If you are anything like me, you are kinder to everyone but yourself. At least, that is what feels like your first nature. You care more about being kind to someone else because you don’t want to offend them. You are kinder to most strangers than you are to yourself. Sound like you? No, then this might not be the post for you unless you want to learn about someone you care about. It does sound like you? Let’s continue the conversation.
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. I am generally automatically friendly, generous, and considerate to pretty much everybody. But, I can’t say that I am easily friendly, generous, or considerate to myself. This is something that I’m continually working on, but it doesn’t come naturally. But why? Why would I rather be kinder to other people?
Because it was, is, a survival instinct. Being kind to other people before being kind to myself meant that I could keep people happy without any yelling or drama. It meant that I was never the friend that took more than anybody else. It meant that nobody ever had to complain about taking care of me. It meant that I never dropped the ball at work, causing other people to have to pick up my slack.
Once you are used to being kinder to everyone else, starting to be kind to yourself is foreign. It feels awkward. It feels selfish. It feels wrong. It is difficult.
Being kind to myself also feels good. The more good feels I experience, the easier it is becoming. The kinder I become to myself, the kinder I become to other people too. The kinder I become to myself, the happier I become. The less anxiety I have. The easier life seems.
But, what have I done to become kinder to myself? How can this be replicated so you can start learning how to be kinder to yourself? Little by little.
One thing I’ve done is to take care of myself. I’ve started setting boundaries to take care of all of me. I get up each morning before Eddie or before guests or before the campsite wake. I meditate and work through daily gratitude and daily goal setting. Sometimes the goal for the day is to simply live in the moment and enjoy the day. Sometimes I have a list of things I feel need to be accomplished. On workdays, or simply days that I feel like it, I get fully ready, hair and makeup, and my outfit. I drink a LOT of water. I have a bedtime routine that sometimes includes music, includes my supplements, washing my face, tucking the dogs in, reviewing the positive influencers I follow, and thanking God for all of my blessings, and saying prayers. I move my body every single day. I eat much better than I used to.
Another thing I’ve done is set boundaries on how much time I give to other people. I make sure that when we are around or staying with other people, I don’t give them 100 percent of my time. I make sure that when I’m traveling for work (whenever that happens again), I don’t give every waking minute to my coworkers or the project. I take time to eat and read or do stuff for me. I keep my morning and bedtime routines. I take time for myself.
I have continued my education, in one way or another. I am always learning whether it be for my project management career or for my personal growth.
I give to myself. If I want something, I don’t tell myself no because I have to give to others first. I either buy the thing or I tell myself no because it doesn’t align with my financial goals. Or I just don’t need another pair of shoes! Ha!
I didn’t start all of this at the same time. I didn’t enact all of this in my life all at once. I did little things over and over until they all started adding up. I’m still not perfect at it. I’m not aiming for perfection. I know that there will be days or weeks that I completely suck at being kind to myself. I am aiming for steadiness.
So, how are you going to start being kinder to yourself?