How Can You be more Kind to yourself?
This seems like such an easy question with what appears to have an even simpler answer “Just do it”! But, I am afraid that the answer to this question is not as simple as it appears. I know from experience.
Dealing with what I thought was just depression for over 20 years and later learning that I had undiagnosed bipolar disorder and anxiety all played a major part in my unkind behavior towards myself.
The thing about mental illness is that it can wreak havoc on your thoughts.
You begin to believe things that are not true, and you know what they say, “You become your thoughts”. So, if you think and tell yourself repeatedly that you are not good enough, and that you are a burden, you will eventually believe these untrue statements.
One of the most important lessons that I have learned on my mental health recovery journey is that I must repair the relationship with myself. I am with myself 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, I need to like and love this person.
Your relationship with yourself is a special one, and it needs to be guarded and treated with the utmost respect. One of your jobs is to take care of yourself and make yourself happy. And introducing kindness into this relationship is a great way to do so.
Here are a few ways that you can be more kind to yourself:
1. Say NO – No, is a complete sentence. Stop agreeing to things that you do not like or really do not want to do. It is okay to say no without feeling guilty or wondering what the next person is going to think or feel about you.
2. Take some alone time – Schedule some time, daily or weekly when you can be alone and have time to think without interruptions. You will find that when you give yourself some alone time, your soul will begin to whisper to you.
3. Honor your feelings – There are times that we are in good spirits and there are other times when we may be in not so good spirits. Depression may set in or symptoms of your mental health disorder. The point is to remain present. In the moment, to honor the feelings as they come, process them and let them leave you. You do yourself a disservice when you try to compress or battle the feelings that you are having.
4. Find your Happy – What is it that you find true happiness in doing? Is it reading, or singing, or maybe drawing? Maybe you have no clue what excites you. Now is the time to figure out what brings a smile to your face.
5. Say YES to YOU – No more putting restrictions on your life and your dreams. Say yes to the things and experiences that you want to have. After all, it is your job to make yourself happy and find your sense of contentment.
6. Compliment yourself – On a day that you are in good spirits. Take some time and list 5-7 things that you like about yourself. Save that list in an important place or better yet, make it visible. When you are feeling down in the dumps, take out your list so that it will remind and of how awesome you really are.
Incorporating these things into your everyday life will yield positive results. The way to strengthened self-esteem is to start with kindness. Self-kindness. Don’t think for one minute that because you have an illness, that you are not worthy. You are worthy and can live a great life, despite a diagnosis.
Stay in the know! Sign up to receive updates from Beautiful Brain Collective!