Learning to nurture yourself

Learning to nurture yourself

Nurture and the inner voice

As a child we hope to receive nurture: a kind, loving caregiver who provides for us both physically and emotionally. However, not all children experience this kind of care and even those who do eventually grow into adults and lose the instant access to this support. Therefore, it is important that everyone learns to be their own source of nurture, love and kindness.

People often treat themselves worse than they would their loved ones or even strangers. We have a tendency to ignore our own needs; use self-destructive behaviours more than self-care; and speak to ourselves in a critical manner.

Our own internal voice can either be a source of criticism and negativity, or nurture and love. By learning to nurture yourself you can build resilience and self-esteem, providing support to yourself when no one else is available or able to offer you such.

Five tips for learning to nurture yourself
Treat yourself: Imagine how you like to treat a loved one when they do something kind for you and imagine how you like to be shown gratitude and love. When you are in need of nurture, treat yourself! This may be by engaging in a mindfulness exercise, a self-care routine or engaging in a preferred hobby. It may even be as simple as putting as much care into making yourself a cup of tea or a meal as you would an important guest.
Take good care of yourself: self-care is an essential component of providing nurture to yourself. Visit our self-care blog for more reflections on the importance of self-care and to explore new strategies that you could incorporate into your routine.
Speak kindly to yourself: We all speak critically of ourselves at times. When you find yourself giving feedback to yourself, whether positive or negative, consider how you would word it if a loved one had behaved the same. If it is a success to be celebrated, are you speaking to yourself with the same level of pride and enthusiasm you would speak to a friend with? If you are feeling negative about your behaviour, would you speak so harshly to your child if they made the same error?
Stand up for yourself: our previous blog on being assertive talks through how to stand up for your rights and beliefs in an effective manner. This is an important aspect of feeling positive about yourself.
Seek professional support: if your own childhood was lacking in appropriate nurture then it can be difficult to know how to offer yourself nurture or feel uncomfortable to practice. It is a skill that needs to be learnt, just like all other behaviours. If you feel that you would benefit from therapy regarding learning to nurture your own inner voice or would like to discuss this further then please contact Dr Julie Hannan on 07530 854530.