It’s not hard at all to be nice to people I like. It’s not hard at all to be nice to someone who is nice to me.
It’s quite hard to be nice to myself.
In the run up to the New Year, and since it has started, I have read the odd article and a couple of blogs about Me Time, Mindfulness and generally Being Nice to Yourself. I’ve “signed up” in a virtual way to a sort of campaign on Instagram called #SavouringJanuary2017 which asks us to post a picture each day that represents, for us, a word from a list. e.g. Day 1 was Quiet: I posted a pic of my newly gifted colouring book and pens; yesterday was Soothe and I had run myself a bath after a long day involving a five mile walk and the rest of the time sat in front of the computer working. All of the words are pretty innocuous but all are aimed at making us stop and think. The same nice lady that created this list and #SavouringJanuary2017 campaign is also sending me (not just me!) a daily email for a week with mindfulness ideas and ways to be nicer to myself.
I’ve always struggled with taking time for myself. I always think of something else I should be doing instead and from time to time find myself feeling resentful. It’s not anyone else’s fault. I don’t ask K if he wants some time to himself so why should I be any different? He just goes off out to tidy the garage (apparently it is a thing men do) or off to the gym or sits and watches telly – he doesn’t ask permission and nor should he! But I just don’t seem to give myself permission to stop doing stuff for everyone else. I do watch TV or read a book or knit occasionally but quite often I am interrupted with thoughts of “oh crap I haven’t done such and such for so and so”. Or I wonder about things I could have done better or how I could have handled a situation differently. OK I know I think things over way too much. It’s a flaw.
One of the emails from the nice lady suggests monitoring your inner voice. The one that shouts in your head that you did something really badly or that your arse is massive. My inner voice is REALLY loud and quite hard to ignore, and the nice lady says I need to train it to be nicer. I’ve got to make it into a friend and make it speak to me the way a friend would. I have two particularly lovely friends (I have a number of lovely friends but these two are particularly lovely) who are very complimentary (not in an ingratiatingly irritating unnecessary way) and make me feel good about myself. I’m going to try and make my inner voice be more like them.
Does this all sound a bit mental? I’m just trying to start the New Year off in a different way to how I have approached them in years gone by. I normally start off with a mad strict diet or some crazy exercise idea that never happens. I inevitably fail and then my inner voice shouts at me (her again) and it all goes Pete Tong from there. But I think I can definitely try to be nicer to myself. How hard can it be? Another idea which I haven’t quite got on board with is to make an actual appointment in the diary for some Me Time. That sounds like a bridge too far. Is it meant to go in my diary or does the inner voice need a diary of her own? Do I really need to write in the diary an appointment on Wednesday evenings – Have A Soak In The Bath, or, Go For A Walk? Surely I should just be able to fit these things in. Or am I missing the point again?
I know this is a problem for many women (and probably some men; they don’t like to be left out) or it wouldn’t be something that people blog or email about and Mindfulness wouldn’t be a thing. I know lots of women who are constantly chasing their tails and I’m no different from them. Let’s all just be a bit nicer. To us.