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.