Learning to Be Nice To Yourself

Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like you just can’t get anything right? You know, when you’re struggling just to get something down pat, only to fail. And father than allow yourself the mistake, you beat yourself up for it?

You’re not alone, here. I do it too.

With that being said, how to we nip that habit right in the bud? How do we, instead of getting frustrated with ourselves so easily, learn to take a deep breath and say, it’s okay. I can do this. 

I say, with practice. Naturally, it’s easier said that done. But, I bet you can do it.

Okay, so how?

Let’s take when you’re new at something, for example. Often, you don’t pick something up right away. Do you remember when you first learned how to drive? Chances are, you didn’t do perfectly the first second you got behind the wheel. However, over time, you’ve managed to not only brake easily, but also feel comfortable driving around other cars. Therefore, we have to learn that since we’re new at something, we need to give ourselves a chance to get used to everything — whether it may be a new job or even a semester.

Patience, people.

Furthermore, we also need to work on learning to be nice to ourselves. That means giving ourselves a break when things don’t go right. That means changing our inner dialogues so that we can instead focus on what we learned from the mistakes that we made instead of yelling at ourselves. That means changing our outlook.

It also means giving ourselves a break.

At the end of the day, not everyone is perfect. Not everyone is going to be the top of the class, or adapt to something easily. And, that’s okay. It doesn’t meant that they aren’t good at it. It means that they are human.

Therefore, everyone — myself included — should take note.

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Words

It seems like words surround us wherever we go. They are what compiles our thoughts, and what makes up every book and article that we read online. Words make up the blog post that you are reading right now.

Despite the fact that words are a wonderful and beautiful thing, they can also be harmful.

But, you know the old saying. Sticks and stones may break my bones, while names will never hurt me.

Whoever said that didn’t live in the age of social media. I don’t know about you, but words have a bigger impact on me than any physical blow can. If you break your leg, you get a cast, and over time it heals. However, what’s different about words is that they have the ability to stay with you for almost an eternity.

With that being said, the words that we speak to each other — and to ourselves — are crucial to our mental health. This dialogue — both inner and what we speak to each other — can have a much bigger impact than any of us can imagine.

Let’s talk about our thoughts for a second. Now, our thoughts are something that can frame our perception on the world and the events around us. And, sometimes we have negative ones. Those thoughts ring to the tone of self doubt, and self consciousness. You know those thoughts where you feel like you can’t do anything, simply because you’re not good enough. Or even awfulizing every situation that you’re faced with. With those thoughts swirling in your head, it can be hard to stand up to all of the positive ones.

Imagine this — you erase all of your thoughts into positive ones. Easier said than done, right? But, you can somewhat make it happen, step by step. It can start by saying to yourself I’m awesome and I can do anything. Furthermore, it can even turn into a repeated version of saying nice things about yourself.

Furthermore, thoughts have the power to spiral. You know those anxious thoughts

In addition, I also would like to point out that we need to work on the things that we say to others, for those also have an impact. It can be the minor things, such as backhanded compliments (you know, someone saying that dress is nice, however it’s not my taste. But on you it’s nice!) social media comments, or flat out insults. Furthermore, this also includes saying something to someone out of anger. You know, calling someone a bitch or a loser. You never know what that can come off as sometimes. Therefore, it’s important to watch your words — no matter what the situation may be.

In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Month, I’m asking that we take a moment to press edit. Whether that may be that moment when you’re trying on a dress and thinking that you’re ugly because you’re not a size zero. Or, that moment when you’re having an argument and might say something in anger that you normally wouldn’t say. Those words might just have a bigger impact that you can imagine. And, once they are out, sometimes you just can’t take them back.

In those moments, let’s try to reframe ourselves. For example, if you’re feeling anxious and the thoughts spiral, try to press pause and take a breath and reframe the thought. Or, if you’re arguing with your boyfriend for whatever reason, instead of saying something mean, take a moment and say ‘do I really feel this way?’ Chances are, you don’t.

So, let’s work on our inner and outer dialogue. And, let’s work on making them positive ones.

Why It’s Okay to Unfollow Someone

It’s safe to say that I practically grew up with social media. In middle school, I would stand in front of a mirror (or with a friend) and throw up a duck face. #classy I then would edit the picture using Picnic, throw up a cheesy quote, and then dedicate an entire Facebook album to those edits.

However, social media has created the argument of etiquette. It has become an arena of constant statuses, where whenever you log on, you see see several statuses and photos all at once. All of a sudden, you can see the thoughts of every person you’re following in your newsfeed.

Sometimes, this is a good thing. But have you ever had a friend that just made you feel upset or angry whenever you log in. Or, have you ever had someone that just makes you feel depressed every time that you log in.

I bet you have at least one name in mind. But, here’s the thing — you don’t have to deal with it.

Hence the unfriend/unfollow button.

One of the reasons why I am consistently struggling with is the fear of confrontation of this person. I know this is a strange thing, but what if you encounter them on the street one day and they ask you why you unfollowed them? I don’t know what the likelihood of that happening actually is, but hey you never know.

However, at the end of the day, I’ve come to realize this. If something doesn’t make you happy 95 percent of the time, chances are you might need to do a cleanse of them. Admittedly, I forget that I have the power to do so.

Recently, I’ve encountered this dilemma. I would see this person’s posts, and suddenly hop on a bus into self doubt lane where I would just feel badly about myself. Therefore, I decided to unfollow this person. Doing so caused me to feel so much better about myself.

With that being said, I do realize that in this scenario I should have taken this as an opportunity to practice positive self talk. But, at the same time, I have learned one thing in therapy — if something doesn’t make you feel okay or happy, then you are allowed to do what is best for you. This may not make sense to others, but at the end of the day, if you’re happy that’s all that matters.

Furthermore, let me raise this point — we are on social media a lot. Chances are, it’s the first thing that you do when you wake up, and you’re on it a few different times a day. This is a lot of stimuli.

Thus, this will have an effect on your day without a doubt. But, what is cool about this is that we can control it. We can control who and what we see. And, if something does bother us, we have the power to try to change it. 

Therefore, no matter what your situation may be, don’t be afraid to hit unfollow if the situation calls for it. Whether it may be an exboyfriend, a friend who leaves mean comments, or otherwise, chances are it will make you feel better.

Why Are We Thinking So Much?

One of the things that I can win an Olympic gold medal for, if it ever were to become a sport in the games, would be overthinking. Sometimes, it’s amazing how easy I can fall into the rabbit hole of thoughts. However, what’s even more unremarkable, is how difficult it is to slip out of that thought tornado.

Recently, I’ve begun to think about “overthinking.” Why do we do this to ourselves? And, most importantly, why can’t we just turn off our brains for just one hour and live life without thinking about it?

I don’t have that answer. And, it’s certainly not that easy. With that being said, I do have a theory of where it could stem from.

Sometimes, in life we have bad experiences — a relationship that went wrong, or a job that you weren’t right for.

With that being said, while we may grow from those experiences, they still stay with us in some way,  shape or form. We want to prevent that from happening again. Therefore, we question every little thing that we do, in the hopes that we can prevent that experience from occurring again.

Furthermore, I think overthinking comes from a self doubt that exists within us. That could come from pretty much everywhere — a comment from a girl in high school telling you that you look fat in your bathing suit during gym class, a boyfriend telling you that you’re not good enough or a boss questioning whether or not you actually learned something when you were in college. Or, it can come from a healthy diet of social media and People magazine.

Whatever the case may be, once that seed is planted, it becomes very difficult to rip it out. But, it can be done.

So, I’ve developed a little list to help me whenever I begin to overthink things. I’ve tried a few of them, and they do help. Therefore, I hope that it helps you as well:

  • Remind myself that it’s okay to make a mistake, and just because you’ve made a mistake doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. There is no perfect human being in this planet (not even Blake Lively), therefore you’re allowed to make mistakes.
  • Be honest. Text a friend/boyfriend or talk to your dog, and say “I’m overthinking, because of this.” Chances are, they will reassure you that everything’s okay. Or, your dog will ask you for a belly rub.
  • Go do something else. Watch a movie, read a book, go for a run, or scroll on Instagram. Whatever it takes to make you forget about what you’re thinking, do it.
  • Remember that nothing is as bad as you think it is. Remember when you were dreading going back to school for whatever reason — you got a bad haircut or you weren’t prepared for a test — and it didn’t end up as being as bad as you think. The same applies to this. Chances are, you didn’t screw everything up. Just repeat that over and over again.
  • Last but certainly not least, treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. That way, you’ll start to feel good — and forget the bad.

The Importance Of Being Your Own Advocate

One of the hardest things for me is to speak up for myself. Meaning that, whenever I am faced with a conflict, I always find it hard to say that I am in fact not okay with the current situation, and instead just go with the flow.

This happens so many times to me, leading me down a path where my feelings are pushed aside. I don’t know why I do this — maybe it’s fear of conflict? Or, maybe it’s because I am worried that some negative consequence would happen to me if I spoke my mind. Whatever the case may be, I’ve decided that I need to be my own advocate.

While I don’t know the source of how this became a habit, I do know what I can do to break it. First, I can try to say how I feel. This was always a struggle for me. I often worry that when I say that I’m not okay with the situation, it comes off as complaining. However, it’s not the case if you do it right. For instance, if you use words such as “I feel” or “I am not comfortable” versus exploding and yelling tends to get you somewhere. Additionally, making sure you don’t use accusatory statements when trying to get your point across. Those always tend to end badly, because it quickly makes the other person more defensive — which is never productive.

Furthermore, it’s important to use the word “no” and create boundaries. There are many ways that this could be done. For example, if you are working on a group project — whether you are in school or at work — and someone is making you do more than your fair share, speak up. Or, if you have someone in your life who constantly wants you to go above and beyond for them — but whenever you need them they are nowhere to be found. You want to say no — but you feel bad. Therefore, you say yes — no matter what the reasoning may be. And, when you say yes, in some cases you become unhappy.

In this situation, I’m learning the importance of standing my ground — and sticking to it. Why? Well, if you’re not seeing yourself as important, then no one else well. And, if you’re not listening to what you want, chances are at a certain point, you’ll become miserable.
And, you don’t deserve that.

Remember when you were in elementary school, and you were bullied on the playground? Well, if it was important to stick up for yourself then, then it’s even more important to stick up for yourself now as an adult.

So, the moral of all of this?

Learn to listen to yourself — and stick to your guns. Believe in yourself, and become your own advocate.

Give Yourself A Break: The Importance Of Self Care

Hi there, readers. If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been really writing here lately. Why? Well, it’s been a busy month, and suffice to say, whenever I did have the time to write a post, I would often choose watching tv.

Whoops.

It’s safe to say I needed a break. I need time to self care and recharge my batteries. This often cut into my blogging time. I write a lot about the importance of mental health and giving yourself a break, therefore, I think that’s important that I execute that. 

In my humble opinion we as a society don’t really do well with breaks. I mean, think about it for a second. We are so busy throughout the day and balance so much. For some of us, this means going to school and juggling a few jobs. For others, it means juggling around chores, a couple of jobs, and other various things. And, more and more of us are eating our lunches while we are doing work. 

And, depending on your to-do lists, it can be easily to overload it for whatever reason. I don’t know about you, but that happens to me a lot. There are a lot of reasons why this happens — we want to be able to help out the people that we care about, we want to work extra hours and make extra money, or for whatever reason, we feel guilty when we remain idle. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remember that despite what we feel like we should do, we should focus more on what’s right for us.

So, with that being said, if we are feeling overwhelmed, instead of continuing to take on more, let’s take a step back. Sure, it might not be well received, but at the end of the day, our sanity and stress levels will thank us. That is something that I continue to struggle with, but am hopefully getting better at it.

For me, whenever I put self care and giving myself a break first, I often feel terrible about it. For example, if someone asks me to do something, I often put my needs to the side. Sometimes, this can cause me to lose sight of what’s important — my physical and/or my mental health. And while I feel good about being there for that person or helping out, I can not help but notice that I begin to feel drained myself.

At the end of every day, it’s important to remember one thing: we need to do what’s best for us. No one can tell us how to feel or what is best for us. And, if they try to, then it’s simply white noise.

My take home message here? You can’t be everyone and you can’t be everywhere. Therefore, it’s healthy and crucial that you be the best you that you can be. And, that means learning to take care of you.

Those are cliche and you probably heard it before, but hey, it’s true.

Let There Be Light

Nowadays, I can safely call myself an optimist. You know, someone who sees the light in the situations — awkward scenarios, and life taking unexpected turns that left me thunderstruck. While they were the cause for worry, I always made sure that going in, hey man I try to make the best of that. I try to sit down and come up with a plan to make things better. After all, sometimes it can turn out great? Right?

With that being said, what makes someone an optimist?

To me, someone who considers themselves to be an optimist is someone that always looks to the bright side to things. She is someone who sees the benefits, which outweigh the overall pitfalls. She is also someone who sees the glass as being half full versus half empty.

For example, let’s say you’re asked to work on a Saturday or holiday. Let’s be honest — it sucks working on a Saturday. Looking on the bright side though it’s more cash in your wallet.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about optimism and pessimism. I’ve been surrounded with a lot of pessimists and people that see the downright negative in every single thing that they are surrounded with. Sometimes, I try to be the light in their darkness. Like, if a friend is complaining about something that she frequently complains about, I try to get her to see the positive or ask her what’s good about her day. However, at other times, I just try to shake it off as being an eclipse on my otherwise sunny day.

However, becoming an optimist wasn’t easy. It was the result over a year of therapy. You see, when I first entered therapy, I was as a pessimist through and through. My world at the time was full of darkness, and I wanted nothing more than to poke my heads through the storm clouds and bask in the sunlight.

My therapist taught me how to make my own damn sunlight. She would constantly ask me whenever I would complain about something, well what was good in your day? Eventually, that became a thought I’ve began to ask myself. Sometimes, whenever I would have a bad day, I would go to my journal and write a list of all of the good in my life.

With that being said, I’ve learned that while I am not in control of circumstance, I am in control of how I attack scenarios. Therefore, I try to make the best out of it. I try to smile. I try to think of ways to change it, and remember that everything does happen for a reason. And, I may not know that reason at the time, but hopefully I’ll figure it out.

Most importantly, though, I learned that I can choose to be the light or the darkness. So, I choose to be the light. After all, the sun poking out of the clouds after a lengthy storm is the first sign that it’s over right?

Right. That’s why they call it calm after the storm.