Are you treating yourself like an afterthought? Like a footnote in your own story? Maybe you’ve been ignoring your needs. Maybe you haven’t even taken the time to identify them. Maybe you’ve been putting everyone else first.
Maybe you’ve been punishing yourself for not sticking to your resolutions. I said I wouldn’t eat dessert, and of course I did, which means I’m getting up at 5 a.m. every day and taking my disgusting self to the gym. I haven’t met my goal weight yet, which means I don’t deserve to rest. I need to be up and moving. Doing. And going.
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Muhammad Talha
Maybe you’re angry with yourself for another reason. Either way, the conclusion you’re making is the same: You stop caring for yourself. With tenderness and compassion. You stop caring for yourself. At all.
If you’ve been treating yourself like an afterthought, consider these wise words from Nanea Hoffman:
None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.
What would happen if you stopped treating yourself like a footnote? What if you put yourself first? What would this look like? What would your days look like? What would you do in the morning? What would you say yes to? What would you decline? What would you tell others? How would you rest? When would you go to bed? What would your bedtime routine look like? How would you celebrate your life? How would you celebrate your body? What parts of yourself would you reveal?
Maybe you’d make time for reading your favorite books. Maybe you’d finally start that writing project. Maybe you’d finally find a therapist to work with. Maybe you’d tell your mom that her comments really upset you. Maybe you’d sleep in or wake up earlier.
Maybe you’d drop your gym membership or use it only for exercise classes that you love. Maybe you’d bake brownies from scratch. Maybe you’d savor baked ziti with extra cheese. Maybe you’d eat more vegetables. Maybe you’d do all three.
Maybe you’d take longer showers. Maybe you’d decline the party invitation, and stay home to do whatever the heck you want. Maybe you’d accept the invitation, and have an amazing time. Maybe you’d go on an adventure by yourself. Maybe you’d take a weekend getaway with your spouse.
The possibilities are endless. Think about what you’d do and how you’d live if you were front and center in your story. If you were the first sentence and the last one. If you savored your days. If you asked yourself: What is my heart saying?