A phrase I’m sure you’ve all heard before, but what does it actually mean? Like so many things, surely it’s subjective…?
I am very lucky, I have a fantastic support network, I work for a forward-thinking company, I have a partner that allows me to feel. But even someone as fortunate as me, who’s in a position that surely breeds a strong mental capacity? I have days where I too need to be kind to myself.
I know that I am guilty of putting far too much pressure on myself. I see my colleagues working away and feel like I should be doing more. I see friends on Instagram enjoying their lives (that old social media perception) and feel like I should be out living life more. I think about what I wanted to achieve by my 30s and decide at that moment that I could have done more. I am also the king of not taking the advice that I dish out to others like pigs in blankets on December 25th. But what I have learnt, is that these pressures I put myself under, are short terms emotions that overpopulate my thoughts with negativity. And it is in these scenarios where I need to be kind to myself.
For me, being kind to myself isn’t necessarily telling myself all the thing’s I’m good at or fishing for compliments from others, but by simply taking some time whenever I need it, to do something that makes me feel good and that I like doing.
To name a few: I like running, I like writing music, I like playing football, I like reading, I like playing PlayStation, I like stroking my dog, I like walking my dog, I like making coffee, I like going for a drive, I like watching TV, I like listening to music, I like cleaning the kitchen (don’t tell my partner), I like watching football highlights, I like cooking, I like meditating, I like taking a nap, I like painting, I like swimming and I like connecting with friends and family.
I have no doubt that each and every one of you has a list like this as well. However long, exciting or mundane. Whenever you need to, take that time to be kind to yourself and do it often. Life can be f**king hard and you deserve it. The irony is that by being kind to myself, I end up having to be less kind to myself.
“The most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do” – James Clear