On being kind to yourself

I ruined another pair of tights today. They’ve already got one hole (which I didn’t notice until I was out of the house) and then I promptly put my thumb through the side while trying to pull them up. They’re favourites, too. Maybe I should write a short poem to mourn my thick, warm, green tights. I have no idea where I bought them either, so I don’t know if there will ever be another like.


There are days where the smallest thing is the worst thing ever, and where the most minor decisions are the hardest. Days where the ruination of a pair of tights is worse than whatever tragedy is on the news, where the decision of what to eat for lunch is a lot harder than a complex referencing query and a life-changing decision on whether or not to apply for a job. (Eventual decisions: salad, treat it like artwork, and I didn’t).

I feel like I’m failing. I’m not doing enough, not checking things off the list quickly enough, not adding things to the list quickly enough…bleh. My brain is a mass of contradictions and is apparently capable of effortless doublethink when it comes to the “shoulds”. 1984 ain’t got nothing on me on a bad Monday!

But I was once told, by someone very dear, that the most important thing in life is simply this: “Be kind to yourself”.

If you wouldn’t expect it of a friend, why are you holding yourself to impossible standards? If you can see that maybe you are not to blame for someone else’s actions and choices, shouldn’t you be allowing yourself to that that to heart as much as you have taken the blame and the guilt? If you know you have done your best, and you have got out of bed and faced the world, then can’t you be kind and allow yourself a moment that isn’t filled with lists and worry? If you know you are working as hard as you can, if you are always stepping forward, shouldn’t you have the grace to not hurry yourself to go faster?

There are shoulds. There are responsibilities. But be kind to yourself, as you would to anyone else.

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.