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It is easy to put too much pressure on ourselves in a world that encourages us to strive for more. Now, up until a certain point, it's okay to set goals and work towards them; the problem is when the energy and time you put towards that takes from the energy and time that you need for yourself. We can become so obsessed with achieving a specific goal that we put too much pressure on ourselves and come to hate who we are. 

The situation of forgetting to be kind to oneself tends to happen a lot to college students. College students have many responsibilities, such as taking classes, studying, extracurriculars, working, and many more things. We all have goals such as and we need to be organized and work towards them in order to achieve them. 

There are times when we barely get any sleep and forget to eat. All of that is inevitable every once in a while during the semester—especially during "hell weeks." However, there is a thin line between putting pressure on yourself and being too hard on yourself. 

Being kind to yourself involves being flexible with yourself and with how you feel. As explained by Psychology Today, "Self-kindness refers to acting in kind and understanding ways towards ourselves." Here are a few things you can do to be more kind to yourself.  

1.) Get in touch with yourself

It is easy to get caught up in our daily routines and forget to make time for ourselves. Getting in touch with yourself can look like many different things. One of my personal favorites is journaling while listening to music and sitting outside. That time journaling allows me space to reflect on my life, my actions, and overall, understand myself better. Make sure to find some space during your day or week; reflect and be by yourself while you think about your life. 

2.) Share your feelings

It seems easier to bottle up our feelings instead of sharing them with others. Sometimes we don't share our feelings because we don't want to be perceived in a certain way or don't want to bother others. The truth is that the more we keep those feelings to ourselves, the more damage they can cause us. Make sure to choose the right listener, like someone you trust, and share with them how you feel. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to what we have to say. Pretty often, when we do so, and we receive feedback, we feel better about ourselves.

3) Recognize your achievements 

Recognizing our achievements is important to see and understand what we are capable of. According to the Mirriam Webster Dictionary, an achievement is "a result gained by effort." It is important to understand that achievement can look like many different things. Sometimes we can focus too much on the goals that we haven't achieved, and we forget all the great things we have done throughout our lives. These achievements are not only in the academic sense, but achievements in you as a person, achievements in extracurriculars, achievements in your community, and more. Use those past achievements as motivation for everything you can do in the future. 

Remember that it is okay to take a break. It's okay not to feel energetic and happy all the time. Take things one step at a time. Be kind to yourself because you deserve it. You got this! 

Valeria is an English Literature undergraduate student also doing a minor in Writing and Communications at UPRM. She loves to play the ukulele, sing, travel, read and share with her family and dogs. Valeria is part of the General Student Council at UPRM where she is also the student senator by the Department of Arts. She is also a musicals enthusiast and dreams about moving to NYC.
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