Give Yourself a Break
By Paul Rothbart
So many people tend to come down on themselves hard. They punish themselves for simple mistakes or things that may not have been their fault. Accomplishments go unrewarded or even unacknowledged. It can seem like the way to success in all aspects of life. Accept nothing less than perfection. The truth is that driving yourself relentlessly is detrimental to a healthy, happy and successful life. It is important to show yourself some compassion. Here are some ways to improve your life by giving yourself a break.
Give Yourself Comfort
You work hard, taxing your body and brain. Take some time to comfort yourself. Make yourself a delicious, healthy meal. Take a day or even a half day to just relax and to do something fun. Watch that movie you've been dying to see. Get yourself a massage or have a spa day. Whatever will make you feel comforted and cared for. Get away from the everyday stress for a while and allow yourself to relax.
If a family member or close friend experiences a setback, you are probably there for them with words of encouragement. Don't you merit the same treatment? Rather than beat yourself up when something negative happens, show some compassion. Likewise, give yourself credit for your accomplishments. It's too easy to minimize their value and move onto the next project. Take some time to acknowledge and celebrate what you've done.
Compose a Letter to You
Putting words down on paper ads to their strength. Think of a situation that has hurt you. It could be the loss of a job, the ending of a relationship, or something you feel you failed at. Sit down and write a letter to yourself. Discuss what happened in detail without assessing blame or feeling guilt. Talk about how it makes you feel. This can be very cathartic and comforting.
Mindfulness is staying in the present. It requires you to monitor your thoughts, words, and actions without judgement. Let your feelings flow. Acknowledge them without suppression. Accept your strengths and weaknesses and yourself for who you are. Continue to show yourself compassion.
Drive and ambition are wonderful things and sometimes you do need to give yourself a little kick. Don't overdo it. No one is perfect and that certainly includes you. Self-acceptance and compassion are healthy practices. They relieve stress and anxiety and can make you a happier and more productive person.
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