this mean for me at home? Like, how am I going to do this? But definitely the fact that it's even on my mind versus like, yes, yes, yes, self care? I know. I know. I know. But like, really, like, I know, and I'm thinking very deeply about it. So that is, I'm in like that contemplated stage of change, right? So you, people feel like change is action steps. I haven't really initiated any action steps, right. But I'm definitely in that contemplation stage of change that happens right before action, more preparation than action, whatever. But that's where the majority of the work of change is actually done. Like the action steps are, it sounds really silly to say, but they're actually pretty minor part of it. Because all the work you do about do I want to change it kind of don't like this way has worked for me for a long time, but it kind of know what isn't working? So do I really want to change? Oh, yeah, I didn't think about it that way. Like, all this stuff that okay, well, how would I implemented know that isn't going to work? Here's the reasons why Oh, no, I'm just saying no to me, like you can get it goes on and on and on. Yeah, but most of the work of change, like is in that space. And so once you can, like, get through that phase into preparation than action, there's a lot of work to be done there. And so one thing that I always talk about with clients is like, you're still changing, even if you're not taking action, you're still changing by even thinking about it. Because that represents something different. Yeah. And so making sure that you kind of give yourself that space to know that people get stuck in that contemplation phase for a while. Even when they want to make changes, because change is hard.
Well in the contemplation stage is its key, because it's that awareness, you know, which is really a new said this, like, the hardest part. And then preparation, like that takes so much emotional energy, because it's, well, what if this happens? And how am I going to navigate? And then what if this happens? And how am I going to navigate and really thinking about, What does this look like, and as you put that into, like, as you put that out there, there's almost this, like, acknowledgement that your life is going to change, and navigating, you know, the fear and all that stuff.
Right. And a lot of times, too, when we go to make changes, if we were all the way at the, like the extreme on the one side of like doing nothing, let's say or close to nothing, then we go all the way to the other side, we're like doing all the things everything every day, and then we kind of come back and we equalize somewhere near the mean. So like this regression to the mean, right. So just recognize that that is a pretty typical part of that process. And so finding where you're going to achieve that balance for you. Um, it really is different and probably not like your initial attempts. So, I was thinking of something else. But I can't remember what.
And it's a lot to think about.
It is a lot to think about. And so there was something I was gonna say, and I'm really trying to think of it and I'm like stalling and I don't remember what it was.
And I think to, unless it goes back to just kind of wrap up in with one final..
I remember. So one thing that can help you start to kind of I don't usually give out like steps or anything like that. But I'm going to throw this out there.
But tips are always good to people. Everybody loves tips.
So when we start to think about changing, we do, we can do a pro con list and four boxes, pros and cons of changing pros and cons of staying the same. You always want to like think about and this is used a lot of times with people who have like substance use concerns
I was going to say it is like motivational interviewing
Well, yeah. Or it's like a T to D scale. Yeah, like you're developing that anyway. So like, what would be the pros of staying the same continuing to use substances? Because here's the thing, like, a lot of times when I do that with clients, they're like, well, we're not supposed to say anything good. Like, what is the pro of staying the same using substances in this problematic way. But there are, right and you have to acknowledge those pieces, whether it's substances, whether it's depression, whether it's business,
Whether it's procrastination
Anything, right, it's doing something for us.
And so trying to pretend like it's bad, like my strategy of putting my head down and
going, what's working for me, yeah, and we do these things for a reason. Because even if they're not working now, they have helped us in the past. And so sometimes recognizing that and doing some, there can be some grieving. Um, like, Oh, I can't just do things the way I wanted to, and like, but that was how I identified and how I described myself. And so like doing some work around that, and recognizing that there may be some grief and sadness and kind of this anxiety about changing and so you want to stay the same and you want to change at the same time. And so doing that pro con list pros and cons of changing pros and cons of staying the same. And then you can continue through that cycle as you do for you. And then when you start to see like a shift in the boxes, like initially, you probably see a lot of pros for staying the same. And a lot of cons of changing. But when you start to really move in your mindset, you'll see it reverse. So you'll see more cons of staying the same and more pros of changing if you do it in the box with like the four quadrants. And that's how, you know, you're beginning to kind of make progress and starting to think about things in a more flexible way. And sometimes even adding that structure to that exploration can be helpful.
I mean, just to reiterate on the idea that, you know, we get something out of what we do. Yeah, like, recently, I've been giving myself a really hard time for essentially taking the evenings off and not doing things which sounds ridiculous. Um, but like, I was kind of processing that the other night, and I was like, Well, what are you getting out of it? Like, if you're, if you keep watching TV for two hours a night? What are you getting out of it? Rest, like a mind break? Whoa, okay, cool. So that tells me there's a need there that is getting met. And if I shift things and start incorporating more of like podcast things and other things going on into my evening routine, I at the very least need to account for meeting this other need in some other way. Right, you know? So we all we don't do things if it's going. If we don't get any positive. That's not how the brain work
And even if you're using a strategy that's not great, like it's doing something, it's doing something for you. It has served you in the past, it has helped you to continue to survive as you are now. And so sometimes we have to say goodbye. And we have to be like thank you for I mean, it sounds silly, but like thank you to that because it helped you so much kinda of like Mary Kondo I was going to say Marie Kondo can say it to a tank top, we can say it to skills, right? So you say thank you to your mind to your body, whatever, for helping you and kind of allowing yourself to kind of put it down and not put not sorry, just set it down. And to leave it in where it is now and to move forward in this new way. But it can take like, yeah, like Marie Kondo, like say thank you, and thank the thing and like,
then you can start to move forward and a less burdened way.
Lots to think about today. Yeah.
So well, let us know what you think about the cycle of self care and skills and how you stay aware of what's working, what's not.
Or how maybe your view of self care has changed or is changing?
Yeah, because I've been reading a lot about how people have bad relationships with the idea of self care. And I'm like, Oh, sweetie, it's kind of necessary.
But then if they if they have a bad taste in their mouth, from self care, what do they think self care is?
Exactly, exactly. And I just I, I will go down swinging, saying it is what keeps us alive. You know? So let us know your thoughts on that kind of conversation. If you like the podcast, leave us a review. If you don't like the podcast, tell someone you think may like the podcast, share it with your friends, families, neighbors, anybody you know, and if you have questions, reach out to me. I'm on Instagram at dezwmsmba, or sugar and spice pod and we will be back next week.