Mental Health Monday: Self-talk like a friend

Thought Pattern

It’s understandable that people feel depressed, unmotivated, and unproductive during a global pandemic. But not for me.

It’s normal to feel isolated and needy after a breakup. But not for me.

It’s okay to take extra time to rest and not achieve goals constantly. But not for me.

Do you ever think like this? Sometimes it comes up for me with body image issues, too. I look at the various, beautiful bodies of my women friends, and I think they are all perfectly acceptable just as they are. But I notice every thing on my own body that could be considered a flaw and I feel bad about myself because of it.

Why do I want to pretend I’m special in such specific and unpleasant ways?

Being My Own Friend

What if I didn’t do that?

I did laundry recently and forgot to add detergent. I was so frustrated and disappointed. So annoyed with myself. I wanted to call myself stupid and be angry.

But doing the laundry was a favor to myself. If a friend had tried to do me a favor, and she had forgotten the detergent, would I get mad at her? Would I berate her for being dumb? Of course not!

To-Do Letter

A few years ago when I was trying to embody the idea of being my own friend, I changed how I wrote my to-do lists. I turned them into to-do letters.

I’d write myself a letter kindly asking myself to do everything I needed done. How do you ask a favor of a friend? You are polite, you give them space to say no, and you are grateful when they say yes. A to-do list can look like a blunt series of commands.

Question

Do you also hold yourself to unreasonable standards you wouldn’t hold your friends to?

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