Uh oh. It’s another Sunday where I’ve nothing planned so here is another ad lib post. Let’s see what direction this goes in and where it takes us, shall we?
Truth be told, I’ve been feeling a little low these past few weeks. Perhaps it could be blamed on the change in weather and an accumulation of changing circumstances in my life but, regardless of the cause, I’ve found myself feeling slightly out of touch with myself. Usually, I can be inspired to write something that resembles some sort of practical truth in preparation for Sunday but I just feel little spiritually clogged up. On top of it all, I’ve just been feeling ashamed of myself. I’m constantly beating myself up about who I am and who I feel I should be. I should be more bubbly, I should be more sociable. I should be more trusting. I should be more patient. I should be more talkative…
The list goes on.
As a woman, it’s so easy to feel this. We live in a world where we are told to be less, do more, don’t be too much…Rather than living in a world that accepts us for who we are and what we each bring to the table. There’s plenty of room for all of us, right? And, as my Nan always reminds me, “it takes all kinds of people to make a world.”
I know this will pass but when you’re in the midst of an inner storm, it can all feel a little hopeless and, anyone who has struggled with maintaining positive mental health in the past will know, it’s easy to spiral out of control.
However, one thing that I have been doing is accepting the space I’m in. Instead of resisting, instead of trying to pretend like everything is OK, instead of trying to slap a happy face on it, instead of trying to stay on top of everything, I’m just letting things be. I’m riding the wave, rather than trying to tame the sea. I’m letting the storm wash over me, rather than running for cover. Simply letting it be. Noticing how I feel and respecting myself enough to know that, during these vulnerable and tender moments where I feel most exposed and uncomfortable, I need to treat myself with love and care.
Firstly, this means actually paying attention to how I feel, as I’ve said above, and not pretending I’m something I’m not. It means dropping people’s expectations of me and just doing what I can, and that may differ on a day-to-day basis.
Secondly, it means responding to how I feel. Asking myself the question “what do I need in this moment?” Many of us fail to really recognise our own needs and, moreso, how to meet them. As women, we are constantly told to serve everyone else first and then think of ourselves last. No, sweetie. You can’t pour from an empty cup. So, ask yourself, what do you need right now?
Thirdly, it means showing myself love and care in a variety of ways. This is going to look different for all of us depending on our wonderful array of personalities and cultural backgrounds. We’ve seen the posts on social media that state it’s OK to eat chocolate and do a face mask because this is self-care. And it is, absolutely, if it works for you. However, I’ve learnt that self-care and self-love during these vulnerable moments can look a little like this:
Locking the bedroom door and hiding with a book;
Letting yourself scroll through Instagram (searching for cute animal videos, if you want);
Finding yourself in a black hole on YouTube searching for ‘Vines That Saved My Life’;
Saying no to nights out;
Saying yes to a large pizza to yourself and Netflix;
Walking alone in the park;
Listening to music you know will make you cry and bawling your eyes out;
Disregarding your usual diet for the weekend and letting yourself eat a whole bag of Doritos without sharing a single one with anyone else;
Cooking yourself a hearty breakfast and enjoying every single bite;
Not trusting certain people and letting them move away from your personal circle of friends;
Ending a toxic relationship, despite the pain, because you know it’ll benefit you more in the future;
Washing the dishes piling up in the kitchen sink;
Ignoring the dishes in the sink;
Doing Yoga for an hour;
Going for a 9 mile run;
Not going for a run at all, staying at home, and drinking a cup of tea instead (me right now);
Passing on the gym in the evening;
Staying in the gym for two hours;
Ringing up your best friend and having an angry, self-indulgent vent about everything…
Self-love is subjective because you are you and I am me. So, just love yourself in any way that brings you peace and contentment in the moment.
And I think that’s it, isn’t it? Self-care and self-love is being patient with yourself; carving a moment for yourself and creating space in your life to do what you need to do in order to grow, evolve, and take your next steps. If ignoring the dishes in the sink means that you can just take some time out to have a cup of tea on the sofa, knowing that those precious moments will give you the energy to carry on with your day, then that’s what you need to do. If scrolling through YouTube videos looking for things to make yourself laugh out loud will fill you with enough joy to carry on with the rest of the chores you need to tackle, then you do you, sweetie.
Because life goes on. It’s always moving, there’s always something else to do. But it’s important that you allow yourself to stop doing for a moment and just exist. That time, that restoration moment that you carve out for yourself, is sacred. Honour it and, in doing so, you honour yourself. And you are worth honouring because you are a fucking incredible woman.
My self-love? Writing this post, spilling my thoughts and feelings. Now, I can carry on with my evening.
As always, thank you for listening, friends.
Love and light.