If you asked a group of people to list down the top five tasks they needed to complete today, what are the chances that “being kind to myself” would make it to their list? Most of us are many things to different people – workers, mom, dad, brother, sister, friend. However, we are also the only person who is 100% responsible to ourselves and that means we should make self-compassion and self-kindness a bigger priority, scheduling in some ‘me time’ if necessary.
Self-Kindness Is A Powerful Thing
Being kind to oneself and making self-love a priority means much more than simply treating ourselves once in while; they have powerful effects that are key to our health and wellbeing. One 2018 study published in the journal PLOS found that the practice of self-kindness helps keep depression at bay. The researchers noted that many people are perfectionists; they push themselves too hard then feel disappointed when they achieve less-than-excellent results. Self-kindness – which essentially involves being as loving to ourselves as we are to those we love – can help us battle this ‘maladaptive perfectionism’ and see failure as part and parcel of human life.
How Can You be Kinder To Yourself?
Knowing how to love yourself involves reflection and introspection. You may find journaling useful, as a means of identifying ways in which you may benefit from a kindness boost. For instance, have you been feeling sluggish, and wishing you had more time to go to the gym or simply go for a run? Is there a comfort food you have been craving for what seems like an eternity, but never found the time to enjoy? Does your body hurt because you sit for various hours straight at work, or because your furniture is non-ergonomic? As noted by yourfootpalace.com, if you are in pain, a healing treatment like foot reflexology or a Swedish massage may be what mind and body crave. It is important to be in tune with your body’s needs, paying attention to pain and receiving therapy regularly, especially if you work long hours and are tired. Take a quiet time to list down symptoms of burnout out such as fatigue, tiredness, or general insatisfaction, creating a proactive strategy to address each problem.
Overcoming The Fear Of Change
To truly love yourself, you may need to make important changes, many of which may be difficult. For instance, if your job is so time consuming that you do not have time for regular exercise, social interaction, and other fulfilling experiences, you may have to reconsider finding alternative employment. Often, compromises have to be made – for instance, you may decide to work part- time instead of full-time or accept a job that pays less but allows you more time to pursue personal goals. Fear of change can be incredibly detrimental. Take the example of body pain; did you know that fear actually feeds pain, leading you to make lifestyle choices that exacerbate the problem? A study by the Swiss National Science Foundation found that people with back pain, for instance, move differently because of their fear of pain, which actually leads to more stiffness, lost mobility, and pain.
We all instinctively know the areas of our life that could do with welcome change. To identify your own, think about what you most complain about, either to friends or yourself. Set small goals that will lead you closer to your aim of self-love. These could include a visit to a spa, an afternoon off simply to ‘do nothing’ or a meet-up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Small behavioral changes have the ability to change the way you think and feel about situations, hopefully inspiring bigger changes that will enable you to embrace self-love to the full.