How to save a life

I have been given a request,

“@helenseb would it be possible for ya to outline some simple ways people can #bekind to themselves. Its not easily done.”

So I’m going to give you 7 ways in which I try to be kind to myself. They may not work for you, heck sometimes they don’t work for me, but every now and then I do and it really helps. These are a mixture of mindfulness, CBT and faith based ideas.

Let’s start.

1) This one is something my counsellor made me do when I was undergoing CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) write down a list of POSITIVE things people have said about you, you can ask for other people to help you out on this one. Make a page of all these things and stick it up by your mirror and LOOK AT IT! People believe these things about you, I was asked to write a percentage next to each word or phrase about how much I believed it and then was asked how much I trust these people. ‘Cause like I said people say these things because they believe it, and they are looking at you with a slightly better vision.

2) I love music, I love films, I love TV and all can be inspiring, but also they can be draining. Listen and watch things that make you feel better, not all the time, but if you want a laugh watch Friends/Scrubs/Big Brother. I have a playlist that I listen to when I’m down because it makes me want to dance around the kitchen, dancing is exercise and exercise creates endorphins, endorphins make you happy,  and happy people don’t shoot their husbands. (High five to anyone who can name the film that’s a quote from – ed)

But seriously, being kind to yourself is about physically taking care of yourself too, dance around, sing loudly to cheesy songs. Watch TV shows that you enjoy and not ones that send you into a spiral of “I hate myself and I wish I was pretty/skinny/clever/stylish/fat/living in New York/had that job/could sing/was dating that famous person” and so on and so forth.

3) Say no to thought patterns. I have a tendency to spiral, one thing will happen and then the next thing I know THE WORLD IS ENDING, this is called catastrophising (this may be a made up word – ed) and I am an expert at it. Which isn’t a good thing. I have had to learn when I can feel that spiral starting and just say “No.” Literally, I will be driving somewhere, and my head will start spinning and I have to find myself saying out loud “No Helen, stop it.” This is also really hard, but I think it’s a really important part of being kind to yourself, notice when your mind is being truly awful to you, and just say ‘no, that isn’t right’. Feel free to counteract it with some of the good things people have said about you to. Stop giving yourself a mental bashing.

4) Accept compliments. I really, really suck at this. Either I tell them they are lying/being stupid or I make a joke about “haha of course I’m totes amaze balls.” Say thank you. Then repeat it to yourself (in your head) with a statement which reminds you that this person REALLY thinks this way about you.

5) Take time in your own, and I don’t just mean hanging out in your flat watching boxsets of The OC and Supernatural (guilty) I mean sit quietly, find some stillness and breath deeply for a few minutes, focus on one word joy, peace, Jesus, chocolate, whatever helps you focus, and just breath, learn how your body feels, listen to it, what feels wrong (do you need to see a chiropractor, or a doctor) what feels right. Your body is an incredible indicator for why you might be feeling off or feeling great. If you feel your mind wondering focus on your word again. But just a spend a few minutes getting in tune with your physical body as well as your mental one.

6) God has made promises to YOU, individually and as a member of the human race. He loves you, always has always will. His identity is in you, you reflect His image, recognise those things in yourself. My mum likes to remind me when I am particularly hard on myself that when I’m dissing myself I’m dissing God creation, who God has made me to be. And that just isn’t cool kids. So remember you are wonderfully and fearfully made, you are loved and you have a purpose God has promised that. Speak them our over yourself. Especially personal prophecies that may have been given to you. I was once given a vision of me as a hard core army warrior Barbie. So I like to remind myself that I am strong, and a fighter, but I’m also still a girl, still a daughter, and still sometimes need help.

7) Finally, have fun every now and then. Do something spontaneous with your friends, that are your friends because they like you and they like spending time with you.

You

Are

NOT

A

Burden

So meet up and do something fun. I’m hard on myself, which means I don’t give myself breaks to just be 25-year-old Helen and do stupid things with my friends. As I’ve said before it is a battle, with more than just your mind involved, and relaxing is important, as is recognising that you DESERVE to have fun. So go to the beach, have a wine and pizza evening, go on a date, dress up posh for a trip to Tesco. Just be nice to yourself.

 

I hope these help, and that they answer the request. Let me know if there is anything you do for yourself just to be kind.

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