We’re living in a world of uncertainty. We’re facing yet another pandemic. People are losing jobs at a dramatic rate, especially in the hospitality or beauty industry. The stock market is falling. Healthcare is being stretched to its limit. The only certainty is uncertainty. All news seems to be bad news.
We’re spending more time by ourselves with social distancing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation.
People are scared. You are probably scared. Anxiety is rising everywhere. You may find yourself crying or yelling more. What can we do?
Be kind to yourself.
We talk to ourselves inside our heads more than we talk to any other person. I realized not that long ago just how negatively I spoke to myself. Have you ever really listened to your inner voice? It is too easy to believe that critic inside yourself.
- You’re not doing this right.
- You don’t know what you’re doing.
- You’re an idiot or [insert negative adjective here.]
- Why did I say that?
- Why did I do that?
Inner Voice Exercise
How do you find out what your inner voice is telling you? Here is an exercise that therapists use to help you to face your own critic. Grab a notebook and pen. Do not use a computer. You want to write this by hand. Clear your mind through a five-minute meditation or some deep breaths, then write for 10 minutes about what your inner voice is telling you. Don’t stop. Just write what comes up, the positive and negative. Now put it away. Do it again tomorrow. On the following day, read both. Can you see some patterns? Can you see how negative or demanding your inner voice is? Can you recognize the voice of other people? I found that my inner voice told me in every which way possible that my life was not as important as everyone around me. It was a startling discovery. Therapy helped me realize I needed to put myself first.
Another idea is to picture your adult self, talking to yourself as a child. I find that I speak more gently to my younger self than my current self.
I do know that beating yourself up doesn’t help. So be patient and kind to yourself. You need your own support and love more than ever. I wear a ring that reads, “Be Kind” to remind myself to be kind.
Other self-kindness ideas include:
- Look at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself “I am amazing!” or something similar.
- Repeat a mantra such as, “I am beautiful, I am blissful, I am bountiful”
- Tell yourself: This isn’t an easy time. I am doing the best you can.
- It is okay if I make mistakes.
- I can do it!
- Distract yourself with music or a mantra when you find yourself talking in a negative inner voice.
- Talk to yourself gently.
- Talk to a supportive friend or family member.
- Watch an uplifting movie.
- Read Inspirational sayings.
What will YOU say to yourself?
Stop listening to the negative inside your head and focus on positive things. Use music, mantras, inspirational sayings, talk to someone and more. Practice being kind to yourself, and it will get easier every day.
You are amazing. You are doing the best you can. You can do it!
Remember, when you are kind to yourself, it is easier to pass on that kindness to others.