One of the best things I’ve done for my mental health is to treat myself with kindness. I used to play the victim and would complain constantly about all the terrible things that happened in my life but I didn’t take any steps to improve my life.
When I started treating myself with kindness it started to help me shift my inner dialogue. It’s hard to change your inner dialogue and start believing positive things about yourself if you’re not treating yourself well. Treating yourself with kindness send the message to your brain that you are valuable and deserving.
Here are some of the ways I treat myself with kindness but you should do the things that make you feel good.
Take Yourself on Dates
Being able to go do things by yourself is really liberating. I have so many friends that won’t go to the movies or have a meal alone. When you’re willing to go places alone it really opens a lot of doors for you. When you can’t go do things alone and enjoy them you are really limiting your life and the experiences you can have. When I was younger I spent a lot of time traveling alone and it really helped me get used to going out by myself. Take yourself out for a nice dinner, go read a book at a coffee shop or go see a movie by yourself. Take yourself out and do activities that make you feel worthy of good things. It feels really good to do these things on your own and not feel like you are only able to go if you have a partner or a friend to go with.
Feed Yourself Healthy Food
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take care of your health. It doesn’t matter how great your life is if you don’t feel good physically then nothing else really matters. Over the last year, I’ve really been trying to make my health a priority. It’s been a process learning how to feed my body the food it needs to be healthy but I am committed to treating myself well. Eating food that makes me feel like crap and depletes my energy shows your brain that you don’t really value your body that much. I found eating healthy to be really overwhelming at first but I just started with one healthy habit at a time. If you want to get started just challenge yourself to drink enough water every day. This is an easy habit to add it that can make a big difference to how you feel overall.
Take Care of Your Body
Spend time moving your body in ways that feel good. Do some yoga in the morning when you wake up or take yourself on a nice walk. One of my favorite rituals to do after a long day or week is to take a lavender-scented bath. There are so many ways you can show your body kindness. Get a nice lotion or fancy skincare for your face. Ask yourself what act of kindness you can do for your body and brainstorm some ideas. After a breakup, I was feeling especially down and bad about myself. I ended up deciding to show myself love by joining a fancy gym. Some days I don’t even workout I just go and use the steam room and sauna. It feels really luxurious to me to be able to work out in a really nice gym and it makes me feel well cared for.
Think Positive Affirmations
If you catch yourself being critical when you look in the mirror it’s time to cut it out! When you notice your mind thinking negative thoughts about your body gently redirect them to positive thoughts. This was a tough habit for me to break and it’s taken years of being really diligent about my thoughts but my inner dialogue is a lot more positive now. Having my default thoughts be positive has made almost every aspect of my life easier and it was so worth the effort to make the change. If you need ideas for positive affirmations I have a whole blog post of affirmations. Here are some of the ones I’ve been using lately.
- Everything works out in perfect divine timing
- I am exactly where I am supposed to be
- Things always work out for my good in the end
- I am an unstoppable force for good
- Nothing can keep me down
Give Yourself Grace
We tend to hold ourselves to a much higher standard than what we would expect from other people. I used to be so hard on myself and beat myself up for every little mistake I made. Giving yourself grace is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and beating yourself up could actually cause you to miss the lesson you’re really supposed to be learning from the situation. When I make a mistake I spend some time thinking about it and usually will write about what I can learn from the situation in my journal. Thinking about the situation from a non-judgemental place helps me really think about what I need to learn and what the lessons are. I try to learn as much as I can from every situation and it’s a practice that has really been serving me. When you beat yourself up for making a mistake it can be really difficult to be reflective and to learn from your mistakes.
Raise Your Minimum
This has been really huge for me and has improved my life in so many areas. I used to tolerate really poor behavior from friends and people I was dating. I would put a lot of energy into friendships that didn’t return that energy back to me and I would date any men that seemed like they liked me. I raised my minimum standard for the men that I date and it has been game-changing for me. I now only date men who are exceptionally kind to everyone in their life and if they’re not I don’t spend time with them. That’s because I raised my minimum standard for the men that I date and exceptional kindness is one of my new minimums. I also did this with friendships and I now only put energy into friendships where people match the energy that I invest into the relationship. Where in your life are you settling? One of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to raise your standards and uplevel different areas of your life by setting new minimums.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
This is a huge one for me because if I don’t take care of my mental health my depression and anxiety will get out of control. I have a lot of practices that help my mental health but the biggest ones are exercising, journaling and going to therapy. One of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to figure out what you can start doing to improve your mental health. So often our culture promotes physical health but ignores the mental aspect of your overall wellbeing. There are so many great things you can do for your mental health. Try to intentionally add activities to your schedule that make you feel mentally strong and recharged. It can be anything from reading a book to traveling to a new city. The important thing is that you look after your mental health and purposefully seek out experiences that improve your well being.
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