Be Kind to Yourself

Today as I sipped on my morning tea I heard a voice in my head – “Be kind to yourself.” Amidst targets, responsibilities and the ticking clock, this thought felt empowering. We often expect kindness from others, and end up getting disappointed. We then, enter the emotional tornado where we list everything we did for others and express remorse over how little we got in return. The sad part is that others don’t even realize what you are going through.

The result is, the ‘doing’ that should have uplifted you, brings you down.

How about being kind to self and not seeking it outside?

Here are few ways to be gentler to yourself –

Take care of yourself – Your body is your medium to act. I was once diagnosed with acute calcification is my left hand. The cure was to use an immobilizer so that the muscle tear heals. My days and nights were horrid as I was able to do nothing. In that phase, I realized that I am nothing without my body. Eat well, sleep well, feed your mind with good stuff.

Follow the 3-priority rule – This rule is not by someone famous, rather it is from an 80-year-old woman Mrs. Vaidya, who stays in our complex. One day as I sat on the park bench feeling tired, she came to me and said, “Hi! How are you today. Where is the twinkle in your eye?” As we conversed, she explained, “If you want to do good in life, keep only 3 priorities in a day. Anything more than that strips you off your pleasantness.” Since then, her advice has stayed with me.

Know your journey – In a world of social media, you feel lost. Your possessions, vacations, achievements are underplayed constantly. It generates a ‘lack’ in your life. You see dreams that were never yours and you seek paths that you never wished to tread. Knowing that your journey is exclusively, uniquely yours is the most effective way of being kind to self.

Do special things for self – This thought itself makes me happy. Take a hot shower, cook your favorite meal, watch a series that you like, shop for yourself, go for a walk and many other things make you feel nice. We do it for friends and family with happiness, why leave oneself behind? Remember these are more relevant in difficult times. So do your best to incorporate some of these ways in your schedule on hard days.

Accept your failures – When you fail in life, you should take extra care of yourself. Failures have a domino effect that triggers our negative memory. We remember all that went wrong in the past or could go wrong in the future. In moments like these please do not abandon yourself or feel lost.Be compassionate to regain your calm at the earliest. Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. Keep the dialogue same.

Forgive – You might be wondering how this is an act of self -compassion?  When you hold grudges, you obstruct your natural energy flow. You waste precious time in rumination. Once you choose to forgive, you release your mind and energy and you are kind to self.

Lower your expectations – Lesser your expectations, lesser will be your disappointments. Develop an attitude of not anticipating and you will protect your peace forever.

Be genuine – Every act of ingenuity is tantamount to self- betrayal. When you force yourself to be somebody, you lower your self-esteem. As against that every act of genuineness makes you stronger and allows you to be kind to your true self.

If I were to give one trait that can possibly cover all the above points, then it would be – ‘Emotional resilience.’ Build a protective wall around your mind and do not let anything enter, to disrupt your peace. No person or situation should have the power to be unkind to you. The moment such a thing happens, stand for yourself with firmness.

The sooner you internalize emotional resilience the better it is.

Keep calm and be patient

For how long should I keep patience? This question itself shows your impatience. Of the many situations and factors that demand patience, I find two to be the most important  – 

  1. Self-Growth and
  2. People

In fact, if you look closely at your worries, you will find that each incident that bothers you falls under one of the above. Let us list some every day incidents that test our patience –” I am working hard, still I don’t have a steady flow of work”, “he is late always”, “Why do people honk on signals?”, “I am trying to learn AI but it is too demanding” and so on.

Big cities carry  a vibe of busyness. People’s minds are fragile. Small incidents trigger them and it has a trickle down effect on everything around.  

Here are 3 simple ways by which you can develop patience–

  1. Focus on your energies. Others have their own thoughts and priorities. If your schedule is permitting you to take that extra task in hand, just do it. This will help you honor your individual potential.
  2. If you are upset over something and feel like putting your point forth, wait for an extra 10 minutes before you speak. The gap allows you to choose your words and vibe. Many a times the situation gets dissolved in that span.
  3. Remember your circle of control and circle of influence. Know where you can bring a change for good. Everything else does not need your attention.

The rule is simple – Be patient and keep doing what you are good at. Your every act of patience can create a domino effect and inspire many others to behave the same way.

Let us stop looking at PATIENCE as a weakness or vulnerability. Let us celebrate and acknowledge every act of patience to create a new culture of easiness and accommodation.