Month: January 2016

Be your own best friend

Be your own best friend

Last week I posted about the importance of looking after yourself, and recharging when necessary. I create my posts with insights in mind, and a wish for readers to enjoy the insight, ponder on it maybe, and act on it if necessary.

Let’s take last week’s example…

Insight: Taking time to relax is an important part of looking after yourself

Enjoyment: Ooh yes I’d love a bubble bath – what a good idea!

Potential action: Bubble bath tonight

Ponder: Mmm, yes I do need to take more time for myself – not sure I have time though. Maybe I can make some time tonight. I’ll think about it later.

Ideally, what would happen next is that you would make some “me time” to enjoy a lovely bubble bath, and you would feel really relaxed and recharged for the next day 🙂

lightening

Wait a minute! What is this? Thunderbolts of lightning?! What on earth is going on?

The lightning represents the onslaught of negative thoughts you can experience when you dare to put yourself first

Negative thought about a bubble bath: You shouldn’t need to relax, just get on with it

Any thoughts that say you “should”, “must”, “always”, “never” are the most mean, pressurising thoughts you can have:

  • You should do housework instead of relaxing, it won’t do itself
  • You must go out tonight, even if you are absolutely shattered
  • Always say yes if someone asks you a favour, you can’t let them down
  • Never expect anyone to help you, you can just do it yourself

Your thoughts can snowball into harsh negative assumptions:

  • If you let the housework slide, you are a bad mother and wife
  • Your friends will definitely judge you if you cancel plans
  • Your reputation for being helpful will be ruined if you say no today
  • You are a failure if you need some help, you should be able to do anything
squiggle
Feeling all over the place

All you wanted to do was something caring for yourself, and you get attacked by negative thoughts. No wonder you feel all over the place – sad, anxious, weak, useless.

Today’s insights:

  • Thoughts are thoughts, they are not facts
  • Negative thoughts happen automatically – we can choose how to respond to them
  • We can notice our thoughts – we can notice they are negative
  • We do not have to engage with or dwell on these negative thoughts
  • We could explore evidence for our negative thoughts… OR
  • We can simply acknowledge our negative thoughts are there – without them affecting our emotions

Back to the bubble bath…

You shouldn’t need to relax, just get on with it

Acknowledgement: I am experiencing a strong negative thought about this

Q: What would I say to my best friend about them having a bubble bath tonight?

Best friend: You have had a busy day, a bath won’t take long, you deserve a break

If you can be this kind to your best friend, then you can be kind to yourself too 🙂

be nice

The lightning may come; the mean thoughts may get triggered, but with practice you can tune into being your own best friend by being kind, caring, and understanding – this self-compassion will help you look after yourself, and nurture your overall level of happiness.

Bubble bath anyone?

Take care,

N

 

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Recharging

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We live in a modern world, everyone is busy, we are connected 24/7.

If our phone battery dies, we plug it in, and carry on; no questions asked.

If we are tired, we go to bed, and wake up feeling 100% recharged just like a phone…

Right?

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Well yes, somedays that may happen 🙂

Other days maybe not so much.

If we notice ourselves flagging, with sleep not quite hitting the spot, then it sounds like a good idea to ask some questions…

Do I need a break to relax?

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It could be time to book a holiday!

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Whether you need a quick reboot or a full reset – pay attention to your body & mind.

You need to look after yourself so you can do everything you want to do

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Take care,

N

Strength

Strength is generally admired, whether it is physically or mentally.

When you are strong you can lift weights, carry a heavy load, and even enter a Strongman competition!

Emotional strength to me is a form of resilience.

When you are strong you can:
*get through challenging times
*bounce back from disappointments
*stand up for yourself
*overcome any obstacle

You may have natural emotional strength, or perhaps you have developed resilience during difficult times.

We often don’t find out how strong we are until we are tested.

There are no exams, coursework or life manuals to revise from.

I’m talking real-life tests:
*Relationship breakdown
*Losing a job
*Illness/injury
*Moving house
*Failing exams/coursework
*Bereavement

So mathematically speaking if you are 80% strong, and you experience one of the above – the odds of you dealing with it well* are good!

*very subjective – read on…

But, what if several things happen at once? What if one thing knocks you for six?

Hmm. More tricky.

Do you just deal with one at a time? Do you try and manage them as you normally would? Do you ask for some help?

You could try all of the above!

Keep in mind your strength rating…

It is likely that your % rating will decrease pretty sharpish in the midst of overwhelming sadness or stress.

Tune into yourself – how are you feeling?

If you are feeling less resilient than normal, what do you do then?!

You could panic!

You could mentally beat yourself up!

You could believe you’ve let yourself down!

Hmm. Not liking the sound of these.

You could simply…

Acknowledge it.

It is ok to not feel like the king or queen of life!

Some days, weeks or months are tougher than others.

We all have our challenges and we don’t have to achieve A* marks getting through them – literally noone expects that.

Take it easy.
Have patience.
Be kind to yourself.

Your inner strength will guide you when the time is right, and hopefully you have support available.

In any case, I am willing to bet you are stronger than you think you are.

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It is amazing what we can get through.

Take care,

N

One

My first blog post of 2016…

Happy New Year!

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What are your hopes for this year?

What would like to happen in 2016?

Are there any changes you would like to make?

Now I can almost sense you thinking: “Yes, I need to do [X Y Z] as soon as possible!”

Remember what I said about pressure…

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One option is to consider ONE thing you would like do/start/stop/change.

You may be wondering what difference it will make; consider though how much better it would be to be successful at one thing rather than struggle with ten things.

It takes roughly 3 weeks to create a  habit.

Once you have successfully introduced your change in January, you could introduce another one for February, and so on.

This month, I am taking part in “Dry January” so just water, hot & soft drinks for me until February!

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What is your “one thing” that you would like to start with?

Good luck whatever you choose!

Take care,

N