How A Bra Helped Me Start to Be Kinder to Myself
I was out on an adventure with my guy a few weeks ago when we stumbled into a very cool vintage store. It was one of those delightful experiences where you just find thing after thing that is just SO YOU! He with vintage Adidas and me with a mix of vintage 60s and some timeless gems. They had a mix of some new products including some very cute bra tops and tanks.
On a whim, I grabbed a cute little bra without trying it on just feeling confident with my sized M grab.
It’s very cute, and simple and was the perfect shape for a cute summer top I have. It felt like a good addition.
I proceed to wear it over the next few weeks. Yes, it worked well under a few summer tops and dresses. Sure it was a little snug, but I’d be fine.
No big deal right?
Until I started to realize that I could feel it digging into my shoulders a bit which didn’t feel great. And it actually felt like I was constantly being slightly constricted by a boa constrictor.
Which, really any way you shape it, isn’t good, right?
I put it on again recently and as I sat shifting the strap around, yet again, trying to get some relief, I thought to myself, “why am I hurting myself?”
Because I really was.
Every time I put on the bra, I was hurting myself. Yes it was tolerable in some ways, and cute but it actually hurt.
And I sat with that thought for a bit and wondered how many ways we unintentionally hurt ourselves with seemingly simple ‘tolerable’ ways.
A bra that’s too tight. A schedule that’s a bit too full. Sleep that’s a little too short. A bladder that’s a little too full. Little things that actually slightly suck the joy out of life or add a level of discomfort into our day to day.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why do we sacrifice our own comfort or pleasure to ourselves?
No one else is making us wear the bra, watch one more episode or hold our pee just a little longer.
WE are doing that to ourselves.
And it hurts.
Micro in the grand scheme of things, yes. But if we have a choice, why are we doing it to ourselves?
I’m now recommitted to honouring how I feel and what I need from moment to moment once again.
Break when I need a pause. Pee when I need to pee. Buy clothes that fit and pass on those that don’t (that bra is now in the pile to be donated to someone whose smaller rib cage will be delighted to wear!)
So I wonder, are there any ways in which you are subtly but consistently hurting yourself? And if there are, can you stop?
When you are able to gently but consistently check in to what you need and how you feel, and then tend to whatever arises,
Here are a few ways you can tend to yourself throughout the day, and make sure you’re not hurting yourself and ideally, finding some ways to be just that little bit kinder to yourself.
3 Questions to Start Being Kinder to Yourself Today
Find time regularly throughout your day to stop what you’re doing.
Close your eyes if you’re able
Take a breath and allow yourself to tap into your inner body.
Do a scan with the following 3 questions:
How do I feel physically?
(am I hungry, thirsty, need to pee, need to move or shift where I’m sitting or standing)
How do I feel emotionally?
(am I stressed? upset? worried? am I present? Do I need a connection or to reach out to someone?)
Where could I be a little kinder to myself?
What’s the kindest most loving thing I could do/say/offer to myself in this moment?
(stop beating myself up, say something kind to myself, dance a bit, walk barefoot in the grass, call a friend, lie down, eat, not eat, take a walk, close the door, open it…)
Life happens in the micro-moments
And when we can tend to these micro-moments with kindness, compassion, and curiosity, I promise you, little things will become big things, in the most wonderful ways.
So be it freedom from a beastly bra or giving yourself a hydrating glass of water, I invite you to stop hurting yourself and start loving yourself one tiny bit more today.