Being kind to myself was something that I struggled with for most of my life, I had negative thoughts daily and struggled to see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I was bullied, abused and abandoned and used to think that there would be no way out of the vicious cycle but there was and I found a way out. But still the negativity remained and despite my accomplishments there would always be something that I would criticize, because I never believed that I was good enough. When it came to dealing with rejection I was a novice and saw it as a ‘failure’ rather than something I could progress from and when I made a mistake I was angry at myself for falling down. As humans we are not conditioned to be perfect, yet somehow we are all on a constant quest to achieve perfection, which quite frankly doesn’t exist. I know that now but for so long I saw mistakes or set backs as ‘failure’. Self-care was never something I was invested in either; when you are suffering from depression or other anxiety disorders, scheduling time to focus on yourself is nonexistent because you are worried that you wont have enough time in the day to complete your tasks. For me its the choice between a ‘relaxing’ bath and a ‘quick’ shower, where 9 times out of 10 I will choose the shower because A. it is more convenient and B. frees up more time to ‘work.
Essentially we are working ourselves into the ground and our inability to stick to a simple self-care schedule can leave us feeling ‘burnt out’, ‘irritable’ and often ’emotional too’. I can’t remember the last time I had three meals a day and the last time I got eight hours sleep was pre-insomnia, 8 years ago. I work into the early hours of the morning to hit deadlines and roll groggily out of my bed each morning, still half-asleep as I run out the door. The negative impact of being ‘unkind to ourselves’ does not just affect the mind but our bodies too. We feel the aches and pains from our daily lives and have migraines from staring at our screens too long. While the negative consequences are scary, it dosent have to be. 2017 is a time of change, we have all embraced new beginnings and for me that was a new house, new career and new outlook on life. I was miserable in my previous home and it had a damaging effect on my self-esteem, mental and physical health. But already in my new place I feel free and have vowed to spend more time learning to be kind to myself.
How To Be Kind To Yourself
Treat Yourself To ‘Me Time’
I rarely carve out time dedicated to myself but when I work long days for little compensation, I am often left feeling drained. Yet despite feeling like s**t it is very rare that I address my needs, leading me to over-work, over-stress and be obsessive about working until I quite literally ‘drop’. Whether you treat yourself to ‘me time’ through a bubble bath or creating a beauty routine, make sure your me-time is dedicated to helping you ‘feel good’ about yourself.
- Run yourself a nice bubble bath using your favourite Lush products and sink into a well of much needed relaxation. Turn off all devices and leave them outside of the bathroom, to completely put your mind at ease. Allow at least 20 minutes of un-interrupted solitude before leaving your safe holistic haven
- Create A New Beauty Routine, using products that you might not have necessarily used before, to make it a ‘real treat’. Whether that be through incorporating a rejuvenating toner or finding a new nourishing cream from Neal’s Yard , find the time to pamper your skin and reward it for all its hard work. After all even if you don’t catch your forty winks, your skin will still look fresh as a daisy.
- Forget ‘Neflix and Chill’ me time is all about solo play; binge watch your favourite TV shows and turn off any other gadgets and devices as concentrating on too many things at once will stop you from being truly kind to yourself.
Eat Well VS Sleep Well
I will be the first to admit that my eating habits are unhealthy and I don’t dedicate enough time to getting a good nights sleep. I love to eat, always have and always will yet previous living situations have prevented me from eating three meals a day and this had a negative impact on my energy levels as well as my emotional state of mind. Now I am not saying that I am suddenly going to go on a clean eating diet because that would potentially be harmful to my already fragile stomach but what I do want to do is try and eat three meals a day. I always say that I can’t eat breakfast because its too early in the morning to ‘eat’ when I go to work but even having a banana can help give me the kickstart that I need to get through the day.We have all abused our bodies at some point and in many scenarios we don’t even realize that we are being unkind to our bodies. I was very sick during my third year at university and was unable to have foods that were too spicy, creamy, fatty or contained a lot of acids. To be quite honest though, every meal that I ate was unable to be digested and I spent a great part of my day throwing up. This caused my stomach to shrink and although I can have the food groups mentioned above in moderation now, prolonged periods of not being able to eat at set times in the day has meant that my stomach is still rejecting said food groups.
Partially caused by extreme stress, my sickness in third year has cropped up several times since moving to London which leads me onto my next point. Eating well can improve your quality of sleep, and more sleep=a happier you. Not only can sleeping well improve your mental health but it can also help you look and feel good. Your productivity levels will increase, you will feel happier and most of all sleep will allow you to get more s**t done. Learning to be kind to ourselves is something we all struggle with but even if it takes you 5 weeks or a year, improving wellness in 2017 will help you be the best version of yourself that you could possibly be.
What Are Your Tips For Improving Your Wellbeing In 2017?
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