Sometimes I think there is an epidemic of us not being nice to ourselves. I notice it in my friends, myself, my clients, pretty much all around. I was reading a post by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) about her depression. I watched myself feeling so proud of her and what she goes through and her honesty in sharing it, and then I watched myself chastise myself for a challenge I’m facing. “How did you let yourself get here again?” my mind shrilled. “What is wrong with you?”
Luckily, I know myself well enough to recognize that and to then breathe through it. As Jenny often says, depression lies, and my mind was certainly lying to me when it blamed me for what was going on.
Also luckily, I know that the best thing I can do when I’m feeling down – or at any time for that matter – is to be at least a little bit nicer to myself. To notice the breeze on my skin. To make myself a cup of tea. To treat myself as I would a good friend – someone I love – if they were having a hard time. To remind myself that I love myself. To act as if I love myself.
I would never blame someone else for a tough circumstance in their life. I would never, ever, say to someone else, “How did you let yourself get here again?” Why do I still get caught up in treating myself this way?
It’s an old habit, and it’s one that doesn’t serve me anymore. As I often say, it might have been what I needed to do to stay safe when I was young, or at least what I – perhaps rightly or perhaps wrongly – thought I needed to do. But it’s not what I need to do anymore, and I’m happy to say I am actively changing that habit.
I am noticing it more frequently. I am rolling my eyes when I notice it, but rolling them with love and compassion and a sense of “Whoops, here we go again,” rather than disappointment or disapproval. I am going out of my way to be sweet to myself and to treat myself well. To figure out what will, in each moment, ease me or thrill me or soothe me or delight me…and to work that into my day.
I work with a lot of clients on the Urgent/Important matrix (from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). Being nice to ourselves is always Important and sometimes Urgent…and sometimes not. But always important.
Join me in this – whether or not you’re facing a challenge, or if you’re just facing everyday life. Be nice to you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!