Four months is both a short amount of time and endlessly long, depending on how you look at it. “They” say it takes 21 days to build a habit. Having gone from a sedentary person to someone who is currently running 6 days a week, I buy it. But I haven’t just been running while in London! Here are some of the other new habits I’ve formed, that I hope to continue now that I’m back in Tel Aviv:
1. I started doing yoga regularly
I’ve done cross training in the past, but it was almost always spin classes. I knew that inexpensive yoga classes were available both in NYC and Tel Aviv, but I only ever went to classes when friends invited me. I understood the benefits of yoga, but it was never a high priority. I do not connect to the spiritual aspect of yoga…at all. This should not be a surprise to anyone who knows me. What I like is the stretching and breathing. However, when I was crying almost on a daily basis during my first month in London, I decided that yoga was suddenly more of a priority. Plus, I’m terrible at stretching after running, so I figured yoga would help with that. I show up, tuck my tank top into my high-waisted running leggings so that my shirt doesn’t move around during downward dog, and I try to hit the poses as best as possible, breath through the poses, and try to stretch. I looked in awe at the ladies who can do all of the crazy contortions, and one time I heard someone fart when we were in the middle of a deep pose and was a little jealous.
Sometimes the yoga classes help me clear my head. Some of the teachers are way better than others (one reminds me of a Bond villain, so he’s not my favorite). I definitely enjoy the stretching, I do think it helps. I know about a few yoga studios close to my apartment in Tel Aviv, so I’m going to go try them out when I return in February.
2. I listen to a bunch of podcasts
I have a running playlist that I usually listen to during all of my solo runs. I made a big change recently and started listening to (non running) podcasts during my runs. I dreaded this at first, but I’ve found a few podcasts I enjoy, and it’s been a nice way to (safely) zone out while running and also (sometimes) learn new things!
3. We improved our cooking game
This could just be the fact that I like the food more. Something that is important to note is that grocery stores in London are different from Israel (and much more similar to the US). In Israel, you can’t always buy everything in once place. We have a convenience store to buy yogurts and things (AM:PM), a fruit/vegetable vendor, a deli for tehina/sabich eggplant/olives/herring, a place for bread, a butcher, and a grocery store for bulk items. Most of these places are relatively close to our apartment. It’s hard to combine some of these–the vegetables at some of the other stores are limited in variety and not as good…and I would not want to buy meat in a lot of the places.
In London, I can go to Sainsbury’s and buy everything I want. One stop. It’s so convenient, that I’ll go shopping almost every day, because it’s a few minutes away and not inconvenient to just go buy one thing. Also, the food in the supermarket here more closely matches the food in the US, meaning that I can cook the way I used to in NYC. That means lots of fish, chicken, and vegetables. Before our visit to London, Lior had never eaten asparagus. Now, we eat it multiple times a week. Our dinners are tasty and quick to make, and are less carb-heavy. We need to find a fish place near us when we return home (I’m sure there is one, I just never checked), and I hope that we will continue cooking this kind of food. Another difference here is that I cook most of the dinners…honestly, part of that is because I like the food we’re eating better, so I’m more motivated to cook. (Also Lior rarely returns home before 8:30pm and I get very hangry very easily…)
This should be obvious, but sometimes, it’s not. Since I’ve had some low points during my time in London, I’ve had to learn how to express this to Lior. Usually these conversations involve me saying, “I’m tired” and trying to shut down about a million times. Lior then continues to gently push the conversation forward, and by the end, I usually feel at least a little bit better. I’ve slowly gotten better at this, and I’m usually able to tell myself that it’s okay that I’m feeling sad and anxious now, and it will go away in a day or so. Lior is always super patient with me when this happens, and is never judgy, so I always feel comfortable talking with him. Communication is hard, but it works, when you actually do it! Shocking, I know!