If there’s one thing I am particularly accomplished at, it’s making myself feel bad. All the ‘should’ and ‘should have done’ accusations running around me, hurling abuse on a regular basis. It’s exhausting trying to fight them off and they’re really difficult to argue with.
My self-critic is working overtime this evening because I didn’t go swimming as I usually do. I arrived home feeling mentally burnt out, wanted time alone and had a desperate craving for tuna. I should explain at this point that when I get low, I often eat tuna or another oily fish because they have been proven to help lift your mood. It generally works, so, as I got home with an aching head and hunger for my ‘feel good fix’ I decided to give my regular swim a miss. However, since then, I have started to hear the insistent voice of my critical self and have had to do some cleaning to make up for my lack of more concerted exercise.
Why on earth am I punishing myself over such a simple decision? It shouldn’t be a big deal, and yet, it is. I’m so much harder on myself than I am on others. It takes a considerable effort not to beat myself up over quite trivial things. There’s a constant internal battle going on between my critical and kind selves, while I’m thrown back and forth, feeling bruised and fed-up.
My yoga practice provides some relief from all this turmoil; as does, ironically, swimming. Maybe next time I should be a bit firmer with myself and go for a swim. Oh, there she is again! The self-critic with her ‘I should have’ thoughts. I think I ought to get to my yoga mat.