My friend said to me, “be kinder to yourself.”
I ponder on that comment for quite some time. What does that even mean? As a part-time student and a full-time employee, I often find myself feeling stressed, tired and uncertain. Many of you would say, of course, it’s not an easy balance. Some of you are probably in the same situation. I am always judging myself for not being where I want to be in life and not getting there faster. Being tough on myself is important, but making sure to self-love is also an essential part of the process.
I am practicing self-love with these four actions. I hope they can help you too.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
I believe we can all agree that this is easy to say but hard to do. I still catch myself comparing myself to others, but now I know it is important to set boundaries. Especially, with social media being widely available to everyone, we are more likely to critique ourselves. I think it is important to remember, people on social media only show their best side. We need to acknowledge that we are all in different stages of our lives and everyone is different in how to they achieve their goals and dreams. So, don’t compare yourself to others but take their success and happiness as a way to inspire you to be better.
How often do you do take the time to do some self-reflecting? Or do you mindlessly spend day-by-day just daydreaming? When I was in my early 20’s, I would say, I often daydream and live day-by-day. After making some difficult decisions in my late 20’s, I am learning to re-discover myself through self-reflection. The main goal of regular self-reflection is to ask yourself thought-provoking questions that can help you develop a deeper level of understanding of yourself. By answering these questions, you will be able to make better choices that help you in achieving your goals in life.
I find this action quite difficult at times. I am an emotional person, and I take mistakes very personally. This is one of the flaws that I am working on to improve. For example, it could be as simple as receiving feedback for missing a date on a report. My supervisor would tell me not to sweat it, but I would feel bad about it for a long time. But what’s the point of feeling bad about it? I just need to be more careful next time and not make the same mistake.
If others can forgive so quickly, why can’t we do the same for ourselves? I think it is good we recognize our mistake and own up to it, but it’s important to move on. Continually dwelling on errors will cause more harm mentally and will hinder personal growth.
Have “Me” Time
What is “Me” time? My definition is doing things you love by yourself. Most of our schedule is busy and hectic. Some of you may work 40 plus hours a week, go to school, and have many social commitments to attend to. When do you have time for yourself? When will you make yourself a priority?
Finding time for yourself can be simple as sleeping in, going to a yoga class, going for a walk, or just reading a book. Whatever it is, it should make you happy to be by yourself. Of course, surrounding yourself with friends is entertaining but it can also be draining. I personally find that having my "me" time encourages me to know myself on a deeper level and appreciate it.
Self-love is a journey. It takes dedication, devotion, and practice. You are always challenging yourself to be a better you, so be kinder to yourself.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves” – Dalai Lama.