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You were born worthy of love
When you were born, you were born worthy of love and care. You didn’t have to do anything more or anything less to deserve love. It didn’t matter how many diapers you soiled, or how well you slept. You deserved for someone to feed you, put you down for naps, hug you, kiss you, and play with you. You were meant to be spoken to adoringly. Hopefully, those things happened for you, but if they didn’t, or if something changed along the way, you can give that love to yourself.
Love yourself as if you are the caretaker for that child
Love yourself as if you are the caretaker for that child, because, guess what? You are the caretaker now! You are an adult, in charge of your own loving care. I’m sure you have other loving people in your life somewhere, but the ultimate responsibility for your nurturing is up to you. What is your inner child needing right now?
- At least 7-9 hours of sleep every night
- Nutritious foods that help you have energy
- Someone to listen to you
- Room to express your full range of emotions (love, anger, grief, joy, resentment, sadness)
- Time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine
- Time with friends
- Learning time
- Quiet time
When you take care of a child, you intuit some things
I have 4 kids of my own, plus I was an elementary teacher for many years. I learned certain things about kids. Often when they seemed to lose control of their emotions, crying, and not wanting anything you try to give them, what they really need is a hug. They require someone to hold them close and let them know they are important. We need the same thing as adults. When emotions get overwhelming, we need someone to give us a hug and listen.
When kids don’t get enough sleep, or don’t eat on time, they get very cranky and whiny. As adults, our crankiness and whininess shows up in the form of fatigue and uncontrolled emotions. Our tempers get short with those around us. We cry easily. The same can happen if we are overstimulated by too much activity, or when we’ve been working too hard and need some play time.
Would a break, with a quiet book, cozied up on the couch help you feel better? Do you miss spending time with your friends or having alone time with your spouse?
Sometimes kids get bored when they’ve been doing the same thing for too long, and you don’t switch up their routine. Is your routine stagnant? Could finding a creative outlet help you? Is a vacation necessary?
Children become a little restless when they are stuck inside for too many days. I remember many times when we couldn’t take the students outside for recess because it was too cold, or too rainy. Classroom disruptions would increase so much that teachers would be begging to get the kids outside. When my own kids got too energetic, I would tell them to go run around the cul-de-sac in our street. They would run out the door laughing and happily comply. Could you use some time hiking on a nearby trail, wandering through a botanical garden, or strolling through your neighborhood?
We’re not so different as adults
Just because you are older now, and have more self-control, does not mean that you can go without life’s necessities and things that bring us joy. Sit in a quiet spot and ask yourself which of the things above you are denying yourself. In the words of Mel Robbins, “No one is coming.” No one is going to save you, but yourself. It is time you start loving and caring for yourself as if you are still that precious child. Because, you are. You are worthy of love and care. You don’t need to be more of anything or do more of anything to deserve that love.