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Day 42 – We Are What We Consume – Part 1



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We Are What We Consume – Part 1

We are only ever the sum total of our inputs to a given point in time.


What do I mean by this? I mean that who we are and how our mind and body respond and behave is the product of all of our experiences and the things we have fed our body and mind to this point in time.


It is therefore important that we choose wisely how we make up both our body and mind by what we choose to input.


Rubbish input = Rubbish output

Average input = Average output

Good input = Good output

Excellent input = Excellent output


What Do You Feed Your Mind?

An area I think most of us overlook is what we feed our minds. We watch junk TV, watch or listen to news that is politically subjective, we read junk magazines and newspapers and spend more time than most care to admit or would like to trawling the internet and social media. Some of us also spend time persisting in relationships that are not right for us, romantic relationships, friendships and work relationships.


I feel like there is a culturally held belief that we don’t really control our minds and that we don’t need to choose what we input through media and relationships. Yet here we are in a time where low mental wellbeing and mental ill-health seem to be at an all-time high.


I believe it is important to consider what we feed our minds.



What’s Your Social Media Diet?

Around the time I began this journal, I took my personal accounts off social media. I had wanted to do this for some time, but due to some of the work groups and sports groups I was in, I didn’t know how to without losing those inputs which I wanted to have. I found a way! And I am more than happy with it!


In early March, my emotional week from hell hit me after I broke up with my ex. On the Monday of that week it was International Women’s Day. The theme this year was ‘Choose to Challenge’, and so when I saw someone on my Facebook feed post a ‘joke’ about women and International Women’s Day I challenged it. Initially I used humour so as not to go full-force feminist on his ass! But I was quite frankly shocked by the response I got.


I was told that if someone posted a sexist or racist joke, it wasn’t racist or sexist if the person posting wasn’t intending to be racist or sexist. #Oxymoron


I pointed out that the humour in the post was only humour since it demeaned women, therefore by sharing it in the name of humour it meant that the person was playing into the sexist agenda. At this point I let my inner raging feminist into the ring! I knew it would do nothing to change opinions and I realise I should find a more subtle way to encourage others to entertain alternative perspectives, but I was emotional from the break-up and thus this was one way to vent.


I was dismayed with the number of people I saw in support of the post and of the other person’s viewpoint. We hold a cultural view that we are more open and less discriminatory than we ever have been, but this is set within a backdrop of still perpetuating prejudiced themes in the name of humour, and in particular via memes on social media.


In one community group I was previously in on Facebook, I called the administrators out for allowing a post that depicted an obese woman sitting on a picnic chair. The humour intended as a dig at the woman’s weight versus the ability of the lightweight chair to hold her for an extended time period. My view is that even if the person in the photo has agreed to this being disseminated, it is not right to like and share content that is degrading and disrespectful to others. I was appalled that the admin team for a community page saw no issue with this post and I promptly left the group.


The Tuesday of my emotional week was the day after Price Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on UK TV and my Facebook feed was full of people slating one or both of the couple. I was stunned with the judgement and venom with which some of the comments were made. There was no compassion, empathy or plain and simple keeping an open mind on a complex set of relationships which us mere mortals will never have the inside knowledge of in order to accurately pass judgement.


By the mid-to-end of that week, the Sarah Evered case then filled the news and on my feed I saw disrespectful comments in response to the view that this was a case highlighting the issue of violence against women. Having studied a Post Graduate Diploma in Women’s Studies, been sexually abused by a man in childhood and been subject to unwanted sexual harassment by men verbally and physically throughout my life, I can attest that research and the experiences of women would suggest that there is a very real issue of cultural acceptance of violence against women that is perpetuated by certain media representations. For example, in the computer game Grand Theft Auto where picking up a prostitute is possible, and in pornography that depicts the exploitation and degradation of women in the name of male pleasure.


If we never challenge these wider structural issues within society we will never put an end to them.


❓How many men out walking alone at night fear for their safety in respect of female passers-by?


❓How many men out walking alone at night are sexually harassed, raped or murdered at the hands of women?


Violence against women by men is real and sexual abuse is one of the underlying causes of addiction for women – one study found that 75% of women starting treatment for addiction had experienced sexual abuse.


If we ignore, resist change or acquiesce we are part of the problem not the solution.


All of these incidents on social media left me upset with humanity. They were not critical debates, but rather judgemental musings.


We Are What We Consume Online

In this context I don’t mean that we become the comments or negativity we see or read, but it does impact mental wellbeing and our thoughts and feelings towards other people detrimentally.


I have seen a rise in comments on social media becoming more judgemental and more disrespectful towards others. I feel that more time interacting via the internet has perpetuated a culture where people feel this type of behaviour is ok.


That particular week of social media left me feeling very uncomfortable with my online diet and I’d had enough. I took my personal accounts down only to be used for work purposes from now on.


Accounts from people like Brené Brown and Jesy Nelson show how prevalent nastiness towards others is on social media. I wonder whether any of the people writing such comments would be so nasty in person?


“How on Earth were you ever put in this girl band? You deserve to die.”

A comment directed to Jese online about her being in the girl group Littlemix

In a BBC documentary, Jese discusses how this negativity on social media impacted her mental wellbeing and she believes she will never be the same as she was prior to being in the band due to the continued onslaught of nasty comments she receives online.


“Less research more Botox”

“Of courses she embraces imperfection, what choice would you have if you looked like her?”

“She should wait and talk about worthiness when she loses 15 pounds”

Comments on the YouTube feed of Brené’s talk that went viral, ‘The Power of Vulnerability’


The rules of social engagement on the internet seem to have gone out the window and general etiquette, politeness and kindness are, in my opinion, reducing.


I now only use social media for work, which has limited the time I spend on it and I more carefully choose what I view! #win-win!


  • What do you see on your social media?

  • Does it please you?

  • Is there content that is unhealthy?

  • How does social media content affect your mood?

  • How does social media affect your productivity?

  • Is your social media feed a Rubbish, Average, Good or Excellent input for you?


What do you want to consume for your mental health and wellbeing?


Day 42 - 365 Day Journal

Reflections


PTSD Symptom

Great night’s sleep and no symptom! Wooohooo!


Sunday Night

Things that were awesome today:

Supporting Sarah on her Half Marathon row was an awesome experience! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day!


Monday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

I am grateful for the chance to meet a new therapist today to see if she can help me process the body memory that is my PTSD symptom.


Health Dashboard


Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0



Fitness

Low Intensity

Bike


High Intensity

-


Strength & Mobility

-


Veggies & Fruit

Tomato

Pepper

Mushrooms

Banana

Strawberries

Lettuce

Rocket

Radish

Pomegranate

Blueberries

Raspberries



Meditation & Mindfulness

Before bed – Guided meditation


Day 41 - 365 Day Journal

Reflections


PTSD Symptom

Few! I don’t know how or why or when, but the symptom has left the room!


Saturday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I loved my morning bike ride. It was great to be out in nature.

I loved being out in the garden most of the day.

I loved cooking dinner for me and mum and I bought her a little chocolatey treat and a card to say thank you for her ongoing loveliness


Sunday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

I am grateful for the chance to offer my clients experiences out of their comfort zones – I am looking forward to supporting Sarah on her Half Marathon row today.


Health Dashboard


Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0


Fitness

Low Intensity

Bike


High Intensity

-


Strength & Mobility

-

Veggies & Fruit

Tomato

Pepper

Mushrooms

Pak choi

Tenderstem broccoli

Spinach

Green beans

Courgette

Onion

Garlic

Ginger

Coriander


Meditation & Mindfulness

Before bed – Guided meditation

Day 40 - 365 Day Journal

Reflections


PTSD Symptom

Doh! Triggered! Only mildly, but still triggered.


Friday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I clocked my best time at my MAF Heart Rate on the 4 mile route that I run! Exactly one month apart from the first time I ran the 4 mile route, I have knocked 8 minutes and 26 seconds off!


Saturday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

I am grateful a beautiful morning bike ride out in nature


Health Dashboard


Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0


Fitness


Low Intensity

Run, Row


High Intensity

-

Strength & Mobility

-

Veggies & Fruit

Red cabbage

Lettuce

Tomato

Pepper

Mushrooms

Avocado

Courgette

Onion

Garlic


Meditation & Mindfulness

Before bed – Guided meditation



Day 39 - 365 Day Journal

Reflections


PTSD Symptom

Wooohooo! A great night of sleep and no symptom!


Thursday Night

Things that were awesome today:

I loved that I didn’t get triggered today!

I clocked my best time at my MAF Heart Rate on the 3 mile route that I run!


Friday Morning

Things that I am grateful for:

I am grateful for a great night’s sleep with no symptom


Health Dashboard


Caffeine, Alcohol & Alcohol Free Beverages

0


Fitness

Low Intensity

Run


High Intensity

Row


Strength & Mobility

-


Veggies & Fruit

Red cabbage

Lettuce

Tomato

Pepper

Mushrooms

Avocado

Courgette

Onion

Garlic

Banana

Strawberries


Meditation & Mindfulness

Before bed – Guided meditation


I ask all readers to be respectful. This is an honest and heart-felt account of the struggle I have incurred.


I thank you in advance for your respect and kindness and I encourage you to sign up to my mailing list so I can notify you about new blog updates.


If you are struggling with any of the issues raised in my blogs please get in touch. Your conversations with me will remain confidential. Please note that I am not a therapist but I can support you to find a way to address any issues you may be experiencing.




Copyright 2021 Val Craft – All Rights Reserved

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