Learn to be kind to yourself

Story: Antara Bose

With the world changing in ways that are hard to predict, everyone has to cope in different ways. Hence, it is essential that we continue to be kind to ourselves while extending a hand out to others.

1) Stop unhealthy competition – There’s a thin line between healthy competition and the kind of competition that ruins inner peace. With the pandemic disrupting what used to be normal, a lot of people have been thrown slightly off gear. At a point like this, instead of trying to peek into other’s lives or eavesdrop on a neighbor’s rant, it is important to take measures to make one’s own circumstances better.

2) Don’t heed unnecessary advice – Preachers are all around us. While we accept that some of them can give some pretty positive pep talk, there are also others that can make you feel a whole lot worse about yourself. If you’re tired of hearing how you should be productive, capitalise on free time, or master a new skill during the pandemic, know that it’s alright to let go sometimes. You don’t have to necessarily jump into action instantly, and neither do you have to fill out a timesheet accounting every waking hour. Researchers say that taking a short break from being constantly productive can actually boost your creativity later.

3) Allocate time to do things you enjoy – That can include doing nothing at all (if that’s what makes you feel better). The key is to not feel guilty when you’re indulging in some ‘me time’. If you prefer to not be disturbed, give everyone around a heads-up.

4) Be flexible – This can be difficult for people who like to stick to a routine. However, with the pandemic changing how we do everyday things, learning to be flexible is essential. If you can’t go play basketball with the team, practice some shots in the backyard instead. If your gym instructor is away, ask for suggestions on online videos you can follow. It’s important to not give up what you’re doing completely; find an alternate way to compensate.

5) Speak – If staying at home constantly is making you snappy, talk about it. It’s alright to delegate responsibilities to others in the family if you feel overburdened. If your siblings tend to get on your nerves, speak to them about giving each other space. If you’re living alone, make it a point to reach out to others on a phone or video call every day.