2020 was a year that none of us will forget. The amount of hardship and chaos faced was discouraging for many, and enlightening for some. With most of the world shut down, new working norms, and a high amount of layoffs, many of us were forced to reset and reconsider our place in the world. Now that we have survived 2020, the lessons of last year have illustrated that time is of the essence, and that we should live our lives on our own terms - not within the constraints of a job or societal standards. We deserve kindness from others, but more importantly from ourselves. Whether or not you "began" 2021 on January 1st or made your second attempt during later months, you can still add these four ways to be more kind to yourself this year.
Embrace the Power in Saying “No” to Others
My therapist told me that whenever decisions have to be made, someone is always going to be told “no.” She then proceeded to gently tug at my edges and asked me, “which side of the no are you going to be on?” Learning to say no to what no longer serves you, or what you no longer have the capacity for, is a major step in personal growth and wellness. You can’t satisfy everyone and everything isn’t for you. Protect your peace, sis.
Take Yourself on Dates
It may seem scary and awkward to go on a date by yourself, but you deserve it! Whether it’s a picnic in the park, outdoor dining, or a massage, treat yourself. While I do love when others take me on dates, I’ve grown to appreciate trying new experiences by myself. It made me more comfortable in my solitude, which helped me become more in tune with myself. Taking myself on dates reminded me of how amazing I am and that I truly enjoy my own company.
Step Into the Light
You’re doing great, sweetie! Stop dimming your own light. When you feel doubt sneaking up, remind yourself of who you are and what you are capable of. Affirmations can be an important aspect of extending kindness to self. The expectation that we have to be the perfect friend, partner, employee, or parent prevents us from giving ourselves the credit we deserve. Hype yourself up, even for the seemingly small things. Stand in your spotlight and shine!
Don’t Forget to Rest
Listen to your body when it needs to rest or slow down. You aren’t a machine. I constantly remind myself that I cannot be my best for myself or others when I am running on E. Getting adequate rest and discovering ways to relax my mind and body has introduced me to a new level of peace. Don’t wear yourself out by trying to spread yourself too thin.
Being kind to yourself costs you nothing, but will help you gain everything. It is a habit worth forming and one you’ll never have to break.