160 Days Alcohol Free

It’s hard to believe it’s been this long since I had a sip of alcohol. 160 days, zero blips. I started this on June 4th 2019 by signing up to the OYNB 90 day alcohol free challenge. I enjoyed it so much that I am now going for the 365 challenge. A whole year with no beer, even now with 160 days under my belt, it still feels a bit surreal.

Why did I decide to give up alcohol? These are my why’s.

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Following Your Curiosity

As a child, I was naturally curious about everything I saw and heard around me. At some point in my life, and I’m guessing it’s the same for alot of us, this curiosity seemed to disappear, somewhere in my 30’s.

I think for me, the combination of increasing responsibilities, marriage, kids, jobs, mortgages just sucked up almost all of my time and energy. Most if not all of my hobbies took a back seat as I tried to navigate these choppy waters. There was simply no time or energy left in my day for me to be curious and follow that curiosity wherever it led.

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Sensory Deprivation Therapy

This one has been on my “to check out” list for quite a while now. On a recent staycation in Ireland, we were visiting our much loved city of Cork in the south of Ireland. It is here where I first came across floatation tanks, also known as isolation tanks or sensory deprivation tanks. They are named so as they aim to cut off all external stimuli to allow the body and mind relax, rest, repair and recover as part of a therapy known as a REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy).

I can’t think of a time in history when a service like this was more required. With our 24/7 on demand, always connected modern day mess we call a society, finding a place where you can remove yourself from all external stimulation can be very difficult to find. No phones, no internet, no advertisements, no emails, no whatsapps, no facebook, no people, just you. Imagine!

Here’s what happened when I tried this.

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My Search For Meaning

This is a post that has been brewing in my mind for quite some time.

It’s a reflection on past events that when looked at in isolation seem ok, but when added together paint a different picture entirely.

It’s also a reflection on the pain and suffering I had to endure and the growth and wisdom that I have gained from these experiences.

It’s also a look to the future. A future that I now feel is one of abundance, excitement and optimism.

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Reconnecting With Your Senses

We all intellectually know that we are quietly nurturing addictions to all kinds of stuff – certain foods, coffee and certain apps or technology.

I recently had a strong urge to decouple, disconnect, untether myself and my family from all technology for one whole day. Imagine that! So last Sunday, we as a family of 5 decided, we are not going to use any smartphones, tablets, games consoles, tv, netflix – nothing, just for one whole day and see how we felt about it.

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Coming Off Anti-Depressants

Around 2 years ago, I was in a bad place mentally and physically. I had been burning the candle at both ends, very stressed, eating poorly, exhausted yet always wanting to do more, more, more. I had started a new job and for the first 6 months, was on probation whereby you have very little job security and your performance is constantly being assessed for company fit.

I had reached a point of complete despair, mentally and physically, where I just did not want to continue. I tried to explain it to my wife but all that came out was actually garbage. I couldn’t even summon the ability to articulate what was wrong.

I just felt completely broken, mentally and physically.

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How to Build Resilience to Stress

We live in a very different world today than our parents inhabited. Today, both parents work, things are far more expensive including childcare and housing, jobs are more stressful, the rate of change in industries and companies is unprecedented, there is no such thing as a permanent job, social media pressures are everywhere, technology is changing how we live our lives, uncertainty is everywhere and rates of depression and anxiety are at levels never before witnessed in our world.

The level of stress that people are experiencing on a daily basis is increasing, so it is super important that you have some tools in your toolbox that you can use when you do experience this stress.

Here are my top 3 ways of dealing with stress.

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A Good Start is Half the Battle

A new year is finally upon us. This can be a strange time for a lot of people, as it’s a time of change, renewal and hopefully fresh starts. The statisticians tell us that by the third week of January the majority of new years resolutions – those commitments we make to ourselves to better our health, our relationships, our jobs and everything else are all but relegated to the trash.

Why is this? Why do so many of us fail to achieve the goals that we so positively and enthusiastically set for ourselves only a few weeks before? I believe the answer is two-fold.

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Can Facebook Make You Sick?

I’m not a huge user of Facebook or social media in general but recently I happened to be part of a thread on Facebook where the topic being discussed became very heated, a bit personalized and aggressive.

The conversation started out quite innocently and cleanly but some of the contributors disagreed with each other and the conversation descended into personal attacks and name-calling. I was part of the conversation and to be honest, the whole experience just left me really frustrated, angry, annoyed and stressed as a result.

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How Do You Get Yourself out of a Funk?

How do you deal with periods of very low motivation?

Right now, for reasons unknown to myself, I am in a state of Funk. This is my word for a feeling of no motivation, fatigue, tiredness, lack of engagement or interest with things on a daily basis. It’s a bit like an out of body experience in one sense as I do not feel like my usual self. I don’t feel like doing anything and am lacking my usual get up and go and proactivity. I find myself thinking about alternate careers and paying little or no attention to my current one.

I’m sure lots of people experience times like this so I’m curious how do you pull yourself out of this state of being?

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