Self Care September and The Art Of Being Nice To Yourself

There’s a chill in the air and the nights are drawing in.

I’ve spent at least a couple of minutes, at least twice a day, for the past week thinking about turning the central heating on. And every time I do that I end up telling myself some variation of the following:

“You shouldn’t turn it on yet… You can put another layer of clothes on if you’re not perfectly comfortable… It might be warmer tomorrow, then you’ll have turned the heating on for no reason… You grew up in houses that were colder than this… Sure you’re cold, but do you really need to put the heating on, or do you just want to?”

I mean, really! Do I need my house to be the perfect ambient temperature? Of course I don’t need it. The human body can adapt to a wide range of extreme conditions, and being “a bit chilly” barely moves the dial on those sorts of scale.

But do I just want it? As though wanting to be comfortable was something that I should have to justify, to myself, or anyone else.

Sod that, and sod you inner monologue. Always there in the back of my head raising doubts, finding obstacles, and bringing up bad memories to make me feel bad. I might not need to turn on the central heating, but I clearly need to do something about you.

So for the rest of this month, I’m dedicating myself to some high-level self-care. I’m going to spend some time, every day, consciously overriding that voice in my head and giving myself nice things to focus on instead.

Starting with breakfast, and a new breakfast bowl.

I didn’t need a new bowl, but I bought one anyway. I had a perfectly good bowl. Ok, it’s got a crack in it, but it doesn’t leak or spill, it’s not like it’s broken broken. 

And every morning I’d make myself breakfast and I’d look at that crack in the bowl. I wasn’t concerned that it might eventually split the bowl in half, or start harboring poisonous bacteria. I was just accepting of the fact that my breakfast bowl had a crack in it.

Of course I’d never expect anyone else to use that bowl. We have other bowls. But for my breakfast, that was the bowl that was good enough for me.

Isn’t that terrible? Of all the bowls in the house, I choose to start my day with the one bowl that is cracked. That’s my inner voice again, telling me that a cracked bowl is fine for me – but not for other people. Implying that for some reason I’m not as deserving of an un-cracked bowl as other people.

Well, not for the next few weeks. For the rest of the month I’m going to at least pretend that I deserve the nice bowl. And I’m starting my day with the breakfast I would make If I were making it for someone I really cared about.

Also, I’ve turned the central heating on – and it feels so good to be toasty and warm.