I don’t know about you - but I can be so hard on myself, I’m so quick to listen to the my inner critic telling me I’m not doing enough, or successful enough or a good enough Mum. Many of the clients I work with have this self-criticism constantly running in the background - no wonder then that we feel guilty, demotivated, unhappy or even anxious.
Learning to be kinder to myself has become mission and through Motherkind I want to help others learn to be their own best friend too.
I recently wrote a list for blogger Clemmie Telford called ‘How I finally learned to be kind to myself’ and it had such an overwhelming response, I wanted to share with you 5 simple ways you can start being kinder to yourself today.
1. Start liking who you already are - sound obvious but so many of us are stuck in the ‘when/then game…when I get that job then I’ll be happy’. Problem with this is we often keep moving the goal posts so we never get there. Write a list of what you like about yourself about right now. What you’re proud of, the qualities you like about yourself. Keep adding to it everyday.
2. Affirmations - a great way to halt self criticism in its steps is to say an affirmation to yourself (bonus points if it’s out loud and in a kind voice) some of my faves are: I’m doing the best I can / all is well / I can handle it / it’s all happening perfectly
3. Learn to say no - one of the most unkind things we can do to ourselves is not respect our own time or boundaries. I’m a recovering people pleaser so I know about how strong ‘the disease to please’ can be. Practice saying no kindly when you don’t want to do something and notice what happens to your inner critic, it’s likely to get louder (they hate you now, you’re a bad person etc) - that’s really normal when you try a new behaviour, so see it as a good sign, but don’t cave in to the voice.
4. Practice mindfulness - mindfulness is a vital skill in learning to be kinder why? Because it helps you notice when we’re being unkind and even that noticing is incredibly powerful. Meditating for as little as 2 mins a day can make a difference and try setting 3 alarms a day to take 2 deep breaths to come back to the moment.
5. Talk to yourself like you would a friend - most of us wouldn’t dare to a friend how we talk to ourselves, we wouldn’t have that friend very long. Next time you go to beat yourself up about something, think about what you’d say to a really good friend and try saying that to yourself instead.
Let me know in the comments - are you too hard on yourself too? What are you tips for self kindness?