Kindness is a quality, that to me, is essential. Kindness can spread joy, advice, make someone smile or even laugh.
Kindness is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and all week I have been making it the focus of my posts on instagram and also joined in a #KindnessChallenge take-over on my stories, setting a challenge for people to take part in.
My challenge was to be kind to yourself.
Often we are caught up in making other people happy, praising them and lifting them up. Now, this is obviously a beautiful thing, an act that is so lovely that we can spread positivity through just a simple bit of kindness. But do we then forget about ourselves?
Self-care and self-love is something I talk openly about on my instagram. It’s something I believe in and think is so important. Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean that we have to have countless bubble baths or spa-like experiences (even though these are undoubtedly an absolute treat), but it could just be taking some time out and checking our minds are healthy.
Here are 5 ways you can be kind to yourself.
1. Give yourself Credit
Do you often brush off your achievements, treating them as mundane? Step back. Look at what you have done, how far you have come. Celebrate the little wins, no matter how small.
Sometimes we don’t recognise our own achievements and then dont allow ourselves to be proud of these accomplishments. Look at the bigger picture, everything you have done has led you to where you are today.
2. Slow down and take some time for yourself
Even though we see ourselves in a time where everything seems to have slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this doesn’t mean our minds have stopped whizzing round.
Take a break. Breathe. Really slow down, without distractions and be present. I find that yoga or meditation helps me with this so much, acknowledging your emotions, your breathing and body.
3. Remind yourself of your own amazing qualities
No matter what you are going through, you are always enough. You are strong. You are powerful. You are worth it. *Tries not to sound like a shampoo advert*.
But honestly, we are all enough. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, we all matter, and so do our minds.
Our inner critics sometimes overshadow our own achievements and focus on negative doubts that can make us believe that we are not good enough. Constant comparison also can make us feel inferior to everyone else.
And I dont even hate to break it to you, I love that this will break this image, that no-one is perfect. We all have flaws. but ultimately we are enough. We have amazing qualities about ourselves that are all different but equally just as special.
Try and remind yourself each morning. You ARE enough.
4. Soothe yourself with something you enjoy
Most of the time we are so busy doing other tasks that we leave out the things that make us happy. This could be a hobby, exercise, pamper nights – anything.
Try and carve out some time to take part in things you enjoy and make you feel good.
Since the start of lockdown I have started yoga and tried to make it a habit. I enjoyed it so much it has become a hobby! I now make time most days to reconnect with my body, not for the health benefits (although they are amazing for me), but because I really do enjoy it.
It brings me a little bit of happiness that each day I can have at least 10 minutes of something I enjoy, just for me. It also helps me slow down. Even though I have finished my second year of uni, I have quite a few things going on to keep me active enough that I do need a break.
5. Love your imperfections and be compassionate to yourself
You are the perfect you, even if we all have our own itsy-bitsy flaws. Accept yourself the way you are because there will NEVER be another YOU. If you are having a down day, and god only knows we all have them, be your own back up. Like your own best friend I suppose.
Hype yourself up and support yourself when you are down, taking care of your mind and mental health always. Accept any emotions that you go through and process it. It is normal to have days where you aren’t feeling 100%.
Even if you do need that extra support and feel like reaching out sometimes, make sure you are there for yourself first. Be kind.
Hopefully these have given you food for thought about being kinder to yourself. We all deserve a bit of kindness, and to love ourselves just the way we are.
Sending out love, positivity and kindness. I hope you are all keeping safe and well.