Why It’s So Important To Be Kind To Ourselves
In the wellness world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the various remedies and things we’re supposed to be doing on a daily basis to stay well and have a healthy life. It can seem like there’s always something more we should be doing. But I believe that the most important thing we should ALWAYS do is to be kind to ourselves when we feel like we’re not doing enough.
A simple truth about wellness
Here’s the real truth – if we all felt “well” all the time, there would be no need for wellness blogs that try to tell us how to be well because hey, we’re already happy and perfect, thanks! No one is always happy, and no one is always perfect (despite what our lives look like on instagram – a post on the paradoxes of social media coming soon – HA). I’m certainly not always “well,” and neither are any of the other wellness bloggers out there. For me, the goal is to be as kind to myself as I can (easier said than done, I know) and to find a balance between accepting where I’m at now and striving to better myself + find a more balanced, healthy version of me.
Another truth – there’s an overwhelming amount of information out there around this idea of “wellness” – steps to take to get your best body, how to eat green and clean, how much water to drink, how to create the perfect morning routine, etc. etc. etc.! Millions of people have opinions on all of these things and will promise that if you just follow what they did, you will have a well and balanced life. But this, my friends, is bullshit.
Finding what works for YOU
Only YOU can find what works for you. That may seem counterintuitive to reading a wellness blog, which is essentially someone else’s ideas on how to be well, but I don’t think it is. I don’t read wellness blogs to feel like I need to do everything people are telling me – I read them because out of maybe 30 tips I read or suggestions I get from people, one will stick. Or maybe I’ve heard the same piece of advice so many times and I keep ignoring it and then all of a sudden, one more person says it and it clicks. And then that one thing will push me to start a practice that will improve my life.
But then what? What happens if we start this thing – meditation, gratitude journaling, exercising, making green smoothies in the morning, etc. – and we don’t follow through? What if we get too stressed or busy? That, my friends, is okay. That is more than okay – it’s normal, because we’re human beings. What works for us one day may not work the next. Our needs are constantly shifting.
For example, my last post was about how I started a daily gratitude journal and how it changed my perspective on life for the better. It did change my perspective, but over time I found that I didn’t need to write in it every day. I started writing in it a few times a week, and then every week or even now sometimes once a month. But it doesn’t matter! I don’t beat myself up for not doing it everyday. Some people LOVE writing in a gratitude journal everyday, but after a while of journaling daily, as I found myself internally more mindful of what I was grateful for, I didn’t always feel like I needed to write things down everyday.
So take what you will from all these tips, articles, and checklists. Try things out, implement what works for you, throw out what doesn’t and most of all be kind to yourself if your needs change. Just listen to yourself each day with an open and curious mind.
Increasing our ability to weather the storm
And sometimes we just go through tough times in life and no amount of “wellness” tips are going to make us feel well. I believe that these times in life are normal and important, too. My spell with anxiety was awful, yes, but it was also wonderful and I know it happened for a reason – I would not take it back. That time in my life is a huge part of where I am today, and I wouldn’t have started this blog if it wasn’t something I constantly struggled with. The wellness movement isn’t about feeling great all the time – it’s about cultivating little routines to help us weather the storms and be more resilient in the face of the challenges life will inevitably throw at us.
So, if you’re beating yourself up over something you’re not doing, be kind to yourself. We all need the reminder that wherever we’re at now is okay, and the kinder we can be to ourselves, the better we’ll feel. That doesn’t mean be lazy or give up because something is difficult, but we intuitively know what works for us – we just need to learn to listen. You’re doing the best you can in this moment, and that’s all we can ask for. Just take it one day at a time.