I’ve just spent 4 blissful days in Connemara, completely disconnected from TV, phones and internet. I hate to admit it, but it did take a bit of adjusting!! (I hadn’t realised I had turned into one of those people who constantly checks her phone, who takes pictures and records videos rather than watching and experiencing for myself!) Lesson learned- for now anyway!
In my opinion, holidays are all about treating yourself but how to actually do that is another story! In fact I think that ‘treating ourselves well’ is a skill which we ladies desperately need to learn. What I’ve discovered from working with so many women in their 20s and 30s is that we don’t treat ourselves very well. We frequently put other people’s needs, wants and wishes ahead of our own. Yes of course, we will be good to ourselves occasionally- when we’re on holidays!
But honestly, how often have you denied yourself something you wanted because you felt like you didn’t deserve it, that you hadn’t earned it or that you weren’t good enough. I remember years ago, when I was going through a rough patch- I desperately wanted a massage. I needed it as I was so stressed at the time and just going around in circles. I booked in for a full body massage but in the hours leading up to the appointment time that inner voice started yapping! It said, ‘you haven’t done x,y,x, you’re a lazy bitch, you don’t deserve it, who do you think you are to spend €60 on yourself’. I cancelled the appointment.
Things like that happened so often, I’d see something I would like in Penny’s and feel like I haven’t earned it or deserved it so I wouldn’t allow myself to have it (or I’d buy it then return it). But if I knew that my partner, sister, friend wanted something, I would be the first person to go and get it for them. Interesting eh?
Because of who I work with on a daily basis, women in their 20s and 30s from around the world, I have seen that this is really common. We just don’t treat ourselves well. We feel that we need to have earned it, that we have to deserve it and the catch 22 is that the times when we need to treat ourselves well are the times that we’re feeling low, unworthy and deserving. Treating ourselves well and with compassion is the only way to lift ourselves up so that we can keep on keeping on!
Demanding more and more from yourself without ever giving yourself a break is unsustainable and will lead to complete burn-out. Often after the burn-out, you realise that you are a million miles away from where you thought you would be in life because you never stopped to give yourself a break or to check if you were actually happy!
Every day for the next 7 days, give yourself a really good treat: just because you are you. No excuses and no exceptions! If for some strange reason you actually enjoy being kind and compassionate with yourself then by all means continue!
It might seem strange or repellent at first but once you repeatedly associate treating yourself well, these treats will start to become comfortable and even indispensible. They have a very important function: they provide enough consistent short –term gratification to sustain trust and happiness when the going gets tough, the path to your vision looks scary or if you need to make a difficult decision. Giving yourself a treat a day is so crucial to making progress in your life. It’s all about treating yourself right!
Now, my definition of ‘treat’ is anything that makes you feel like smiling’. Some people think that’s a strange definition but I mean a real, genuine, heartfelt smile as opposed to the fake social smiles we put on which sometimes that makes us feel like we are violating our souls!
So, as an exercise I want you to compile a list of natural smile starters. You can start this simply by observing your behaviour for a day, what makes you smile? We know that every woman’s magazine on the planet will advertise things like massages, getting nails done, pedicures, hot baths, chocolate, candles etc and yes, they’re all lovely and great but I’m talking about a really custom made treat. Something that actually gives you joy, something that makes the smile start from the inside and you just can’t help but grin! Something that delights your senses!
I’m talking going to bed on a winter’s night with a hot chocolate, a great book and fresh sheets with the sound of the rain and wind banging against the window. That would be a treat that would actually get me excited! It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or cost anything at all! Anything that indulges your senses is definitely a winner. Think about it! What do you love the smell of? What do you love the feel of? What do you love the sight of? What do you love the taste of?
Decide if you will take me up on the challenge and make out your list! Share your list of treats on the Quarter Life Coach facebook page and if you find yourself resisting this terrible treat regimen, tell us and we will hold you accountable and if needs be, give you permission to treat yourself well, every single day until you learn to do it for yourself!
I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress; that you got something valuable from it and could relate! Please get in touch on the facebook page and share your treat list! I can’t wait to see!
Until next week,