Week two of 2018, the Christmas lights have been packed away and the weather here today is grey and frankly a bit miserable. Meanwhile on Facebook and Instagram people are smiling with their perfect teeth, posing with their perfect children, maybe in their perfect homes. The continual visual input from this and advertising can create pressure and unrealistic expectations within ourselves. (I’d quite like this blog to have the wit and startling insight of an award-winning novel.) It can be tempting to compare and despair. We want to be perfect, like the pictures, but fear we might never get there. We start criticising ourselves, saying things like, “What’s the point? I’ll never be Wonderwoman – or Superman.”
In the weight management groups I’ve run we talk about how to counteract this negative self-talk. I ask clients to look in the mirror first thing in the morning every day and say one positive thing about themselves. For many this was the hardest thing about the whole course. To help, I had stickers with sayings like ‘You rock!’ or ‘Ace!’ or ‘Top Bananas!’ The clients took away a sticker they liked, put it on the mirror and then each morning would read it out first thing. ‘You rock!’ is a much nicer way to start the day than ‘Ugh’.
So why not try being kind to yourself first thing. Forget about donning the cape and the red pants and the red suspenders – just between us, they were never your best look anyway. And totally impractical for winter. Focus instead on being good enough; you already are – I really believe that. In fact, you rock.