Mojo and Motivation

3.2.18
Well, January is over... traditionally the month of new resolutions, a clean slate and a time of renewal.

It can also be a difficult month. The excitement of Christmas is over, the days are short and dark and cold (well, they are here in the UK). I've always found January tough so I don't make big promises to myself, although I do hope that the year ahead will be a good one, that somehow it will be kind to me.

After starting to share my art with the world at the beginning of last year, I broke my own rules and set the bar fairly high. I gave myself a hard time about my goals and, to be honest, it didn't do me any good at all. I started to lose motivation and then my health began to fail. By the beginning of winter I had completely lost my mojo and nothing seemed to make me feel good.

So, after seeing my doctor and finding out what was wrong with me (and ruling out anything serious and scary), I knew that my low mood and energy had a cause. With that knowledge, my first steps towards renewed health was to look at my diet. Now, I have always taken care with what I eat, and I am responsible for making food choices for my daughter and, despite the usual toddler fussiness, she eats plenty of fruit and vegetables to nourish her growing body. I don't use processed food at all and buy the best ingredients I can.

However, I am fond of tea, coffee, bread and I never usually say no to cake. It's all very well saying I never add sugar to anything, but it was present in those much loved cakes and 'treats' that I seemed to find space for on a daily basis. After reading a stack of the latest books about healthy eating - which seemed to ban all gluten, all wheat, all dairy and a lot of other foods that I don't actually have an intolerance to (I know, because my doctor checked) - I decided I had to cut through the 'clean eating' fad advice and make the changes I thought would work.

It's actually been really easy and, I'm glad to say, it's worked. In case you're curious about what I did, I just cut back on bread (some days I don't have any at all) and I now buy organic sourdough bread from a local farmers market. In fact I try and buy organic everything, if it's available. I only have two cups of tea or coffee a day and I've stopped having them anywhere near mealtimes, so that the caffeine doesn't interfere with my body's attempts to absorb nutrients from my food. As for my sweet treat, if I really need something, I have a square or two of good dark chocolate. If I'm out and about and having a coffee, and the array of cakes is just too much to ignore, then I'll have one. Although, the hankering for sweet treats has diminished a great deal... a sign that my blood sugar is a lot more stable these days.

Anyway, one month on and my energy levels have begun to return and my mojo is back. In fact, as far as my art is concerned - I'm on fire! I have been so productive this month, trying different approaches and mediums that I'm not normally comfortable with, and I think only one piece of work ended up in the bin. Every day I'm keen to get on and start another drawing, I've even bought myself a pretty sketchbook (see photo above) and I am not a natural born sketcher. I just can't stop thinking about my next creation and I seem to be able to fit it into the tiny bits of spare time I have, so I'm working quicker too.

I can't say if I'll have any setbacks, I hope not, but at the days get longer and signs of spring begin to appear I have a feeling things can only get better.

I hope January was kind to you too and that you're looking ahead with positivity, a smile on your face and a slice of that delicious cake... if that's what you fancy.

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