With everything that is going on in our world right now, I wanted to talk a little bit about why practicing kindness towards yourself and others is incredibly important. My friend always emphasizes how kindness is free and easily given, so there is no reason why we should not be kind towards others. I agree with that! However, it is often more difficult to be kind to ourselves.
As so many aspects of our lives have changed recently, I have found that productivity looks different. We are not getting out of the house for work, or to go to the gym or yoga studio. Rather than accepting this, I push myself beyond my body’s limits to ensure that I feel productive. I feel guilty when I don’t reach 10,000 steps for the day. I feel like I have wasted my day if I don’t check everything off of my to-do list. If I’m not constantly doing something, I am not doing enough. Then the internal dialogue starts with negativity and self criticism about what I didn’t do, or what I should not have eaten, rather then acknowledging all my accomplishments.
So I am done with that! 2020 has been an emotionally draining year for us all. I think we need to honor our emotional fragility and cut ourselves a little slack. I have realized that taking time to rest should be an integral part of how we live. Instead of constantly pushing ourselves to complete more tasks, we need to be kinder to our minds and bodies.
Listen to what your body needs. Take a day off of exercising or sleep for an extra hour if that feels right. Shifting the internal dialogue from the negative to positive is so necessary. I have picked up my journaling again. Every night before bed I reflect on my day and write down 5 things that I accomplished that were positive. The fabulous salmon I made, the candles I donated to healthcare workers, my hour long walk in the sunshine, the 10 minute meditation, and the afternoon nap I took. No judgement, no negativity, the goal is progress not perfection.
“If you don’t love yourself you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.” – Dalai Lama
Sharing kindness starts from within.
Stay well and love yourself,