Remember who you are
A lovely little shout out from the Blurt Foundation about getting to know yourself again.
Lots of the times we feel we are broken and a bit lost.
- Lost in a sea of shoulds.
- Lost in a life that’s lived up to other people’s expectations but not of our own.
- Lost in daily routines which don’t give us the chance to rest and recover.
- Lost in the loving and liking people who don’t show us the respect and care we deserve.
- Lost dancing to the tune of others.
- Lost in the dreary and the drab.
- Lost in giving more than we have to give.
- Having lost a sense of self.
We can’t self-care nor hold stead our boundaries if we’re not entirely sure where our views, likes, opinions, values, end and where other people’s begin. It’s not something we’re taught – this getting to know ourselves – yet it underpins all of our decisions, behaviours, choices and relationships.
When we feel broken, it’s usually that we’ve tuned in so acutely to the outside world and its demands, that we just don’t know who we are anymore, not with clarity and conviction.
Here are some ideas to help you get started, in getting to know you.
1. Pay attention to how you feel about things throughout your days. Does the sight of flowers coming into bloom get you all giddy? Perhaps being by the sea feels glorious. Maybe you feel really topped up when you’re with friends or it’s precious alone time that does it for you. Heed your reaction to the outside environment and capture what lit you up and what burnt you out. Hint: self-care will include the things and people in your ‘lit-you-up’ list.
2. Consider what you loved as a child. Did you lose hours playing Lego, creating mood boards from an Argos catalogue and moving your bedroom about? Perhaps you loved nothing more than painting and drawing and making up stories. Was music your jam? Recording the Top 40, editing out the DJ, and learning the lyrics of your favourite songs? As we grow-older, our responsibilities grow and mushroom out the joy. Play is so important and not just for children, it taps into all kinds of solution-focused thinking, it gives your brain a break from the stress and acts as a form of escapism when the outside world feels too loud. Hint: self-care will include the activities on your ‘when I was younger, I loved to-list’.
3. Try to find your voice by answering questions honestly. An easy start point – when we’re allowed to go to people’s houses for cups of tea again – is to answer the question ‘how do you like your tea/coffee/insert other drink here?’, honestly, instead of ‘as it comes’. Because when you make yourself a drink at home, you probably have a way you like it best and it’s okay to voice your preferences, it really is. Hint: the more you do this, the easier it gets.
4. Consider what you’re giving up in being that person who is so ultra-accommodating for others. Sure, you’re seen as reliable, accessible and helpful, but when we say yes to anything, we’re also saying no to something. If you’re always saying no to the time to do the things that light you up, make you smile, help you to feel rested, then you’re always saying no to you and that’s not being responsible for your health and wellbeing. Hint: the opposite of self-care is self-neglect and that hurts on every level.
5. Make use of any old magazines by making a scrapbook of all of the things on all of the pages which pull you in – this can be done on Pinterest too. The clothes that you feel drawn to – are they like the clothes you actually wear? The colours that graphic your attention – do you have those in your home or in your wardrobe? The food that makes your mouth water – are you cooking and eating it? Hint: whatever you’re drawn to when you do this, deserves pride of place in your life.
Find the time to do some of these exercises, no matter how naff they sound, and you will find that you will gradually find your way back to you. Bit by bit, you’ll feel more ‘at home with yourself’ and less lost.
Your days and ways deserve to be scattered to the hilt of things and people and tasks that you really love, like, enjoy. Your happiness should be a priority for you, and yes, life encroaches and it’s super annoying to have to keep asserting boundaries, but you matter enough that you hold space for yourself.
Keep it up you are doing so well x
UKSA Welfare Officer