Be Kind To Yourself: Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
So, last week was Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, and the theme was kindness. Now, I always have and always will be a kindness advocate. Most people have and will have to deal with mental health illnesses, disorders, and problems at some point in their life. Unfortunately, these are very rarely visible on the outside, so it is always best to be kind no matter what, just in case someone is struggling and we can't see it.
As important as being kind to others is, however, I thought that I would focus on a different version of kindness this week, more specifically, being kind to ourselves. Too often we are our own worst enemy. We can say really awful things to ourselves that we wouldn't say to someone we didn't like, let alone anyone else! And, as a self-care and self-love advocate, I though this would be the perfect week to share some of my favourite tips on how to be kind to yourself!
I shared a new tip (almost) every day on Instagram, and this blog post is a compilation of them all. This is so that you can save it and read it next time you need a reminder!.
So, without further ado, here are my favourite Be Kind To Yourself tips!
1. Remember to listen to YOU.
We're all really good at ignoring our feelings for the sake of other (less important) things. Instead, we need to start remembering to listen to ourselves, understanding what our body and mind needs, and allowing ourselves to do those things for the sake of our mental health. Be that taking time away from social media, letting ourselves have a bed day when we feel a bit pants, or not beating ourselves up for eating that chocolate share bag in one go!
Take a moment to really listen to YOU. Accept your feelings and work out what you need to do to best support yourself. No-one is super-human, so don't beat yourself up! You're allowed to feel good, bad, happy, sad, the lot! So, do what feels right for you and be kind to yourself.
2. Take time to do the things that make you smile.
Too often we fill our days with work, chores, and jobs that don't bring us happiness. Yes, some of those things we need to do, but it's also important to take time to do the things that make you smile too! Put down your to-do list for one day and go our for a walk, or get up a little earlier and journal or draw. Life is too short to not fill it with things you enjoy, and a happy balance of work and play is so important for our mental health!
3. Allow yourself the time to rest.
Raise your hand if you've ever felt guilty for relaxing, napping, scrolling on your phone, or watching Netflix instead of being productive! I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that's most of you, right?
I know it's easier said than done to stop beating yourself up for relaxing, especially in today's day and age where everyone else seems to have ten side hustles going on at the same time! But, allowing yourself the time to rest is one of the most important acts of self-care you can do! Let your mind and body recover and your mental well-being will soar, giving you the strength and energy to do your best when you are working hard. You are allowed to rest! Never forget that.
4. Listen to your own advice!
I bet every single one of you is great at telling your besties when to take a break, reminding them not be mean to themselves, or just hyping them up! But, how many of you talk to yourself the same way?
One of the most basic ways you can be kind to yourself is by listening to your own advice, and by speaking to yourself the way you speak to your loved ones. You're never going to feel good if you're constantly acting as your own worst enemy! Every day, try and say at least one kind thing to yourself and you'll start feeling much more ready to take on the world, I promise!
5. Be grateful for the little things.
Having gratitude is one of the best things you can do to be kind to your mind and show yourself love! Even on your worst day there is usually something to be grateful for, from loved ones to pets, to nature, and even happy memories. Holding these positives close to your heart and expressing your gratitude for them is one of the most powerful things you can do!
Bonus! Spend time in your happy place!
So, I ended up sharing a bonus tip on Monday. Dan and I got up at 4am and drove to a local lake to watch the sunrise and go for a walk. This little escape into nature reminded me that one of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to spend time in your happy place!
I'm personally never happier than I am when I'm surrounded by beautiful nature. Gorgeous views, fascinating wildlife, with a camera in one hand and my binoculars in the other. That's my happy place. Especially with Dan by my side! Your happy place can drag you out of the darkest of places, it can be a light in your life, and it can remind you of why you love to be alive! So, no matter where your happy place is, be in in nature or in bed, make sure to allow yourself a little time there every now and then!
So, as #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek comes to a close for another year, I hope that you can take these tips forward and use them to look after yourselves. Not only is is super important to be kind to each other, but it's also super important to be kind to yourself too. Look after your mind and your body, and your mental wellness will take care of you.
If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch either on here, via my email email@example.com or why not slide into my dm's on Instagram?
And, as always, much love xoxo