As the new year is well and truly underway and we find ourselves, once more, in the month associated with love, Bernie Petrie asks us to take this opportunity to see just how kind we are being to ourselves.

My specialty is in the field of self-love, and one of the first steps in seeing just how kind you are being to yourself, is to check your inner dialogue. As human beings we all have a pretty permanent inner dialogue – referred by some as the inner chatter, inner critic or the voice in our head – we are rarely left alone because of its continuous dialogue. It’s the voice that tells you “go on have the extra…serving of cake or glass of wine” and it’s the same voice you beat yourself up with afterwards. It’s really kind of sneaky that way.

To give you a sense of how much self-talk matters, imagine for a moment that you wake up tomorrow but instead of getting out of bed as an adult you are once again your two-year-old self. Now think of the things you will do that day from the moment you wake till the moment you go to bed. Picture the number of times you have sworn at yourself or called yourself an idiot or worse. See how often you have compared yourself to others, judged others or given away your happiness for the sake of someone else or because you don’t believe anything is possible.

Imagining a two-year-old child giving themselves such abuse is horrible isn’t it? In fact it’s almost impossible to picture a two-year-old judging others or saying “that will never happen”! Yet picturing a two-year-old venting their true feelings when their happiness is jeopardised maybe not be so hard. What we do to ourselves, each and every day, with both our inner-dialogue and denying our own needs means that the parts of us that are small and vulnerable, like a two-year-old, take a daily battering and the parts that honour what we truly want are possibly screaming inside. Now, can you see why kinder self-talk and honouring our own needs is so important?

As well as picturing yourself as a small child more frequently to improve your own self-talk, why not spend a few minutes at the end of each day to pause and reflect? Share a few kind words and thoughts with yourself and appreciate the things in your day that you might otherwise not have noticed or take for granted.

Journalling on a nightly basis, for just for a few minutes, is one of the kindest things we can do and ensures that we are able to reboot each and every day just like the molecules of our body do. Journalling nightly ensures a much better night’s sleep, in the same way a child sleeps when they feel loved and cherished after a parent has tucked them up for the night.

So in this month of love why not commit to 28 days of kinder self-talk and 28 days of bedtime journalling – loving and cherishing what you want to retain and letting go of the small stuff that your two-year-old self still remembers really doesn’t matter!

With love until the next time.

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