We have heard that being kind to others will make this world a better place. But how many of us are kind to ourselves? Kindness should start from oneself. We won’t be able to show kindness to others if we aren’t kind to ourselves. On World Kindness Day, FPJ reached out to people from different age groups, to understand their journey of self-kindness.
Hanish Sugadh, 21, Social Media Executive
A few months ago, there was a time when my life was not going as per my plans. I used to overthink every part of my life. It felt like I was dead from the inside, just a living corpse in a human body without any hope of living. There were so many issues going on at that time, like unemployment, family, and friendship woes. I then realised that I was being hard on myself and that I need to take things one at a time. I decided to talk about these issues with a few friends, and gradually, with time, I started feeling better. That’s how my journey towards being kind to myself began. I understood that sometimes we need to talk to someone and need to empty our minds, and it’s okay to share things rather than suffer alone. Now, my life is on track. And, I wonder, what if I wasn’t kind to myself at that time? So, don’t suffer alone; talk to your close ones and try to feel free.
Rohit Naik, 34, Senior Sub-Editor
I am working in a media organisation and the journalism field is quite hectic. It is difficult to focus on health and mental peace and because of this, my social life has started to suffer. So, I noticed my behaviour pattern and wondered why my life was getting disturbed and how I could start focusing on my health. I started focusing on health through meditation and engaged in outdoor activities like cycling, pickleball, etc. I found an escape while playing these sports. At that time, I chose to be kind to myself. I would request that everyone take some time for themselves and do what makes them happy.
Mansi Zaveri, 40, Founder and CEO of Kidsstoppress.com
Over the years, I have learnt to be kinder to myself, to let go of unrealistic expectations and understand that “done is better than perfect”. There are so many times we go till the finish line but back off a few steps earlier fearing that it ain’t perfect. With experience (and a lot of mistakes that helped me!) I have learnt that it is okay to let go of certain societal and self-imposed expectations. Self-care is crucial, and it is about time that we, as parents, put ourselves higher on the priority list. Self care is also not only about facials, candles and deep tissue spas but also having some tough conversations with yourself and not shoving them under the carpet.
Somy Ali, 45, Actress & Founder of No More Tears
As a survivor of many incidents of abuse as a child, teenager, and in my early 20s, it took me years to undo what I was forced to believe. It took years of therapy to like myself and understand my thought process, which then led to being kind to myself. We are programmed as humans to believe and pay attention to negatives and criticisms rather than positives. My NGO is the best example of learning to be kind to myself because I can relate to abused children, women, and men. I have something that I wish we all had built into our DNA, and that is the ability to empathise with others and their pain. This work has truly taught me the meaning of kindness, which is inextricably intertwined with love. Love is always kind, and kindness is always love.
Anita Rogers, 57, Senior Guide at GetSetUp
Being kind to your own self is an important step towards positive thinking, and it comes to an individual in due course. For me, self compassion allowed me to appreciate myself enough to celebrate where I am today. I learnt this early on and it has helped me help so many others through the platform where I teach, organise and host classes for other older adults.
Meera Gandhi, 59, Philanthropist and Author
As a businesswoman, I have a hectic work schedule managing various charity projects. This has frequently resulted in my ignoring my health in the past. However, upon the break of the pandemic, things changed. I internalised this and began focusing on my physical and mental well-being. This is how my journey to be kind to myself began. Daily introspection and prayer will help shine a light on our inner divine soul and remind us who we are. In my experience, the best way I can be kind to myself, and how we can all be kind to ourselves, is by slowing down and thinking a little about what we are doing or saying to ourselves or others.
Gangadharan Menon, 67, Writer, Photographer, and Art Teacher
I got married, and after a year, we (me and my wife) had a daughter. She was born with a muscle disorder. In six months, her weight did not increase by even a half kilogram. We had to take her to the hospital every 15 days because her hands were bent inward and the doctor had to plaster them. That period of my life was tough. At that time, I thought that I should not blame myself, my wife, or anybody else for this situation. Just accept whatever reality is. And that is how I started being kind to myself. We looked out for that child for nine months, and she died in her sleep. She was dear to us. This is one of the instances where I learned to be kind to myself. I think that one shouldn’t blame themselves, because when they do, they are being cruel to themselves. They are being unkind to themselves, and this is not good for an individual.