Today’s Friday Favourites post was supposed to be a light-hearted one about my favourite TV series. I had it all planned out in my head: it shouldn’t have taken long to write. Light-hearted or not, though, my heart just was not in it.
I was in a low mood anyway, and couldn’t summon much enthusiasm.
I procrastinated, tried to make myself write it, reasoning that I had already missed one Friday Favourites post (I wrote about the result of the General Election last week instead) until I realised that, of course, it does not matter. No one is going to be any worse off for not learning what my favourite TV shows. Probably no one cares, or noticed (not fishing here, I’m being realistic about people’s busy lives!).
Such a post – or any blog post, for that matter – cannot be more important than my own emotional well-being.
So, I switched off the laptop and snuggled on the sofa under a blanket (it was chilly this morning) and read my new book on resilience that arrived yesterday.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that for many months after Hugo died I would force myself to write, to work on my blog irrespective of how I felt as a form of punishment to myself. Self-care was something I really struggled with back then, but it is something I am now making a conscious effort to invest in, make time for.
Resilience is about understanding life will not always go to plan, and about having inner resources to deal with adversity, and getting on with life in a different way. That does not mean forgetting whatever has affected your life – I shall certainly never, ever forget Hugo – to me, resilience means looking after myself. Looking after myself means putting less energy in to things I cannot change, and investing more energy in to things I can.
More energy helps me cope much better.
Back to the book I was reading – it’s called The Little Book of Resilience, by Matthew Johnstone. It’s excellent, and I can recommend it highly to anyone interested in learning more about it. The text is engaging and down-to-earth. I’m a very visual person, and it is full of humorous illustrations.
Reading the book, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment: I should make myself the topic of my Friday Favourite post. Not in a narcissistic or self-centred way; in a self-care way.
I enjoyed giving myself time out to sit and read the book rather than forcing myself to write a post my heart wasn’t in, it would have been rubbish as a result, and that wouldn’t have helped my mood!
In that reflection was a lesson.
So, I made myself my favourite. My reasoning is that you treat someone or something that is your favourite with extra care. It is about time I treated myself with extra care, especially now I have evidence of the benefits that I can remind myself about if I’m tempted to work through the fog again.
As a result, I made a few promises to myself:
– To write only when I’m feeling inspired, in the mood, ‘in the zone’
– To remember that self-care comes first
– To listen to my body more
– To trust my instinct
– To find time every day to practise self-care – even if (gasp!) that means turning off social media for a while so I can’t get distracted
– To be compassionate to myself about my feelings, meaning to practise self-care if I am feeling low rather than ignore them or tell myself off for feeling that way
– To have perspective about my blog (that’s part of the title, after all!)
– To not worry too much what others think, and remember most people are caught up with their own lives to notice what I am or am not doing
– To remember that not everything has to be done ‘now’
– To stay true to myself
There will probably be some other promises I add to the list too. What would be on your list of promises if you made yourself your favourite?
Word of the Week – Me