This evening, I received a text from my best friend. She told me she was feeling low about herself and unattractive. That she didn’t feel that people ever looked at her and thought, wow, she’s beautiful.
Whilst we know that ‘beauty’ is only skin deep, it got me thinking about how unkind my friend was being to herself, and how we all do it to ourselves all the time. I couldn’t ever imagine telling my friend she was unattractive and that nobody thought she was beautiful. So why is she saying it to herself?
I am a culprit of being incredibly unkind and critical of myself. We are always quick to be disappointed in ourselves, whether that is when we are feeling low (we get angry that we can’t just be ‘okay’) or when we don’t quite get things right. It got me thinking about how to be kind to myself, so that I could pass this advice on to my friend. It was easy for me to say that she’s beautiful, but if she doesn’t believe it herself, then it won’t ever help her. I can completely understand where she is coming from because whenever I look in the mirror I am saddened by what I see. Nothing my partner says will get me to see myself more positively; it all falls on deaf ears. So I decided that now is the time to start being kind to myself, to see if it makes a difference to my poor self-esteem.
Here are some things that I’m going to try:
- When I look in the mirror first thing in the morning, I will tell myself, verbally, that I am beautiful. This may seem silly at first, but perhaps if I keep telling myself that then one day I may believe it.
- I’ll take a bath whenever I want to relax. I’ll light some candles, pop in a bath bomb and get stuck into a good book.
- I’ll take my dogs for a walk somewhere new that we haven’t been before.
- I’ll buy myself one new item of clothing a month, whether that be something small like a cheap t-shirt or a nice new dress for a night out with friends.
- I will book things to look forward to with my friends, even though I know I will get anxious about them. As history goes, I have evidence that even when I have been really anxious and worked up, things have turned out okay in the end anyway.
- When things are difficult, I’ll make myself a cup of tea and spend some time enjoying it.
- I will practise my mindfulness techniques or some meditation given to me by my CBT therapist.
- Whenever I have time, I will write in my positivity journal and ensure I record at least one positive thing about myself. Eventually this will build up!
When I spoke to my friend, she told me that she is also going to do some things to be kind to herself when feeling low:
- Switch off my phone and step away from social media for a few hours and enjoy only my own thoughts.
- Take a walk with my two dogs Holly and Zed in the countryside.
- I’ll have a cup of tea and nice warm bath.
- I’ll buy myself a new outfit to help me feel nice when I go out.
- I’ll have a nice, cozy night in with my boyfriend.
- I’ll write a journal and record only positive thoughts from the day.
What do you do to be kind to yourself? If you don’t do anything, perhaps now is the time to think about what you’d like to treat yourself to that may make you happy for a little while. At the end of the day, you are always going to be you. So let’s try to love ourselves and believe that we are perfect, just as we are.