- Mental Health
Be Kind to Yourself
I read a lot of blogs and books on getting through the rough times of life. I even have my own blog about it because I have been through some major traumas in the last nine years. Not to mention just the ordinary day to day stuff that we all face. Everyone is having problems, both traumatic and every day type. I feel for everyone, I truly do.
One of the things I keep reading is to be kind to yourself. When I first heard this, I honestly didn't know how to take it. How are you kind to yourself? The fact that I had to ask myself that question proves how unkind I had been being to myself! I only thought of kindness as something you had for others. I even thought it sounded rather selfish and me, me, me to think about doing it for yourself.
I have an anxiety/panic disorder and one of the traumas I've been through most recently is losing my brother very unexpectedly. It was such a shock and also left me without any family left. My disorder has kicked into high gear and I'm having a terrible, debilitating time with it. I also have no one to give me the kind of support I need and the few friends I have just don't understand it. They are not being very kind. The ones who are being kind don't live near me and I hate to call them when I'm feeling so bad. And you sometimes need someone close by.
This brings me to how I learned to understand what "being kind to yourself" means. Just recently I thought about how the only person I have on a day to day basis is myself. If I had no one else to be kind to me, then I had to do it. I had to give myself pep talks and tell myself how everything was going to be okay. I had to remind myself that it's not my fault that I have this disorder and I have nothing to be ashamed of. I had to mentally hug myself when I cried and felt despair. No one else was going to do it. Period.
I'm talking about anxiety here, but this applies to everyone with everything. If you are feeling fat, worthless, not enough, unlovable...whatever it is...be kind to yourself. Tell yourself it's okay and you are not fat or unlovable or whatever bad thing you think you are. I know, it is going to feel weird talking to yourself this way a first. It did to me, but suddenly it started to come easier. And I didn't feel selfish, just comforted. And it feels good.
I still have to catch myself when all the negative thoughts flood in and make the switch to being kind to myself. It takes practice, but it's worth the effort. So the next time you're beating yourself up, please...be your own cheerleader, your own therapist, your own best friend...be kind to yourself. You are worth it and you will always have the person you need with you.