It may seem a bit silly at first. If someone asks us, “Are you kind to yourself?” we might be shocked to realize we don’t immediately answer, “Of course!” We are often shocked to discover that kindness is not a thing we give to ourselves. As children we are taught to be kind toward others and extend the same kindness towards them as we would want toward ourselves. Unfortunately, we aren’t really ever taught how to extend that kindness toward ourselves. Instead we sit waiting for someone else to treat us the way we need or expect to be treated.
Self-kindness practices can be a bit awkward. After so many years of not practicing self-kindness, it feels a bit strange. Mental health disorders like addiction and alcoholism come with a lot of patterns of shame and guilt. It is likely that not only have we not practiced self-kindness, we’ve practice a lot of self-hatred. Reversing that pattern and creating new behaviors is an awkward struggle, especially when we have trained ourselves to believe we aren’t worthy of it.
Two HUGE ways to practice self-kindness include:
Everyone makes mistakes, we often say to friends in need of consolation. Except for me, is what we usually whisper to ourselves in the innermost parts of our minds right after. The voice is usually subtle, subdued, and hardly noticeable. Instead, it weaves its ways into our every thought and behavior toward ourselves. How exactly do you forgive yourself and feel forgiven? Start by letting the small things go and creating an action plan for letting the big things go. If you find behaviors that need changing, like you are late for work every day, encourage yourself to make that change.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all through adulthood we received those same gold stars we did as children? Even as adults, we need confidence boosters and reminders that we’re doing a good job. You can give yourself a gold star whenever you need. In fact, buy yourself the stickers and create a sheet to reward your small accomplishments during the day. Congratulating yourself and reminding yourself of the great person you are might seem strange, but it is better than criticizing and blaming yourself for not doing or being good enough. You are enough, and that’s enough!
Aurora Recovery Centre is here to support you every step of the way as you walk the path to lifelong sobriety. From detox services to sober living, Aurora provides quality, holistic, comprehensive care to men and women seeking transformational life change. Call us today for more information on how you can start loving yourself again. 1-844-515-STOP.