Loving Yourself
Posted by SANE
11th Dec 2017

Over the last few years I have been working hard on being kind to myself. It was only after I sat down at the beginning of this journey and wrote down my thoughts,that I realised I was being so unkind to myself.  The thoughts I had and believed were actually far worse than I would let any bully get away with. So I do advise people to try this as an exercise- it was eye opening.  

I have found positive affirmations really helpful- it takes a while to get used to telling yourself you are amazing ? etc but it does actually work (I tend to take a strong negative thought and then write an affirmation to contrast with it). I have tried to train my inner voice to be my friend and provide me with the reassurance that at times I do need.  

As I don’t tend to talk about my difficulties with others, a diary really helps get stuff out of my head. I sometimes think a scheme pairing people up who have experienced difficulties to provide peer support would be helpful here.  

I also swear by regular meditation and the resources promoted by kindhearts-uk, especially the autogenic phrases to relax are amazing. It does take time to get into.  

The final thing I try and do is walk- get out into nature.  However low or tired I am feeling, I make myself walk; get some fresh air and sunlight. This is something I feel has saved me in the past. My pup has really helped with this as It always seems easier to have  to do things for others (rather than yourself). I also like to try and distinguish between being Mentally and physically exhausted.

I have worked hard on my recovery and had a great summer- during this time I tended to stop applying some of the strategies that worked! I am realising that I probably need to continue on with these strategies even when I am feeling better. I guess I enjoyed feeling ‘normal’ and didn’t want to have to think about life away from this. However I am currently experiencing a ‘blip’ and am trying to get back the energy to do what I know I need to do and what works.  My issue is liking myself when I am like this- I find it harder to like myself and apply these strategies when I am feeling like this (and yet I need more kindness). I think this leads to what I feel is the most important point about self-care; acceptance. My current challenge is accepting and being kind to myself even when I am low. So I am working hard at the moment to summon the energy to continue on with my journey that is life! 

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