It has been a heavy week, month, and year to say the least. It has had its best moments, its scariest days, and its uncertainty filled times. I accomplished so much, lost friends, and re-established boundaries. I just never took the time to be nice to myself when I had failed, broken down, or burnt out.
Since I am a college student, burning out is such a weird topic to talk about, yet so many students experience it. I burnt out my first semester of my second year in college. I was so frustrated with myself, overwhelmed and I kept bringing myself down. I could go on and on about the times I - just realized - I was being mean to myself. Reflecting on my college career so far I noticed a pattern.
If there was a sudden change or uncomfortable position I would be in - I would immediately - think of the worst.
I would list about a hundred reasons why I was not capable of getting through it. Throughout the last six to nine months I have learned to tell myself, "I am not defined by my thoughts." We immediately put ourselves into this negative mindset when we are not "winning" or "thriving" in life. Yet, life is not always going to feel good, but we can control how we think.
Tell yourself you are capable, worthy, and whole.
Do not let your anxiety deteriorate your self-esteem. This one is specifically for all the beautiful girls and women reading this. We live in a society that already picks out our flaws. Do not let your self-esteem be torn apart by your harsh comments. You are a beautiful human being that is capable of many wonderful things.
Pretending that "faking it 'til I made it" was for me.
This phrase irritates me to the max. Why should we pretend that we are doing just fine - when in reality - we are falling apart? Let us focus on our well being through every passing day. Ask yourself, "Am I feeling pressured? Do I feel safe here? Is this something that will trigger my anxiety?" I am no therapist, but asking myself these questions before making a new change has helped me - especially when fear creeps into your thoughts. Ask yourself how this (new job, career, partner, or place) makes you feel.
Tell yourself you are allowed to feel fear, uncertainty, and hopelessness. But remind yourself that you are not defined by these thoughts.
Sometimes we have to feel fear for 10 minutes or two hours. Just do not let it consume your entire day. Do not go to bed feeling this fear in your chest. Write it out, call a friend, or go for a walk. Let that fear go by doing something that brings you happiness. As humans, we experience multiple life changes that bring multiple emotions. It would be hypocritical of me to tell anyone to "ignore" your emotions.
Gaslighting myself until I could not stand my own thoughts.
Did you know you can gaslight yourself? It often looks like we are suppressing our thoughts and emotions on purpose. I started noticing I would gaslight myself when my peers would tease me. I would immediately feel hurt or offended by their comment, yet tell myself I am just being "sensitive." Another example of gaslighting ourselves would be when we tell ourselves if we only were "less" or "more" of something. My personal relation to this happened when I would force myself not to stand out around particular people. "If I blend in and not speak too much, I won't cause a problem." This is not okay whatsoever. Rather than gaslighting myself, I learned to change my dialogue; "I will never be too much. I am always going to be enough."
Tell yourself, "My emotions are valid, my experiences are valid, and I am more than my toxic thoughts."
This is something I am still learning to ground. I am not perfect at catching every gaslight thought. I have learned to catch my thoughts in the middle of that moment of anxiety or fear and change my dialogue. Saying your affirmations in the morning and throughout your day can help. Write three affirmations down one week, five the next, and 10 by the end of the month. Practice them every day.
Remind yourself how amazing you are every single day.
The world is a mess. There are things out of our control. The beauty of that comes from us being alive. We wake up every day with a new opportunity to love ourselves. I encourage you to do one nice thing for yourself today. It could be as small as doing your hair, wearing your favorite green sneaker, or buying yourself a cupcake. If we are so kind to others - why can we not be just as kind - to ourselves? Send this article to someone who is having a hard time being kind to themselves. Just make sure you have been kind to yourself today.