Be Gentle With Yourself

The world is changing. We know this. There’s not much we can do to stop it… at least that’s what it feels like. As we coop up in our houses in attempts to save the country, I can’t help but reflect on just about everything that was going on my life prior to the abrupt halt in normalcy. While self-reflection may be a good thing for some people, it’s somewhat of a nightmare for people like me. Whether it be about my education, my love life, my health, my social life, or practically anything else, I tend to overthink everything. 

Overthinking isn’t all that bad of a thing. I would much rather care too much than care too little. However, when you’re stuck in quarantine with nothing but your own mind to keep you company, it can be, for lack of better words, really scary. I haven’t felt this trapped and alone since I was in high school. Many people have expressed the toll that social distancing has taken on their mental health, and it just goes to show that as human beings we need human interaction in order to function properly.  Anna Schultz-Friends Cuddling In Holiday Pajamas Anna Schultz / Her Campus

As someone who is very hard on themselves, I always feel as though there is something more I should be doing with this one precious life I have. The fact of the matter is, there really isn’t much that can be done right now, and that’s okay. Yet, while I isolate myself in my house with nothing but my mind to keep me company, I tend to bring myself down. 

You aren’t being productive enough.

When was the last time you worked out?

You’re being too lazy.

How do you still not have that assignment done?

You’ve been on Instagram for an hour.

You’re staying up way too late.

God, I wish I was drunk right now.

Do my friends miss me? 

Does that boy still think about me?

Probably not...

Stop eating. You’re not hungry, you’re just bored.

And the list of self-hatred goes on and on and on.  Girl lying on bed alone Photo by _Mxsh_ on Unsplash

I was on a Zoom meeting with the Her Campus KU girls and before we all left the call, one member said something that really stuck with me (Deema, if you’re reading this, thank you). She said four simple words: “Be gentle with yourself.” I ended the call and quickly realized that I don’t think I have ever heard those words in my entire life. If I had applied those words to my life earlier, it would have saved me a lot of anxiety and a lot of tears.

So, as we wait for the world to go back to normal, I think we should all practice being a bit easier on ourselves. It’s okay to not have your life together right now. Humans are not meant to be isolated for weeks on end. It’s just not what we are built for. Start training yourself now to shut off the little voice in your head that shames you for watching too much Netflix. It’s going to take some persistence and accountability, but you can do it. Let’s all learn how to be gentle with ourselves, together. self-love Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media