Be kind to yourself
“To be nobody-but-yourself
in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought, “I look great; I am happy with myself”? I can say that personally, my inner dialogue fluctuates daily based mainly on my emotions (and not reality).
Our feelings are not always accurate, especially when based in guilt or comparing ourselves to someone else and/or unrealistic standards. I also find that an unhappiness with my body spreads to other areas, making me feel lesser in many facets of life.
Our generation is so stressed; information is coming at us from every direction with perfection always frustratingly just out of reach. We are expected to be advanced in many ways because we have so much that past generations did not (read: the World Wide Web, Facebook, Reddit, etc.). While the expanded worldview we gain from this is invaluable, it also leads to a consuming competition between who looks the best on social media, or does more interesting things on Facebook. We forget that posts and snapshots are momentary, often posed, glimpses not into another’s life, but into a limited view of how they choose to represent their reality. Camera angles and filters can make someone look thin/happy/fulfilled, but let’s not forget the bigger picture.
‘Body image‘ is one of those catchphrases that makes many young adults roll their eyes because it’s a complex issue that often gets glossed over. However, I think that the image we internalize and tell ourselves ABOUT ourselves is so vitally important. Bigger than your body, what do you think about you as a human being? The bigger picture here is self respect.
Do you respect yourself enough to treat yourself well? That’s a concept in life I wish I had picked up at an even younger age. Taking care of yourself – whether that means listening to music and relaxing, going to a movie, taking some alone time instead of seeing friends – is not selfish. I bet if you think about it, you spend a lot of time doing things for others or making others happy—don’t you think you deserve equal treatment at the very least?
It’s fine to hold yourself to a higher standard as long as you do so respectfully and gently. Treat you more kindly. This will help put things into perspective and put the bigger picture into focus. Take a deep breath, look in the mirror and say, “I look great, I am happy with myself.” And believe it, in your very innermost core. Because you do, and you should be.
My music playlist below includes some of my empowering songs that I listen to when I need a reminder that I am doing just fine. I always use walking as my way to calm down and relax even for a short time. I will avoid public transportation and rides at all costs if it means I can walk somewhere, just me and my iPod. I used to think this isolated me from the world, and I am sure it does in a small way. But the world certainly seems at its finest when a good song is on and I have a destination in mind. It enhances that which is around me instead of diminishes it, and I will always be thankful to music for that.
And remember the Fresh Faced Friday campaign is on the 5th Sept, supporting us all to ‘Tear Up” the negative and get self and body positive – get behind it and help make a difference. You can even show your support now by signing up to their social media thunderclap today!
This blog was kindly uploaded by Tune In Not Out and contributed by Bre P., a native Wisconsinite living and learning in Australia. She has a BA in Psychology, volunteers as a social media manager at the American non-profit SARDAA and is loving the education process of living in a foreign country. She values music as an alternative way of understanding ourselves and those around us, and appreciates Tune In Not Out for the opportunity and everything it has to offer.