If you’ve read my previous article on not knowing, you’ll be aware that I’m trying to accept the unknown instead of letting it be a burden or hardship. That said, there’s a tricky balance to be struck in being kind to yourself and babying yourself.

On my hunt to figure out the key to life, I’ve definitely fallen into self-help and grand ideas of being kind to myself to counteract all the horrible things I’d say about me, to me. Unfortunately, that turned into babying and allowing myself to sit in my feelings—this lead to not growing. It led to ideas without action. Thoughts without real hope behind them. Numbness and discontent and lethargy.

Whatever it takes, take a hard look at if what you’re allowing yourself to do now is hurting or harming you in the long run. You don’t have to be able to love yourself all the time (though it’s great to work towards). There will be better and worse days, but take a minute to read this chart and think about where you’re at:

When to be hard on yourself When to go easy
You’re using pain from months ago to justify your actions. If you’re having a hard time coping with a hardship, don’t be ashamed. Reach out to a friend or try an app like Talkspace. You’ve just had your heart broken—lost a loved one, friend, boyfriend. Take time to grieve.
To make yourself feel better, you drink and eat whatever you want all the time—you can be kind to yourself without having chocolate cake for breakfast every morning. It’s been a really rough day—we all have them, let yourself be in it.
You’re being so nice to yourself and never doing anything you don’t feel like doing, and it’s hurting your friendships/career. You don’t want a salad or to go to the stupid gym—don’t. If you’d be better served taking some time off, don’t waste time hating yourself for not going. Instead, do what you really want to do. Read a book or do a face mask and accept that not being perfect in your habits doesn’t make you a bad person
After “taking care of yourself” by whatever your own means are, you still aren’t happy. If you’re feeling sad—don’t take it out on yourself. It doesn’t make you ungrateful or lazy or messed up. (Note: this is where I’ve gotten into trouble. While you’re feeling down, doing anything seems impossible. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on how, after a year, I’m finally trying to change my habits and be tougher on myself.)

So many people are going to throw their ideas at you—where they think you should be emotionally and what they think you should be doing. This post is intended to give guidance from my personal experience and help bring people out of similar places I’ve been.

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