As we all know it is mental health awareness month. Literally bringing a sense of hope to those suffering and reminding them they are not alone while also reminding the world that mental health is a real serious illness – I feel that. Reading what the Mental Health Foundation wrote the topic chosen for this year is kindness #kindnessmatters
This got me thinking; kindness is something that you think people should already know, what you give out to the world is going to impact either the environment, animals and people. I have always thought I was a kind hearted person, I give everyone a chance maybe one to many but hey sometimes people fuck up the first time, I was vegetarian for years and then turned vegan three years ago (not saying if you eat meat you are not a kind hearted person, I would never push my ethical views onto another a person!) like I said I do believe I am a good person to others and to the world I live in.
However, like many of us I am sure I am not kind to myself. I give advice like I am a qualified life therapist, I can see what they are doing wrong and see what they need to do in order to make it right; yet I can never take my own advice. WHY? Why am I and I’m sure many others out there not able to take their own advice. We can see we are in that dark place but we are unable to analyse, take time and process our thoughts, think back to what you told someone some deep emotional help, you wrote it out like you are the agony aunt everyone comes to BUT NOPE – that advice is not going to work for my own situation. Its ridiculous but it happens every time, so why is this? Well lets look at the facts when we are helping others we are seeing it as an external point of view; we are not as emotionally involved therefore, we can rationalise and see the bigger picture. When it is our own problems we are in the internal point of view, our emotions are overpowering and stopping us being able to rationalise and see the bigger picture. Psychologists came up with the idea of fundamental attribution error – which is the tendency for people to underemphasise situational explanations for an individual’s observed behaviour while overemphasising dispositional and personality-based explanations for their behaviour. The way I understand this is lets say my fiancé dropped a glass of something (alcohol probably) I would then start calling him butterfingers however, if I dropped the glass I would blame anything for me dropping the glass expect myself.
So because the theme is kindness we need to start being kind to ourselves – I know its a lot harder then just saying we should be kinder to ourselves but if we do not try, we will never know that our own advice is fucking amazing and actual works.
There are 25 ideas for acts of kindness that have been wrote by Healthy Telford and they fit in perfectly with the theme of this years mental health. These are for you to do to others and you should show acts of kindness to others especially in the time we are in now with the pandemic, the uncertainty. But I think we should apply some of these to ourselves – so I have changed a few to apply to being kind to oneself.
- Tell yourself you are enough
- Give yourself some recognition
- Take some timeout for some self care
- Eat that food and drink that drink the voice in your head tells you not to (and keep it down, because you deserve to nourish your body)
- Forgive yourself
- Respect yourself
- Believe in yourself
- Accept yourself
- Realise you can have compassion yourself
- Treat yourself
It is only 10 steps, easy right?. Nope it is not easy but remember if you are unable to do any of these be kind ideas to yourself DO NOT think you are a failure. Recovery is going to have ups and downs, it is not linear and if you relapse that is okay; you are not alone in this that is something we all need to remember.
Why not do something kind for someone you know, make someone smile and start the process of being kinder to yourself because we all deserve it even if our demons say we don’t.
Stay safe Lots of love