Sort Your Sh*t out this January
Written by Ellie Gibson from the Sort Your Sh*t Out Podcast
Every January 1st, I tell myself the same thing: this year, things will be different. I will rise at dawn every day and meditate for an hour while writing in my gratitude journal, doing yoga, and making my own sourdough. I will get into wild swimming, even though just looking at cold water makes my downstairs clench up.
I will build a vision board of all the things I want to manifest, which will mainly consist of pictures of cute dogs and Henry Cavill’s arms. I will eat well and drink 60,000 litres of water a day. I will live a life of endless calm and fulfillment, in a clutter-free home inhabited by well-behaved children who would rather play the flute than Fortnite.
By January 2nd, it’s back to reality. I am woken at dawn by someone trying to stick a lightsaber up my nose, and asking me why his poo is the colour of conkers. Swimming seems even less appealing when I realise no one hung the towels out after the last lesson before Christmas. By the time I’ve fished the football socks out of the dirty laundry, shouted “PUT YOUR SHOES ON” for a solid hour, and made sandwiches out of old pizza slices because we’ve run out of bread, I am exhausted. And it’s only 9am.
This year, I’ve decided, things really will be different. Instead of trying to turn myself into some mythical person who realistically will never exist, I’m aiming for a bit of balance. Yes, I want to make changes, but not in a way that leaves me feeling knackered, or like a failure when I mess up. It’s about small adjustments and changing old habits, rather than a radical overhaul. Basically, I want to get my shit together.
Because it’s the fashion these days, I’m starting a new podcast about it. Titled Sort Your Shit out, it’s for anyone who fancies having a bit more balance in their lives - whether that means managing mum guilt, getting stuff done without feeling so knackered, or just drinking less. It’s not about perfection. It’s about working out what works for you, and when to let shit go.
Obviously, as a comedian and idiot, I know nothing about how to actually do this, so I’ve enlisted some help. In each episode, I’ll be talking to experts who know stuff about this sort of thing. Each season covers a different topic, starting with how to balance the booze.
No, wait, it’s more fun than it sounds. This is something I’ve been working on for the last year or so with Stephanie Chivers, a coach who specialises in helping people who want to reduce their alcohol intake - whether that means cutting down or banning the booze altogether. For me, it’s about moderation, so we’ll be discussing what that looks like, why it’s a good idea, and most importantly, how to make a start and keep it going.
Along the way, Stephanie will be sharing loads of practical advice and top tips. Here are five of my favourites…
1. Think It Through - TIT!
This is one of Stephanie’s favourite acronyms… Before you have a drink, have a think about why you want it and what value it will add. Have you had enough already? Will this one really improve your experience? What will tomorrow look like? TIT!
2. Make your own rules
I’ve learned it can be easier to make the right decisions if you have rules in place. These might include not drinking at home, or at work events, or saying no ta when you’ve already had 2-3 drinks. We discuss loads of options on the podcast - it’s about picking the rules that work for you.
3. Join a community
This doesn’t necessarily mean going to an AA meeting. Check out Facebook groups like Club Soda, which is for anyone who wants to stop or reduce their drinking. Stephanie also runs smaller accountability group meetings online via womenwhodontdrink.com.
4. Check out the alternatives
When I first started reducing my booze intake, I got sick of fizzy pop and sugary juices pretty quickly. But there are loads of great alternatives out there now - I’m a big fan of zero per cent lager with a curry, and I love Remedy Kombucha. It doesn’t contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, and it feels like a proper grown-up’s drink. It’s also got good stuff in it like organic acids and antioxidants. I’m into the Ginger Lemon flavour at the moment but there are lots to choose from - have a look at remedydrinks.com.
5. Have a plan
If I’m going to a social event where I don’t want to drink, I might drive so I won’t be tempted. Or I’ll book something in for early the next day, that I won’t fancy doing hungover - maybe a gym session if I’m feeling healthy, or breakfast with a friend if I’m feeling like a bacon and sausage roll with two fried eggs and extra mayonnaise. It’s about balance, innit?
Which is really what this whole sorting your shit out thing comes down to, I think. Making good choices and small changes, in a way that’s doable and sustainable, with a view to making things just a little bit better overall. Maybe this year really will be different. Cheers!