This was originally published on Proud2Bme, an online community created by and for teens. Proud2Bme covers everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.
We take ourselves for granted far too often. Our personal well-being and our needs tend to take a backseat to the needs of others. Speaking from experience, I can say it is much easier to care for others and make sure that they are happy than it is to cater to exactly what would make me happy. Why it that? Because taking care of myself feels selfish. I tell myself that if I take care of myself before others, they will suffer or they will be sad. How is that fair?
Frankly, this logic is nonsense. When we do not take care of our needs and wants, we are not being kind to ourselves. I know that if I do not take moments for self-care, I cannot fully care for others. This is what is not fair. It is hard to tell myself that I am just as important as the next person. But I am. And once I accept that I deserve kindness, especially from myself, my happiness will transfer far more easily to those I wish to share it with.
It only takes a few simple tweaks in our daily lives to make sure we are being kind to ourselves. If we can implement five ways to be kinder to ourselves, our positive outlook on life and ourselves has the potential to skyrocket! Here are five simple ways to be kinder to yourself:
1. Look in the mirror and say (either out loud or to yourself) one thing that you appreciate about what you look like in that moment. Whether it’s superficial or not, that moment will prove that you are worthy of a compliment.
2. Buy yourself that coffee you’ve been craving all day. Or the brownie. Or that item in the shop window you know you would rock. In the words of Parks and Rec employees Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle, “TREAT YO’ SELF!”
3. Cut yourself some slack. We would never criticize our friend if he or she made a little mistake like spilling a glass of water on the table, but we beat ourselves up over the smallest things. If you make a simple mistake, laugh it off and chalk it up to a moment of comic relief.
4. Detach from social media. Whether it is for an hour or for a day, removing ourselves from the online world allows us to stop comparing ourselves to other people and what they are doing in their lives. Remember, social media allows a person to post what they want the world to see, which usually just includes the good, not the bad or the ugly. Giving ourselves a moment to separate from the virtual world reminds us of what we love about our lives.
5. Step outside and simply breathe. Often, we take for granted that we have the capacity to rejuvenate our minds and bodies by doing an act as routine as breathing. By filling our lungs with air, we remind ourselves that we are worthy, and that is one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves.
I say that these are five simple ways to be kinder to ourselves, but being kind to ourselves is one of the hardest things we can do. I am a self-proclaimed people pleaser, but I don’t have to please people 24/7 or I will burn myself out. Once I accept that I need to be kind to myself first and foremost, my capacity and ability to be kind to others will be better than ever. So I will end this post by being “selfish” and reminding myself to be kind to ME: I wrote these five tips mainly for myself. But please, join me on the journey of being kind to ourselves!
Header image courtesy of youaremyfave.com