Chapter 50 - Embracing Kindness

When was the last time we were kind to ourselves? When it comes to helping ourselves, kindness becomes the last thing that's on our mind. Although, the impact that kindness has on our minds and bodies should be reason enough to be kind. Kindness is not a luxury, or just something that's handy to keep around. Kindness is an essential part for our collective mental wellbeing. Now, more than ever, we should work towards building a strong and healthy environment for each other to be in.


Here goes a couple minutes of me trying to convince myself and you, that we need to be kinder to ourselves. But to summarize, please know that kindness is free. It costs us absolutely nothing to be kind. It may take up some of our energy, but it's put towards something good which feeds happy hormones to our soul, so what good is it for us to keep it to ourselves? However, I encourage you to read till the end because I put in effort writing this, but also I feel like we need a little bit of positive reading in our lives.

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I began blogging in 2018, I figured let's write down my thoughts and maybe someday I can be a writer or something. I felt dumb but also felt happy because I was doing something that I wanted to do. In 2019, I got diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood. So, my life kinda went downhill. It's taken a lot to pick myself back up, and that's solely because I was running up the wrong hill when trying to pick myself back up. I kept trying. to go back to the old me, when it was time for me to grow into a new me. And that's something I am learning every single day, I need to be kinder to the new me. The present me, not the 5 year ago me, not the 5 month ago me, not the 5 hours ago me. The present me. I need to be kinder to myself on this journey of self-growth. Because some days are going to be rough, other days are going to be worse, and we're going to have a few days of sunshine in between.


So my loves, I just speak from the heart in this blog - as I do in every blog. It's a journey I'm still on - but be kinder to yourselves. Choose your mental wellbeing over anyone else's. Put yourself first and foremost, regardless of your situation. Because, as cliche as it sounds, you literally cannot pour from an empty cup, so drink up fam. Once you're good with being kind to yourself, look around you and help those around you. A big reason why I keep blogging, despite wanting to hide when having tough days, is because I hope to help someone's life, not drastically, I'm no therapist or anyone as important, but I hope to have someone read my blog and think that they are not alone in this. Other people go through similar thoughts. And if they see that I'm going through. a tough time but still encouraging kindness, maybe they would want to be a little kinder to themselves and love themselves? Just maybe. A girl can dream.

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Remember the start of COVID? Where we were checking in with our feelings? Making sure we took care of our bodies, minds and souls? Remember when we would plan game nights, movie nights or just regular zoom calls to stay in touch with one another? When the world just pressed pause so we could get ourselves together and get back on track? Why can't we live like that every day? Why did a whole pandemic have to come for us to sit and take care of ourselves and be kinder to ourselves?


Why can't we go back to that? Kindness isn't repulsive. If you think kindness is repulsive, just stop reading, go away and be the demon that you are. Kindness is something you can't really verbalize, it's an act that helps us feel good both mentally and physically. It strongly aids in relieving anxiety and depression, it protects our fragile hearts and according to an article I once read, it also slows down the aging process. WHO DOESN'T WANT TO BE YOUNG FOREVER? JUST BE KIND. Jokes aside, to sum it up, kindness just makes us healthier, both mentally and physically, as well as happier.


Kindness (a positive act) promotes the 'feel-good' chemical serotonin that is stimulated within our little minds, whereas, being stressed (a negative act) has a negative effect on our health. But what happens when you're stressed out, and someone extends their help? You feel nice. What happens when you're stressed out, and you take a deep breath and tell yourself you got this, just focus on things one step at a time? You may start getting things done. Similarly, what happens when you're stressed and someone gives you more work? You feel horrible. What happens when you're stressed out and you keep telling yourself to do better and quicker and keep putting yourself down? You try to get things done, but feel like shit tbh. What I'm getting at is stress can be countered by kindness. So just be kind baby.


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So how can you practice being kind? There is obviously no right answer to this question - but here are a few ways that you can be kinder to yourself, and a few ways that you can be kinder towards others.


To yourself:

  1. Celebrate your accomplishments: Take the time to recognize your achievements. You're in this race of doing your best that you sometimes never stop to look back at how far you've come. Take pride in your accomplishments, even the small ones, as this boosts your self-confidence and also will help motivate you achieve more!

  2. When you make a mistake, don't call yourself names: for the love of God, don't. Calling yourself dumb, fat, loser, stupid are all ways of wounding your self-esteem. This is known as 'labelling' and can worsen depression and anxiety. Replace the negative words with a positive thought. You aren't dumb, you just don't understand a certain thing but can read up on it and be better at it. We need to remember that self-talk is almost constant, if not aloud, we're always engaging with the voice inside our head, even if we don't realize it. So speak about yourself kindly to yourself.

  3. Say nice things about yourself to other people: Adding on from the previous point, never say bad things about yourself to others. Always build yourself up in front of others. You don't need to be telling yourself you suck and then telling others you suck, cz to be fair, you don't suck. You may lack ability to do something, but you are not shitty, you know? Basically, all I ask of you is to shift the narrative, cut down the negative talk.

  4. Allow yourself to relax, guilt-free: Some of us need to prove to ourselves that we deserve a holiday, or deserve to take a break. And if we're caught taking a break, we make excuses as to why we are not deserving of it and have not done enough to be sitting and relaxing. Chill out. If you want to relax, then just relax. You're allowed.

  5. Consider how much you have grown: This is a big one. And also kinda ties into the first point but take a moment to self-reflect, maybe once a month or once a quarter if necessary - but take a moment to consider how much you've grown. Think of tough situations you were in that you were able to overcome, think of a moment you were super anxious and how you got through it, think of how you handle things in the present as opposed to how you used to handle things in the past. Be proud of yourself. You're doing an amazing job.

Towards others:

  1. Be kind to unkind people: These are the people that need it the most. It's easy being kind to people that you like, but choose to be kind to people you don't like. When someone is unkind - whether they are rude or annoying, we immediately think to stoop to their level. I say, don't. Don't stoop to their level. Be kind to them, show them that in a world full of demons, angels exist too.

  2. Express empathy: Sometimes people just need you lend an ear, they just need to know you understand what they are going through. As small as the situation may be, be empathetic, understand that their situation is causing them certain emotions. Again, help if needed - but also, just be there for them. It means a lot!

  3. Give people your full attention: Put your phone down when someone is talking to you. Listen closely to what others have to say. Help them if required! Let them know you are there for them if they ever needed you.

  4. Give them a hug: Honestly, sometimes you don't need to say anything to anyone. Sometimes all someone needs is a hug. They may or may not cry. Just let them be, take a deep breath and hold them tight. P.S: this only works if you have that kinda relationship with the person - please do not go hugging random people cz I said so.

  5. Do the small things: You really don't need to do something extravagant to be kind. You can help someone finish a task, you can help your wife with the dishes, you can help your husband with his laundry. Do the small acts of kindness.


I strongly believe in the power of kindness. It determines our personality, and helps us with being empathetic as well as creates a healthy environment for people to be in. I also very strongly believe that people are just quick to get sucked into the toxicity the world has to offer and that we're too quick to dive into negative thoughts - but I truly believe people have the capability of being kind.


As of recently, life has been filled with uncertainty, fear, anger - but just remember we are not powerless, we have the power of kindness. We can always choose how to treat ourselves, how to talk to ourselves, how to treat others and the attitude with which we can approach life. So please, I humbly request you to choose your approach from a place of kindness. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for it.


Lots of love,

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Sara Haseeb,

xo


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As my 50th chapter on my blog, I gotta say thank you once again. I usually just need a singular person to say they related to my post for me to start drafting another, so thank you for encouraging me to keep writing. Thank you for sticking by me. Thank you for letting me be vulnerable and opening myself up to you. Thank you for letting me be your self-proclaimed best friend and therapist. Hope you're doing well today, give yourself a hug from me and love yourself always x

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