The other day I was watching a TED Talk on YouTube and the person giving the talk said something pretty interesting: "treat yourself like you would a friend." Mind. Blown.
Now more than ever, we live in a society where being in a healthy relationship with yourself is important. Self-care is applauded, taking care of your mental health is now becoming accepted, and just doing what is right for you is now a social movement. And in spite of all of that, we still don't treat ourselves right. And it's something that we all deal with on a regular basis.
The other day, I was not in the mood to do anything when I got home. I wasn't even out of work yet and I still did not want to do anything when I got home. So what did I do while I was at work? I made a game plan for what needed to get done in the evening, I downloaded a workout video to my phone, and I started looking up quotes to motivate me. But after about an hour of doing this and forcing myself to commit to something I didn't want to commit to, I was exhausted.
And like anyone might do nowadays, I posted a question to a group that I am a part of on Facebook and asked for advice about this feeling. Almost everyone that responded said that it sounded like my body needed some time to chill. Hearing that answer was like a breath of fresh air. It was almost like I gave myself permission to take the evening off because other people said that it sounded like that was what I needed. Yet, I knew that I needed to take a night off deep down.
I spent my entire night watching Netflix and it was everything I needed. The next day I got into work feeling entirely motivated to get back on track with my goals and to make a real difference in my life. And I started asking myself some questions at work. Why did I need to have others tell me it was OK to take a night off? Why couldn't I listen to my gut? Why are we constantly putting all this pressure on ourselves?
None of these questions come with an easy answer and I don't think that they ever will. But I started to think back to the TED talk. I understand why we need to act like a friend to ourselves.
By learning to take a step back and objectively think about how we are feeling and why we are feeling that way, we are allowing ourselves to understand what's best for us.
Just remember to ask yourself one question: "What would I tell my friend if they were in my situation?".