OK, I Know This Sounds Cheesy, But: Have You Talked to Your Inner Child Lately?

What does your (cute little) inner child need today?

You guys know that I’ve been struggling a bit to get back into my usual balanced lifestyle, and that I haven’t felt like I’ve had enough time of late to really take the best care of myself that I can. (Both possibly dangerous things for someone with a history of binge eating!)

This weekend John was out of town and after I got back from having an amazing lunch with friends, I found myself sort of staring at the wall. I didn’t have any further plans, and blank time stretching out before me is always kind of anxiety-inducing. So I decided to do a quick guided meditation and see if I could clear my head and relax a bit.

I did a meditation that sort of encourages you to visualize your inner child, try to sense what she’s feeling—and then actually “ask” her what she needs. The whole inner child thing feels slightly  woo-woo for my usual taste, but I’ve done this particular meditation before and was amazed at the insights I gained. That time, the child screamed at me that she needed “SLEEP!” and “PILATES!”

This time? She felt abandoned. It wasn’t just that John was out of town—it was as if I’d abandoned her. All week long as I kept my head down and my nose to the grindstone, I’d ignored that part of myself that requires tenderness and care to feel secure and balanced. It was sort of a revelation. I’d abandoned myself!

So, after the meditation, I decided to make a list of things that would make me feel taken care of that day. Turns out it was organizational stuff like folding the laundry, doing the dishes, planning and cooking a healthy dinner for myself. Tying up loose ends. I wasn’t necessarily excited to do these things, but as I started doing them, it felt great. And I truly did feel taken care of. Thanks, me! I did the same thing the next morning and what I needed that day was to go to the gym (I’d been feeling weirdly scared of the gym—more on that tomorrow or the next day),  spend some time working in the sun in the park, and see a movie. (I saw Eclipse! Perfect time to do it, since there’s NO way I could ever drag John to see it.)

But here’s the thing: Weekends cannot be the only time I take care of myself—or that sometimes-needy little inner child. To stay sane—in general, but also about food and our bodies—every one of us needs to do something to take care of ourselves every single day.

What can you do TODAY to make yourself feel taken care of? xo…Sunny

12 Responses to OK, I Know This Sounds Cheesy, But: Have You Talked to Your Inner Child Lately?

  1. Astrid says:

    My inner child was feeling neglected lately too. She didn’t have things to look foward to, like fun vacations, nights out, etc. She feels much better now and so do I! Something I have been doing lately is listening to silly rap music that gets me laughing and dancing. Makes all parts of me happy! Hope things keep going well for you, Sunny!

  2. Jennifer Kane says:

    Excellent post! I never would have thought of that on my own, but it makes perfect sense. All too often we are encouraged to ignore that self-care voice in order to do more, produce more, or be a “productive” member of society, to treat ourselves as though we are machines and not people. Thank you for highlighting this and
    pointing out how we can ignore this push to really listen to our own needs.

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  4. stacy says:

    great timing with this post. i’ve felt very unsettled and unbalanced lately - which tends to cause a lot of problems in the compulsive eating area. after weeks of neglecting the gym due to a ridiculously busy schedule, i finally took the time for ME and went last night. a yoga class, a weight training session and a steam room was all it really took to make me feel as though i was a priority in my own life again. and honestly to feel a little human again. clearly these are all things my body was craving and needed, but i let my crazed schedule deafen my ears to my own inner voice. so what am i planning to do today? the exact same thing.

  5. Heather says:

    Hi Sunny,

    I’ve been doing work on my inner critic and its opposite (that I’ve called my BFF) in therapy.

    I guess it’s similar to this, only focussing on a different part. I’m having to learn self care, positive self talk and I’m trying to do this all day, every day whilst functionning in life.

    No wonder we slip off the rails sometimes!

    Just to say I kind of know what you’re going through and you’re doing great.


  6. Rae says:

    Perfect timing. I wanted to ask about the actual meditation you use to get in touch with your inner child… If I am correct in my hearing mine, then I am too much work and not enough play lately. There is more I know, but I wanted to see how you are able to clearly find out.

  7. LG says:

    Nice work!!! That is so awesome. Sometimes when I get that weird “what am I going to do with my time?” anxious-type feeling, I lay down on our bed or have a bath so that I can SLOW DOWN and be purposeful about how I spend the rest of my day/evening. Think and feel it out. It really helps me to avoid eating out of anxiety.

  8. Trish says:

    I get SEVERE anxiety when I have too much time on my hands — I end up letting my thoughts run all over the place and I can get very very down and depressed…this post was perfect for me! I needed something to take my mind of the “nothingness” and get back to working on myself and what I need. Thanks Sunny!

  9. Kate D says:

    Wow, I really needed this post last weekend. Saturday I had a stretch of unstructured time of and I had no idea what to do with myself to i fell back into the old pattern of mindless eating and TV watching. If I had actually sat down and asked myself what I wanted to do, I wouldn’t have aimlessly frittered away my time.

  10. Sarah Liz says:

    This is so weird that I was just thinking about this before I even read this blog! I was just thinking about how if the 8-year-old me could see the way I’m treating myself today, she would be very disappointed. I need to make changes! Your blog has given me a breath of fresh air about life. I’m so glad I found it!

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.