Love thyself, I write as I finish munching into a Snickers.
Last week when I thought of this post, I was going to write, “it really is easier than it seems!” But today is a bad PMDD day.
Outside of the depression, of the PMDD, of any bad day we may have…loving ourselves is something I’ve realised I want to come naturally to myself.
It doesn’t mean masturbation (although that’s fun, too!), and I certainly disagree with the phrase “if you don’t love yourself, no one else will love you” as it’s an absolute load of phuey.
Loving yourself is an important step towards inner happiness, inner contentment, and inner growth. Loving yourself means taking care of yourself to the best of your ability, and then taking it up a notch one step at a time within your comfort zone and when you are ready.
When you are ready.
Those reading this with depression will understand what I mean. I have to choose my words carefully as parts of me run for the hills when they realise they’re trying to be controlled and forced into things.
To the best of your ability.
Right now, to the best of my ability, I’ve begun taking an interest in something I was never really taught growing up – looking after my skin. I remember my mother saying, “don’t use make-up until you’re trying to hide your wrinkles like me,” so to this day I can count the times I’ve used foundation in the last three years on one hand. People have always commented on how nice my skin was, so I never bothered with doing anything. Now that I’m approaching 30 and the clogged pores are surfacing, and I’m working on a construction site, I need to do something. I need to moisturise daily.
Not just externally. Internally, too.
As I’ve mentioned here and at Too Fat for a Broomstick, I’ve been seeing a hypnotherapist to deal with the issues around my weight. The night before one of these sessions my Inner Child (one of them) screamed for my attention. During the session, I was able to meet her. My Gods, I can understand why people say my eldest niece is like me (which is why I’m trying to be that awesome aunty so she DOESN’T turn out like me!) Through meditations and other workings, I now speak to 4 different versions of me related to my Inner Child – ages 4 ¾ (“I’m not 4, I’m 4 and three-quarters”), 14, 19 and 23. Together we are working on what happened back-in-the-day to allow myself to have the anxiety, the issues, the scared-of-losing-weight feelings. We have done so much work together that I now understand why my body won’t let me become a mum yet. I’ve stopped hating on an old boyfriend (because I realised he was right all along) and I’ve learnt how to calm myself down when in major stressful situations, like at the shopping centre.
When there’s a choice to eat take-out or have a late dinner, I’ve been forcing my husband to go with the late dinner. Generally if it’s me suggesting Maccas, he jumps on it. Why? I’m the one who cooks, and sometimes it’s easier not to argue with me because I’m pretty good at getting my own lazy way. Now, “I’m sure we have some eggs left in the fridge.” I’m even eating porridge for the first time ever. My mother never let us eat porridge growing up.
No one does oats like Uncle Toby’s.
Start small. Allow some time during the day or week for yourself. Read a book, meditate, sleep, or have a bath. Do something positive for you.
Start small. If you’ve never had a skin regime, start with a moisturiser that works for you. I still forget to do it, but I have a once-a-week face scrub by Organi which I just love.
Start small. Start with your thoughts. I’ve learnt to stop criticizing by asking myself how I’d feel if someone said what was being thought to my face. Thoughts are powerful, as we all know.
Start small. Have a bottle of water with you – at your desk, in your hand bag, by your bed (I love my metal ones) so it’s always there when you need a drink. Keep your body hydrated and it’d thank you.
Start small. Do something that makes you feel beautiful. I’ve stopped dying my hair (I love my greys too much) and begun going to get a manicure once a month. Shellac helps stop me biting and picking at them when they get too long, and forcing me to use nail clippers.
It’s easy to fall back into the old ways and neglect ourselves. I certainly have. But with beginning these new small routines, I am preparing myself for larger ones when I’m ready. Like going to aquarobics classes after work.
We are worthy.