It’s the holiday season, a time to spread joy and love to those around you. Many times this takes place in the form of buying gifts, baking, and cooking for those we care about. It often involves telling our friends and family how much they mean to us, how loved they are. This is the time of the year when we show our appreciation and care for others.
So, in the midst of spreading all of this happiness to others, who often gets neglected? You guessed it – you! Not only do we often forget or put off taking care of ourselves, many of us are pros at talking especially harshly to ourselves. Many of my clients have an inner monologue that goes on a continuous loop. These thoughts include things like, “I can’t believe you missed that workout today – you are so lazy!” or “You have to stop eating like such a pig” or “You are a disgusting, fat person who has no self-control.”
Now, would any of us talk to our best friends the way we talk to ourselves? Of course not! Pretty soon, we wouldn’t have any more friends! Then why do we think it’s okay to talk this way to ourselves? Whenever a client tells me about her latest bout of self-hate talk, I ask her to think about what she would say to her best friend if the friend was saying these hateful things about herself. Common answers to the above hate talk include, “You’ve been so tired and run-down lately, it’s probably a good thing you skipped that workout. You need the rest!” and “You are not a pig! We all overeat sometimes, and it’s not the end of the world,” and “You are a beautiful, smart, and loving person – self control has nothing to do with how wonderful you are!”
Let’s break the cycle of negative self-talk and start talking to ourselves in a more positive way. When we are kind and gentle to ourselves, we are more likely to take better care of ourselves, too. Imagine what a difference that would make!