Self Kindness: More Difficult than I Thought

I’m participating in the Kindness Challenge started by Niki of The Richness of A Simple Life. I’m reflecting on Week One: Self Kindness.

At first I thought this would be super easy, no problem. I’m always kind to myself. Well, most of the time. I consider myself a very positive person. I’m grateful for the wonderful life I have and I make a point to notice the small blessings. I often tell people how important it is for me to do something nice for myself every single day. It might be taking a walk, making time to read a book, getting an iced blended, or just putting my feet up for fifteen minutes and doing nothing. I incorporate many of the exercises Niki suggests, on a daily basis:

  • Think about something you’re grateful for
  • Tell yourself something that you love about yourself
  • Read an inspirational quote first thing in the morning
  • Wake up and think aboutΒ 10 beautiful things in your life
  • Do something nice for yourself
  • Dedicate some time to yourself
  • Give yourself a break
  • Think of 5 good things for every negative thought
  • Come up with your own self-kindness exercise

However… this past week I didn’t feel kind to myself. I felt negative, agitated, and anxious. This is not like me. I couldn’t shake it. I kept thinking, “But I’m supposed to be kind to myself!” I really didn’t know what was wrong. Maybe I can blame it on hormones. I’m not sure.

I was extra conscious of the pessimistic way I was thinking, because of this challenge. By late in the week, I thought, “Okay, what is bothering me? What can I do to improve this?”

I knew I needed to make some medical (preventive) appointments and tests and didn’t want to. I never want to go to the doctor. But I called and made the appointments. I felt better when I wrote them in the calendar.

My car needed servicing but I didn’t want to take time to bring it in. I called and made an appointment (my car is being worked on as I write this).

I was angry with myself for not putting effort into my diet and exercise regime. Eating too much and not exercising enough. I’m not overweight, but I just don’t feel my best when I let diet and exercise go. To remedy this? I went out for long walks and was mindful of what was going into my mouth.

I felt bad I hadn’t kept up with friends. So I called one of them, who is going through a difficult time. We’re going out to dinner this week.

What I realize is that self kindness isn’t only doing luxurious things for myself. (Although I did get my nails done with Talee). It’s about being in touch with my emotions and feelings, and knowing how to help myself when things aren’t going well. I feel much better when I’m proactive. My motto is “Just Do It.”

For me, part of self kindness is taking the initiative to get things done. I have to remind myself to take small steps toward reaching my goals. Otherwise I get overwhelmed. But I must start somewhere. Starting is the hardest part.

Now I’m going to practice some self kindness and go make a cup of tea and read a book πŸ™‚

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39 thoughts on “Self Kindness: More Difficult than I Thought

  1. Yes Just Do It! Something that I haven’t mastered. Kindness I do get, I tend to be more kind to others than myself. Lately I am being more mindful of my feelings. Owning it when it comes up and realizing that this is just a feeling a small part of the big picture. Continue to be kind to yourself and others. It sure goes a long way. As the saying goes Just Do It.

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    • Thank you Lesa! I’m with you, I have an easier time being kind to others, rather than myself. That’s good you’re being more mindful of your feelings. For me, that’s the first step. And yes.. Just Do It! πŸ™‚

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  2. Very perceptive Jenny! Being kind to yourself isn’t just about doing something special or going out of your way to make yourself feel good. Being mindful of yourself is being kind. I love that you are kind to yourself daily! What can you do on a regular basis that will help you take the small steps that you mention? No need to answer, just want to make sure that this beautiful self-discover continues into the weeks ahead πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing your experience from week 1 πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you Niki! You’re right, I do need to think about that. And I am still reflecting on this, even though we’re in week two πŸ™‚ It bothered me so much that I was feeling so negative and couldn’t get rid of it. I’m happier/more content with myself this week, so I’m glad about that. I was laughing a little to myself last week, because I was thinking, “Why did this start this week? Just when I feel lousy about myself?” Because usually I’m not πŸ™‚ Maybe it was for a reason, that it’s something I need to improve on. So thank you Niki!

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      • I think you’re right, there was a reason. If you had been feeling like any other week do you think you would have made the self-discovery you made anyway? The week was beautiful in its own way! That was all you Jenny! Thanks for participating in the challenge πŸ™‚

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  3. So well written and good for you. I love that motto. It’s not always easy being kind to ourselves especially when we have worries on our minds but you worked through it and you reached out. And sometimes that’s the kindest thing we can do for ourselves. Take care. xo

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  4. Jenny, what a fresh perspective on self-kindness! I can appreciate your tendency toward avoidance of unpleasant or intimidating tasks. I am especially prone to putting things off when I feel like I’m crossing into a realm where I’m out of my comfort zone/field of knowledge (like getting my car serviced) or where I am putting the power in the hands of another person or opening myself to someone else’s judgment (like calling a friend that I haven’t spoken to in awhile). Your post was such a thoughtful reflection about how I can spare myself the anxiety of continued avoidance by confronting those little things that I keep putting off AND that I keep judging myself by. I am very prone to that not-good-enough, not-doing-enough, not-trying-hard-enough voice, and I can be very self-critical when I am worrying about all these little things that I’m NOT doing. The avoidance is more anxiety provoking for me than the actual task itself! You’ve given me a different way to think about self care. Thanks!

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    • Thanks so much Lulu! You have expressed this perfectly. I always appreciate your insight. I do what you described…I tend to be self critical, and sometimes I think I’m not good enough, unsure of what I’m doing, etc, so why even start? I know this isn’t the right way to think, it’s just avoiding trying something new or different. I’m glad this resonated with you because what you’ve written has helped me put this into perspective even more! Take care!

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  5. Pingback: Self Kindness: More Difficult than I Thought | Borderline & PMDD

  6. This was a great read. Isn’t it funny how we tend to get overwhelmed when we have a “task”, like being kind to ourselves, when all we need to do is just look after the basics and the rest falls into place. Can’t wait to see how you progress through this challenge!

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