Being kind to yourself is a bit more complicated than it sounds. You don’t always have to buy nice things for yourself or take trips in order to reach this goal, but those things are great. There is a bit more to it.
How Can I Be Kinder to Myself?
Take a look inward. Are you often critical of yourself? I struggle with this a lot. I have to remind myself that people aren’t always out to hurt me or bring me down. There’s lots of self-talk involved daily. Thanks to therapy, that has improved. It didn’t happen overnight- it took months. It takes time to reset the thoughts that have spent years going through your mind. Change isn’t easy. Nobody’s perfect. Those changes have to start as small ones, otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Reading Conversations with Ourselves may help a bit in this area.
Another step is to take care of yourself in times of stress or emotional difficulties. You’re worth that care. It is a great feeling to feel this worth- everyone should experience it. This may consist of finding self-care that works for you. Some prefer baths, face masks, teas, cuddling with a pet, or listening to soft music. Anything that is peaceful and soothing can be beneficial. Self-care can go a very long way in showing yourself kindness- you don’t have to be “on” all the time.
Accept yourself exactly as you are. This may be one of the biggest steps in self-kindness. Everyone has something they don’t like about themselves. I admit that I wish I was a more patient person. I’ve tried working on this but I have come to accept that…it’s just a part of who I am. It has taken a long time but I accept myself as I am. (Again, lots of therapy was involved.) If you can accept yourself as you are, that is a very big message of love. It’s okay to be different from others around you.
Listen to you. What do you need? Everyone has different needs. Some prefer to be alone a lot, or maybe just sometimes. Some need to be around others constantly. Listen to your mind and body. If you get exhausted just being around two or three people, take a break after an hour. Socializing can be hard.
Finally, provide for yourself physically. Self-awareness is key to self-kindness. If you need medication, take them. If you need to see a specialist, go. I require thyroid medication daily for the rest of my life and I don’t play with that. I can get very sick if do. Need to lose or gain weight? Work on a plan. We only get one body. Don’t destroy it.
I wasn’t aware of the true importance of self-care, self-awareness, and self-kindness until I got into therapy. Life happened. These three things are super important to our mental wellbeing.
Info courtesy of Psychology Today
Pics courtesy of Unsplash