10 Ways to be More Kind to Yourself
“The first rule of kindness is to be kind to yourself.”
When going through a divorce, it is so easy to get down on yourself. We blame, we shame; and the target is often ourselves. Negative self-speak can seep into your thoughts as you navigate this new chapter in your lives.
Now is the time to be kind to yourself. Not later today, not tomorrow. Right now! Make the choice to treat yourself with the same kindness that you approach others with. It will make this whole process a lot easier to swallow.
Consider this list of 10 ways to be more kind to yourself:
1. Change your internal dialogue: Every time you start to say something negative in your mind about yourself, stop! Instead, think of one positive thing that you know to be true about you. Say this in your mind over and over until that negative thought disappears.
2. Forgive yourself: Stop blaming yourself for the past. You have the power to embrace forgiveness. Forgive yourself and release past pains. Embrace and make peace with your life's story. Treat yourself with love and acknowledge that it's o.k. that you are being re-routed on a different life-path.
3. Say something nice to yourself every day: Acknowledge your strengths and what you like about yourself. Make the effort to compliment yourself every day. You can do this through internal self-speak, verbal affirmations, a journal, a compliment jar. Whichever method you choose, start today.
4. Accept Compliments: Generally, we have such difficulty accepting the compliments people pay us. The next time someone gives you a compliment, kindly say "thank you," and fully accept that compliment as a truth about you. Store that compliment in your mind and say it to yourself anytime negative self-speak starts to creep into your mind. Accept compliments given to you and remind yourself that other people think you're great!
5. Write yourself love letters: Focus on your wonderful, amazing qualities and write it all down. Gush about yourself! Put it in an envelope and mail it. When it comes, you'll have this amazing love letter written by you, for you, to open and read. It will help you fall in love with yourself all over again.
6. Treat your body nicely: To balance the chocolate and wine you might be consuming at any given moment, make some room in your life for healthy food. Exercise. Find a new activity that you enjoy. Practice yoga. Being active will increase the happy-chemical in your brain, serotonin, which will help you feel way more positive about yourself and your life. When you are nice to your physical body, your mind and emotions follow suite.
7. Surround yourself with positive people: Positivity breads positivity. The more time you spend with people who bring you up, the more likely you are to embrace their positive-life-mantra. Allow that positivity to flow over you and help you to realize that, even though you may be experiencing incredible hardship, there are so many amazing things in your life to be thankful for!
8. Explore your hobbies: During this time of loss and grief, it is possible that you've abandoned some of the activities and hobbies you love. Remind yourself of the hobbies you love and start enjoying them again. Explore new hobbies. Take a photography workshop, enroll in an art class, start a blog, pursue whatever you feel drawn to. New hobbies can ignite new passions and can help build your self-esteem.
9. Practice gratitude: Sometimes we get bogged down in the negative. We forget all the things in our life we can be thankful for. Every day, practice gratitude. Say it in your head, say it out loud, just say what you are thankful for. Gratitude can be for huge, meaningful things, like the relationships you have with family and friends; or, it could be for small things like the coffee you get to drink every morning. Just start being thankful for everything in your life that brings you happiness. Actively say thanks for at least one thing a day.
10. Don't take yourself too seriously: Life can be messy. Life can be complicated. Life can hard. Life can feel impossible. That's why it's so important to find the humor in it all. Being silly and having the ability to laugh off all of life's unexpected twists and turns will help you be more kind to yourself. Smile big, let out that beautiful laugh and think about the amazing future ahead of you.