I know this is something I've talked about a bit in the past, but yesterday I got to thinking about it again. I have been working hard at being more kind to myself since the beginning of the year, but I've noticed that I'm failing miserably at it. It's something I've been reminding myself of every so often, but I haven't really taken steps to fully apply it to my life. Both my health and mental state have suffered in the past because of my lack of applying it, and I know that I need to really start making a serious conscious effort to change in this area.
Sometimes I just shudder at the thought of it, it goes against my nature so much. I am extremely good at working myself as hard as possible and holding the highest aspirations, goals and rules for myself, and when I don't succeed, I get upset with myself or feel like I've failed. I know in my head that this is wrong, but I just keep continuing in the same negative thought pattern. Most of the time it is only my own expectations of myself, but I because I expect perfection from me, then I also find myself thinking that others expect it from me too. This just adds to the pressure and the failure feeling I get when I don't live up to my expectations. I feel like I've not only let myself down, but others as well.
I'm the type of person who needs to have "steps" for how to do things, for example, when I wake up in the morning I mentally run through my day step-by-step - pray, read my Bible, brush teeth, wash face, get dressed, make breakfast and tea, eat, put the coffee on, etc. I need to mentally map out what I am going to do. It gives me the structure I need to help keep me from getting distracted. So I was thinking that I might need to make myself a list of steps I can take in order to to be kind to myself and then put them somewhere I can see them every day to remind me to actually do them.
One area where I need to learn to be kinder to myself in is my crafting. My friend Jessica reminded my yesterday that "knitting is supposed to be fun." Boy did I ever need to hear that right then! Earlier in the day I felt myself slipping back into the "just finish it up" mindset regarding my projects. You know what I'm talking about, where you're no longer enjoying the process of the work but instead are just hurrying up trying to get it finished so it's checked off the list. Sometimes there are real deadlines that make projects fall in to this area, but the things I'm working on don't have deadlines like that. I've just been rushing because that's my natural tendency - which is no excuse. I look at those people who knit to relax, and I wish I could be like them. Instead, I'm usually frantically knitting at top speed to get something finished up and off the needles so I can start something new. Then the whole cycle begins again: hurry and finish up so I can start the new and exciting thing I want to make, then once I'm started on it, I'm hurrying to finish it up so I can start the next new thing, and on and on and on it goes. It's like a vicious knitting merry-go-round. One I definitely want to get off. I'd really like to get rid of the "hurry up" and replace it with the calming knitting I see others do. I guess finding "steps" in this area would be a good plan, and to start I'm going to write out "Knitting is supposed to be fun." and stick it up where I can see it every day.
Do you ever find yourself struggling to be kind to yourself, or rushing through your knitting and not enjoying the process? If you're the type who knits to relax, can you share any tips with me?