too kind?


I have a couple thoughts rolling around in my head this week and I thought I would share. It is about to get honest around here.

On the internet you came across the idea of being kind to yourself and I have mentioned it myself here, more precisely on loving yourself. I think the hardest person in the world to have a good and healthy relationship with is potentially yourself. And after some life pondering this week I think I have been too kind to myself. More precisely, I have been using ‘being kind’ to myself as an excuse for inactivity and as a cover for fear and doubt.

Despite working on my habits to eat better and exercise I am obviously not doing a good job because after months of losing a pound gaining a pound I have managed to put weight on (maybe an almost daily gelato isn’t a good idea). I can tell you taking a ‘before’ selfie can be a mind blowing wake up call. Plus despite having an ’employment break’ there are few things I can say that I have achieved in this time; until yesterday I hadn’t worked on my dissertation for about three months, I have done very little in terms of my photography or building a career in it and I have put the bare minimum into learning Italian.

Fear and doubt have lead me into a ‘state of stuck’. I might talk about this more on another day when I have figured it out more.

Kindness comes in not beating myself up about my actions (or lack thereof) in the past (though that is a hard task in itself). Kindness comes in making a change. It is definitely time for a bit of tough love. I feel like I have been so ‘gentle’ with myself I have let myself get away with the proverbial murder. I am like the lazy teenager who wastes their summer holiday playing computer games, eating junk food and sleeping until noon (metaphor here, my computer games are pinterest and twitter). In reality that teenager would have benefitted from some stricter rules, a holiday job and a bit of routine. I don’t have a strict parent looming over me to make sure I get the most out of my life, so I have to do that myself. Another hard task.

My first thought was that I needed a plan, but really sometimes it is just time to do!

This morning I have had an egg and veggie breakfast, once that is settled I will work out, then I will go for a walk with my camera, buy an Italian magazine so I can start doing something in addition to my regular duolingo practise, and perhaps get a few more hundred words down for my dissertation. I’ll make a meal plan for the rest of the week and go to the shop without buying myself a treat (note to self: going to the shop is a very manageable chore and I do not need to treat myself for buying my family healthy and nourishing food).

That is all for now, but what do you think? Have you been too kind to yourself? How do you work on your get up and go!

18 thoughts on “too kind?

  1. Hi Michelle, I really enjoyed reading this post. It got me thinking and I think you are right…it is almost like we have swung too far the other way and now as you say are a bit too kind to ourselves. I always treat myself and it got to the point I realised you couldn’t even call it a treat anymore because it was like every day! I find being accountable to someone helps…so setting myself a goal and then telling a friend who I have to report back to on how I am doing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and really hope the tough love works!

    1. So true about the pendulum swing. It is all about finding that happy medium! Accountability is so good. Having that person to ask a cheeky ‘really?’ every now and again and even better when you start doing it for yourself.

  2. Hi Michelle, this struck a chord with me. I’m very good at self-justification…which I think is ultimately not bad for my mental health (I don’t beat myself up too badly when things go wrong or I don’t achieve what I want to). But it means I’m a master-procrastinator and not very driven. My husband is very self-critical and I see that this is also not a great way to be. Surely there must be a middle way? (Loving the blog btw – it’s a new discovery for me). Lucy x

    1. Ah glad you like the blog!

      I think that is my exact problem. A lot of self-justification (I am the worst person to go shopping with ’cause I can justify them buying anything they show a mild interest in). She we start master-procrastinator’s anonymous! I swear it is my secret power which I really don’t want!

  3. It’s really easy to let yourself slip into relaxation mode when you don’t have a strict routine. I’ve written two books now, both while I was working full time, but whenever I’ve been on holiday or not working, despite endless time to write, I never manage to get anything done. It’s too easy to promise yourself ‘tomorrow’, because the time feels endless. Good luck with the tough love!

    1. It is so frustrating right? I have had all the time in the world and achieved nothing but finished my degree while working full time. Crazy how the mind kind of hibernates in a way. Impressive that you have written two books!

  4. You’ve put into words something that I’ve been guilty of quite a bit. Life is quite tough at the moment, and I tend to allow myself little treats and lazinesses. I need to get a grip of myself – more energy, more self-discipline, more direction and organisation. The hardest part is fighting the inertia and getting started. I do hope you manage to achieve the goals you have set yourself.

    1. It is the starting that is the hardest part, but once you get going it feels really good. I hope things start looking up for you too.

  5. I had the same thing a while back. It’s so hard to get into positive habits sometimes.

    I made myself a collage of positive images of people doing what I wanted to do (running, walking in forest, meditating, being creative). I set myself some achievable, measurable goals to match and kept everything in a place I would see them.

    It’s hard, but you’ll get through it!


    1. I love the idea of a happy moodboard. Need to buy some magazines to get some pictures 😉

  6. I’m a new reader and follow because of your beautiful photography, but this post hit me on another level. I have a full time job and this winter I have had such a hard time motivating myself to use my free time to work on things that are important to me – my writing first and foremost but also reading, photography, exercising, eating well. I feel that I need to treat myself after a hard day’s work and end up wasting time on Netflix, drinking too much coffee and endulging in too many sugary treats. I have gotten myself in such a rut and had actually decided to make a meal plan this weekend and start journaling every morning to try to get myself in a good place mentally and physically, so this post really resonated with me. Thanks for your honesty and good luck with your new “tough love” routine. I think we all need some of that from time to time.

    1. Thanks Maria.

      Winter is the hardest. Definite hibernation and easy to settle into bad habits even when summer comes around. A meal plan is a great start. I might not always follow it strictly but it definitely helps to at least set a good guide. Journalling also sounds good. I spend so much time with ideas in my head that perhaps I should just write them down sometimes (without sharing it with the internet!). Best of luck to you too.

  7. I’ve been really struggling with this idea lately too – I always used to think that having a chocolate bar was a treat but I soon realised that actually I was punishing myself for something – I was never sure what but even though I enjoyed the short term gratification, I knew the long term was going to be bad for me and I do it anyway. Now being kind to myself is doing things that I know I will benefit from long term – like having a shower each morning so I feel clean all day, using a lovely shower gel that I catch sniffs of during the day and getting up early to do some yoga even though I would much prefer to stay in bed, because I know when I’m sat at my desk later in the day my shoulders will feel less stiff. I’ve found it definitely helps to think long term when being nice to yourself, good luck x

  8. This describes what 2009 to 2013 were like for me. Lots of dithering. (Four years of it is a LONG time.) I’m working on getting my rear in gear, too!

  9. Well, Michelle, maybe your body is telling you you are at your perfect weight already 🙂 I think it’s so easy to waste time if you have all the time in the world. I’m more productive when I’ve got limited time. And I’m just giving £20 a week to the intern at work and she is managing my lunch / snacks for the week and we’re splitting any savings she makes! So I definitely need someone else spurring me on. I think you’re having a well-earned break after working hard for a long time – but, crack on with that dissertation!!

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