Be kind to yourself, then let your kindness fill the world.
Kindness starts within each of us and spreads outward. When you are kind to yourself, you are able to accept your imperfections. Feeling that you aren’t quite good enough, or that your life is a mess, can happen at any age. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that in the past couple of days you have looked at someone else’s good looks, luck, or life and wondered, “why them and not me?” By the time you are older though, you have experienced enough bumps in the road to understand things will eventually get smoother. So in this moment just relax, and don’t judge yourself or your life too harshly.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t give up. Your life isn’t perfect… because no one’s life is perfect. You aren’t perfect… and no one else is perfect either. Remind yourself that bumps in the road are an opportunity to become stronger and more successful in the future.
So what does being kind to yourself look like?
- Be patient with yourself. Give yourself a break. You will make mistakes. You will say and do things you regret or will be embarrassed about. Forgive yourself. You don’t have to be perfect.
- Have realistic expectations. This moment may not be the high point of your life. Even though it might take a while, things can and will get better eventually. Don’t compare your life to others’. Your life is not, or ever will be perfect.
- Be proud of yourself. Recognize your strengths, accomplishments, and the good choices you have made. Let those successes motivate you to keep moving in the right direction.
- Take a break. Do things you enjoy that help you to relax and unwind, especially if you are stressed or feeling down. Hang out with friends, watch a movie, read a book, pray, meditate, or find some coping skills that offer you a needed break or distraction.
- Feel your feelings. Recognizing and experiencing both negative and positive feelings is healthy. Understanding that feelings can impact your thoughts and behaviors will guide you to react in more constructive and effective ways.
- Focus forward. Rather than dwelling on the past, look toward the future. You can’t re-do things that have happened in the past. By setting goals you will set yourself up for success and happiness in the future.
- Avoid triggers. Whether it is a person, place or thing, stay away from those things that could trigger you to think, feel, or behave in a negative way.
- Recognize when you are in over your head. There may be times when you need someone to be your safety net. Choose a person who you trust to be there for you and who will give you the support you need. Make a safety plan so you know what to do and who to turn to when times get tough.
- Take care of your physical self. Eat the right food at the right time in the right amounts. Get a good night’s sleep; take a nap. Take a shower, put on clean clothes, do your hair. Get up and move; exercise, take a walk, soak in some sunshine and breathe in some fresh air.
- Believe in yourself. Be confident in your skills and abilities. Try new things. Build yourself up, especially when others aren’t being very kind or if you are being too hard on yourself.
Practicing self-kindness will help you build the confidence to reach out in kindness to others. And how you treat others has a huge impact on how others view and treat you.