I woke up this morning to the awful news of the terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. My heart goes out to all those affected by such a tragic incident that should never have happened. It got me thinking, as most tragedies do, about how we should all keep our loved ones as close as we can because we never know what is going to be round the corner. I truly hope those parents with missing children or have lost their children can find peace. I cannot even imagine the pain they must be suffering. We saw some wonderful acts of kindness as all people fled to help, with taxi drivers offering free fares to safety and hotels opening their doors to people who needed it most. Know that although something so evil has happened, there was love and kindness around at the time and this can help people to try to remain positive.
But is it only in a tragic event that we should be kind? Surely this should be done in your every day life? Many people practice kindness often, but frequently we forget just how important it can be. Smiling at someone in the street could quite possibly change their day from a bad one to a not-so-bad-after-all one. I see people writing about how we should buy a homeless person a coffee or pay for someone’s shop at the till for them, which are wonderful acts of kindness, but more often it is the little things that really help lift each other’s spirits, especially in difficult times such as today in Manchester.
But wait a minute… what about the most important person in the world? YOU? Why am I leaving you out? Why are YOU leaving you out?
Taking care of yourself should be the first thing on your list. It often isn’t as we are all busy with something that we deem more important, whether that be work, the kids or the dogs. You may be a full time carer of someone you love, or you may be sucked into a busy career that leaves you little time to think of anything else. Sometimes just the daily grind of life can wear you right down and leave you feeling low, tired and worse than usual. So who can fix it? YOU can.
To look after yourself is super easy. All you need is a list of things that you enjoy to help lift your spirits and that take you away from whatever it is that is wearing you down for a while. I’m not saying to neglect your responsibilities, but find some time during the day that you can allocate just for you. For me, my job wears my down during the day and sometimes I have to bring piles of work home (especially during the end of the school year when assessments need completing and reports need writing!) but also my general anxiety that I battle everyday can add to my already tiring job. I ensure that every evening I only work if I absolutely HAVE to and that I take some time out for myself. Here are some of the things that I do, but your list could be anything!
- I have a horse riding lesson every 2 weeks at the weekend. This is something I do by myself and holds personal achievements for me.
- I take a bath once a week. I take a good book upstairs, light some candles and sometimes even treat myself to a face mask. I usually try to bath for around an hour as then I feel well and truly relaxed (and slightly like a prune too).
- I take some time to spend with my partner and my dogs. We walk them in our local country park and this is a place of comfort for me as it is where I used to run (a habit I ought to get back into) and a place I found areas that I liked to just sit and ‘be.’
- I find ways to treat myself. Sometimes I’ll just buy myself some flowers (lilies are my favourite) because who needs someone else to buy flowers for you? Not me!
- I keep a positive log. I know that there has to be something positive even in the darkest days.
Just remember, you are the only you. You can’t be anyone else nor can anyone be you. So make the most of it. You’re beautiful, amazing, kind and the best. Keep that with you, no matter where you go or what you go through in life. Sadly, awful things happen in this world. So try to keep positive as wherever there is darkness, there is always a light somewhere shining brighter.