A lot of women are extremely nurturing and loving to everyone except themselves. Some psychologists say it’s because from an early age girls are taught to be helpful, selfless and not to trouble anyone. I think it causes some women to feel guilty, as if they are not worth spending time or money on.
This attitude has a direct impact on our weight, health, relationships and success and holds back so much potential that could make a huge difference in the world.
I have to admit being one of the worst. I was always running myself into the ground with several jobs on the go and not giving myself physical care. In my first six months of university I lived in an outdoor converted laundry room with plastic sheeting over the windows with a single bed and some stacked milk crates for my clothes. I didn't even have proper windows but somehow I thought it was okay.
I remember a really bad time in my life when my self-care was at an all-time low. It's my official "Mouldy Banana Moment" (MBM) and it serves as a powerful reminder that I am in control of how I feel about myself.
I was having problems with my boyfriend at the time and it was making me miserable. He was living in another city and kept on cheating on me but I just couldn’t break it off. Blah, blah, blah.
After another midnight call trying to get some affection or closure out of him, I hung up and cried. I had reached breaking point. When I had cried myself out, my vision cleared and didn’t like what I saw.
My room was overflowing with rubbish, including my bed which was full of books, dirty clothes, chip packets and only just enough room for me to crawl into. I was overweight, I had dirty hair, I hadn’t showered all day and basically I was living like a hermit, waiting for an indifferent man to love me again.
Suddenly I could smell something rotten and after searching around for a while, I realised that there was a mouldy banana under my pillow. A MOULDY BANANA!
…. a mouldy banana
I had literally been sleeping like an animal and I was too preoccupied with a man who didn’t pay any attention to me to notice. This moment was a turning point for me as it was such a stark realisation just how badly I had been treating myself – it was nothing to do with my boyfriend – I was just using him as the excuse and giving him permission to treat me no worse than I was treating myself.
I am MUCH better now but I still have to remind myself that I’m allowed to take care of myself lovingly. It’s still something I’m working on, but I’ve come a long way since that mouldy banana day!
There are some women who seem effortlessly confident and things just magically happen for them. They might not be the smartest, nicest or most attractive, but there’s something indefinable that makes them stand out.
Usually these women get what they want because they ask for it and feel like they deserve it. It's as simple as that. They think nothing of treating themselves as they would a special friend or someone they love. It’s not selfish; it’s a form of self love and acceptance.
Self care is not just about buying yourself flowers or going to the hairdresser but treating yourself how you would treat others. This includes “forgiving” yourself for mistakes in any area of your life. It's about being kind to yourself.
Imagine saying “you’re so stupid, you never get anything right” to a little kid, or “you are so fat” to your mother? You would never!
But quite often we say similar things to ourselves or treat ourselves like second-class citizens.
I love spending time in solitude, sitting in a beautiful space – either at home or in a park and just reading and enjoying the beauty around me.
When we are busy, fun things go out the window because we think we don’t have time. When money is tight, we feel guilty about spending money on non-essential experiences. The reason why it’s so important is that when we laugh and have fun – we feel lighter and happier. This spills over into how we treat our bodies.
What do you like to do for fun?
When is the last time you did that?
What's holding you back?
Don’t let budget issues hold you back from self care. It’s usually a reflection of how you treat yourself on the inside. I did a programme where I had to do a self care activity every day for 30 days and I was shocked how I was treating myself. Some days I would write down “went for a walk” under self care. Does that sound like a luxurious treat?
There are plenty of things you can do that don’t cost very much money.
….. and so on. Please share yours in the comments at the end of the post.
Are you living a beautiful and happy life or are you living a mouldy banana life?
Is there an area of self-love that you struggle with? Fun, clothes, beauty, rest, relaxation, exercise, sex, relationships? I'd love to hear from you.
Please believe that you are worth spending time and money on. Your life will expand and you'll start to believe in yourself even more!