#BeKind - Ways to have compassion for yourself
Be Kind is a hashtag that surfaced before the world locked down. A hashtag that became a thing when people felt that they were worth nothing because of the opinions of faceless and unknown people with little compassion. People who struggled to not be affected by such harsh and cruel comments made online. It was a phrase that became more commonplace in our lives, we were becoming much more mindful of it...
...then Coronavirus (Covid-19) arrived in a town near you.
Now #BeKind has become even more prevalent. As a community, we needed to be more aware of this than ever before. It has taken on a survival aspect in order to get through what we are getting through. How many of you think that when someone says “be kind” you automatically think of others? How can I help? What does my neighbour need? How can I be more considerate? - If you do, I applaud you, and think that is amazing and please continue to be this way.
Yet I also want you to become very much more than this… I want you to “be kind” to yourself…. Remember you? Remember needing to be your own best friend? If you are able to gift kindness to others, it is so important to gift that to yourself too. “You cannot serve from an empty vessel” (Eleanor Brownn) so make sure that you are being kind to yourself before you give all of your kindness away to others or it will leave you feeling very depleted, unmotivated, tired, worn-out and sad. No Thank you!
But how can I be kind to myself? We might be in lockdown but there is still so much going on.
Yes, there is a lot going on right now and added to that stress and anxiety is that we are trying to be safe and mindful about not going out to public places. I get it. Believe me, I get it. But being kind to yourself does not require you to necessarily ‘add it to your list of things to do’. Here are some suggestions of how you can honour being kind to yourself in amongst trying to do everything else as well as being kind to others:
Remember to tell yourself “It’s ok to not be ok” when you are feeling particularly anxious, stressed or feel like steam is about to come out of your ears!
When you feel as though you are about to burst into tears with what feels like a ‘nothing’ situation, physically hug yourself and tell yourself “it’s ok”.
When you are having that third (oops!) choccie biccie with the yummy coffee you just made yourself, actually hold that hot cup in your hands, smell the aroma, sip and taste the milkiness and coffee flavour on your tongue and the warmth it brings to you. Notice the biscuit before you pop it in your mouth. Decide what piece you are going to bite into. Taste it. Did you taste the chocolate bit! Enjoy it.
When you hear yourself saying: “I need to do this, I gotta do that, I have to do the other…” just Stop Right There! Replace those words with: “I get to, I choose to, I’m happy to…” Take the sting out of the anxiety and replace it with the kindness of desire in getting things done because you actually want to rather than have to.
Make a date with yourself - “tonight I am going to have that bubble bath and sip on a glass of bubbles at the same time!”
Give yourself a full facial routine, followed by taking your time in putting some make-up on or some personal grooming time. Often we just rush through it in two minutes flat (if you’re like me anyway!). Instead, notice your make-up. Take time in applying it. Try that shade of eyeshadow that hasn’t been touched in your palette box because you’ve never had time to see what it would look like on. Or take time to figure out how that beard trimmer actually works on your razor or what that beard oil is all about. Doesn’t matter you’re not going out anywhere - but it’s nice to treat yourself.
If you are one of two parents in the house, actively state a time period with the children where you are ‘taking time-out’ - “I am going to my bedroom at 4 o’clock til 5 o’clock and the door will be closed. You are not allowed to interrupt my time-out.”
If you are a single parent, you can let the child(ren) know that they are to play any toy they wish in their bedroom quietly as “...I will be needing some rest time in the lounge for 30 minutes.”
If you are on your own, create that same time-out space but book in a virtual coffee time with a friend.
Do you like to read? Play music? Bake? Knit/Crochet? Do Jigsaws? - Create a craft/quiet zone in the house just for you. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, go ‘be’ in that space that warms your soul.
Think back on your day. If you know that you weren’t very nice to yourself, acknowledge that. Don’t dwell on it (because you cannot change it) but be mindful and apologise to yourself by letting yourself know what you will do the next time that situation presents itself. It will help you feel at peace with yourself.
Remember to remind yourself on a daily basis that you are a human being and as a human being you are not perfect, unflawed and accurate with 100% precision. You are human. Your flaws make you the beautiful and unique person that you are. Don’t try to climb up that pedestal of perfection. From one who knows, it bloody hurts when you fall off it. (Note: I don’t climb it anymore!!)
Be aware of how kind you are to others. If you are honestly kind, then note are you as kind with yourself. If not, what one little thing could you do to be better at being kind with yourself. If you are not as kind as you genuinely believe you could be, then you will definitely not be kind to yourself (there is a difference between being kind, self-centred and selfish). Note what one little thing more could you do for others and remember to acknowledge that to yourself when you do that as it will naturally help you to feel better within yourself.
Have a grateful journal by your bed. Every evening write just 3 things for the day that you are grateful for. If you feel you are struggling, they don’t have to be big events (small is just as warming and lovely), so maybe it is that you gave yourself a hug today, you took 10 minutes to play a tune on the guitar, and that you are so glad you started a reflection journal. Noting these little things helps to remind you what is good about your life, especially in these times where we are hearing so much negativity, uncertainty and anxiety.
These are only a snippet of things that you can do. And they are likely to change as you do because remember you are a human being, a ball of energy; you are fluid in your levels of energies and desires and so the things that will resonate with you will also change.
Contrary to what is happening right now, change is the only constant in life (Heraclitus), and that includes You. You will change just like life has changed for us all right now. We cannot go back and try again. We can only work through and move forward. Momentum will push us regardless. I would much rather do it with being kind to others AND myself. Wouldn’t you?
This is all good in theory but can be hard in practice - if this resonated with you but you feel you need some guidance then book a FREE 30 minute exploratory call with me and we can talk about that. Make sure you put #BeKind in the message box along with your concern to avail of some active coaching. Click here to go straight to the booking page.
(Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels)