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Lessons for Life: self-kindness in a pandemic

Answer me truthfully (your secret is safe with me I promise 😗), are you kind to yourself?

Actually kind though.

Can you honestly say, you speak to yourself in a way you would talk to someone you love and care about? Or, does your inner voice use words most people would be offended to hear?

Your answer is important and is probably affecting your well-being and self-trust more than you think.

Never has it been as crucial as it is right now to show yourselves kindness.

I see and hear a lot of people at the moment berating themselves for not doing, being, writing, creating, launching, losing, gaining, or, or, or, more than they are doing and I want to say Woah there. Steady on, my friend.

WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC—a global, not-experienced-for-over-10-years-pandemic.

Just because we are in lockdown (in the UK), we don’t have to spend all our time being productive. If you genuinely want to write a novel or start a great podcast, brilliant, but, if you are trying to frantically churn out your creations because you think you should, you do not have to. I promise you.

I am personally giving you a permission slip to go easy on yourself.

I am saying it is ok to just be. To feel, before you act. To sit with your emotions rather than go all guns blazing. To take each day as it comes, to process your anxiety, grief and uncertainty. To sit on the sofa all day, to cry, to grieve and experience. To be present. To be in the moment and feel it out as you go.

But please, I ask you. Be kind to yourself in the process.

Because, I need to let you into a little secret; when we are kind to ourselves, great things happen. When we are kind to ourselves, we are capable of so much more than if we are critical. Beating ourselves up results in low motivation and low-worth. However, self-kindness is calm, graceful and gentle. If we are kind to ourselves when we make a mistake or something doesn’t go as planned, we can see the situation neutrally and for what it is rather than beating ourselves up. We can see areas for growth and improvement without viewing ourselves as failures.

Failure is an inherently human experience and not something we should fear.

Using words with ourselves, similar to those we would with a good friend is soothing and supportive. Dr Kristin Neff’s, an Associate Professor at the University of Texas has found that people who are compassionate to themselves are less likely to experience anxiety, stress and depression and more likely to experience feelings of happiness, resilience and optimism about the future.

If you are struggling with self-criticism at the moment have a look at the below suggestions of how you can turn the negative inner talk towards self-kindness. I genuinely believe EVERY negative thought can be re-framed in a kind and supportive way, so, if you dont see something that resonates below get in touch and I will re-frame your negative inner sentence for you.

Above all else, I am here for you. 💛

 

PS. Kristin Neff, the Queen of self-compassion, has a fantastic body of research on her website. If you are not familiar with her work, I highly recommend you check it out. You can find her here.

lucyadmin

Hello, I am Lucy Siddall. I am a Positive Psychology Coach who helps folk develop their self-trust using whole-hearted, creative and nurturing strategies. If you would like to receive my newsletter - Letters on Life, please click here to subscribe.

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