BE KIND TO YOURSELF

“I can’t believe I did that!  I’m so stupid!”

“Nothing goes right for me!”

“No wonder I didn’t get the job. I’m just not as smart as those other people.”

Is this how you react when you’re faced with circumstances beyond your control or when you fall short of your own expectations? Do you become harsh with yourself? Accuse yourself of over-generalized negative character traits? Try to whip yourself into shape to overcome the obstacles in your way?

If these are your usual responses, you’ve probably realized that they don’t help you feel better about yourself or the situation, but rather, they make you feel worse! In reality, treating yourself with kindness and compassion is more likely to build your resilience and clarify your thinking.

Make a change in how you respond to adversity and show yourself a little love today!

Here are some ideas to start with…

Protect Your Physical Wellbeing

      1. STAY ACTIVE

Exercise is a great antidote to stress and feelings of depression. It lowers your risk for heart conditions, diabetes, stroke, and many other serious health issues and raises overall levels of energy. 

      2. EAT WHOLE FOODS

Fill up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats and minimize your consumption of ultra-processed foods. This will encourage higher energy levels and increased mood.

      3. DRINK WATER 

Water has many health benefits including boosting your immune system by flushing out toxins! Keep a water bottle close by and make a goal to drink 64 ounces of water per day.

      4. SLEEP WELL 

Lack of sleep can make you more vulnerable to illness, cause decreased cognitive function and compromise emotional stability. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

      5. MANAGE STRESS

Find relaxation practices that work for you. Refrain from using alcohol or other substances to manage your moods. Talk to your doctor if you are unable to manage your stress levels on your own.

Protect Your Psychological Wellbeing

     1. THINK OF WHAT IS GOING WELL

Challenge yourself to look on the bright side of things. Savor small daily pleasures. Read inspirational texts and keep a smile on your face. Remember that hardships are temporary.

     2. SET GOALS 

Add more purpose to your life by working towards realistic and challenging goals. Choose just a few! Make a list and identify the steps to getting there.

     3. EXPRESS GRATITUDE 

Cultivate a spirit of thankfulness for what you have and where you are in your journey. Share with others how much you appreciate them and what a difference they make in your life.

     4. GIVE GENEROUSLY 

Spend time focusing on others with your time, money, and talents. Volunteer online for a worthy cause. Help an elderly neighbor or simply be a friend.

     5. SEEK SUPPORT

Surround yourself with family and friends who lift you up. Share your ups and downs. Ask for help when you need it.

     6. REPEAT AFFIRMATIONS

Rehearse positive statements, like scripture or inspirations, to retrain your brain to let go of negative thinking that holds you back. Say your affirmations out loud several times a day. Post them on your bathroom mirror and other mindful places.

      7. CONNECT WITH NATURE 

Green spaces positively affect our emotions. Go outside for a walk or a picnic lunch. Open a window to let in natural light and fresh air.

     8. LAUGH OUT LOUD 

Humor can help you get through difficult situations. Watch funny videos or share funny jokes with your friends. Play with your children and act silly.

      9. MEDITATE DAILY 

Develop a regular meditation practice. Begin with a few minutes at a time and extend your sessions gradually as your power of concentration grows. Use meditation apps to help you get started, a couple suggestion to try are Abide or Headspace. 

       10. LIVE MINDFULLY 

Remain intentional and aware throughout your day. Make a habit of healthy posture and deep breathing. Slow down and give your full attention to one task at a time.

Be kind to yourself! Healthy and intentional physical and psychological self care serves as the foundation for a happy and meaningful life. Treat yourself with consideration and compassion, the same way you would behave toward a dear friend.

How have you been intentional about treating yourself with kindness? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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