Navigating Self-Kindness Through Depression

As promised, I’ve been making extra efforts to be kinder to and more supportive of myself. I remind myself regularly that what I do and what I make are good and have value. I’m critical of myself where self reflection and criticism are necessary, but I make every effort to not speak to myself like a middle school bully.

It’s difficult. I have years and years worth of practice being mean to myself and none showing kindness. It’s especially difficult when my brain chimes in and tells me for whatever reason to just not be happy.

This happens more often than you might think – I’ll be perfectly carefree and contented and then out of nowhere my brain will shut the party down; all I’ll be able to focus on is social interactions I’ve mishandled or things I’m discontent with.

My brand of depression is relatively mild compared to a lot of other people; I can usually sleep it off or chat it out with a good friend or my husband and be okay… This also comes after a bunch of therapy and fair amount of self-reflection. Regardless, I wouldn’t say that my depression is severe.

Still, it’s all the more difficult to remember to be kind to myself when sometimes it feels like even my own mind wants me to be cruel.

I’ve been countering this by leaning into it. Telling myself that it’s okay to feel crummy, it’s even okay to feel crummy for no reason at all. It happens to a lot of people and it’s no reason to let yourself become mean. If it’s not alright for others to lash out at me when they’re in a bad place, it’s definitely not alright for me to do it to myself.

It’s not easy and if I’m being very honest it feels counter intuitive sometimes, but I’m doing my best and that’s not nothing.

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