I have had a revelation this December. If you have been following my social networking you will know I have been socialising a little more than I normally do.
It turns out that burning many candles at both ends is actually exceptional fun and I love it and I have experienced an interesting by-product.
To survive this party season I have had to be kinder to myself – something I am not terribly good at.
Like many people I know, I feel I am pretty good at being kind to others – complimenting them, raising them up, assessing their needs, and telling them what to do for the best in a certain situation.
If someone I care about has had a bad day or is feeling upset I have no problem dropping everything to help them, listen or empathise. I feel compelled to find a way to make them feel better.
But it wouldn’t cross my mind to do this for myself. Why is it so much harder to be kind to ourselves?
So funnily enough – partying, working and doing the normal household stuff has forced me to cut myself a little slack.
Here are some of the ways I am being kind to me.
To me, this is covering the basics – looking after yourself physically. After all, we only have one body – so it makes sense to take good care of it.
To some extent, I am quite good at this. Even if I have been out eating and drinking late, I tend to redress the balance the next day by eating lots of healthy food and drinking masses of water – dehydration is a killer – especially after a lot of alcohol!
I also make myself exercise – I cannot emphasis the benefits of this – even if only for 15 minutes – getting hot and sweaty coupled with the endorphins rush works wonders!
However…the bits I am not so good at are – resting, sleeping in, and taking breaks to release the stresses of the day – I am a self-confessed “Queen of powering through”. And I often have to remind myself of the benefits of relaxing and slowing down.
I would like to point out however, resting and doing less in a day is not me giving myself permission to be a complete slacker – but sometimes cutting myself a bit of slack.
The most important way of being kind to yourself mentally, I have discovered is silencing your inner voice. I have an inner voice that can be quite lovely. But that’s not the one I’m talking about.
You know the one, we all have our version – the inner voice that berates and highlights all the ways we have fallen short.
The voice in my head focuses on the “I should haves’ and judgement reigns supreme.
Now I am not saying that going out for a few weeks has silenced my (at times detrimental) inner voice but I have chosen not to listen to it or give it as much power. For me, this is a big mental victory.
So being kind to myself has many more merits than I realised and I have decided for the New Year that it is something that I’m going to nurture…I suppose like so many things, it is a question of balance…How about you? How good are you at being kind to yourself?