5 Simple Ways to Be Kind To Yourself in 2017


By Christine McLean

Life can be a b*tch. One minute you’re up, the next you’re down. It’s a rollercoaster ride that you never really signed up for. You have two choices: enjoy the ride, or grip on for dear life hoping that the ride will end safely. Let 2017 be the year when you choose to enjoy the ride. You only live once, and life will pass you by if you don’t loosen the grip a bit. Here are five ways to be kinder to yourself in the coming year.


It’s easy to become overwhelmed by life. The bills, family obligations, and demanding career can sap our energy and increase your stress levels.  Statistic Brain reports that 76% of Americans cite money and work as the leading cause of their stress. The American Psychological Association also reports that women report the highest levels of stress

Life will always be filled with challenges. How you choose to deal with them will determine your stress levels and potential for growth. Taking life one day at a time is a challenge, but I’ve learned to get there, even when my bank account is approaching $0 and there are still bills left to be paid. Learn to choose your battles wisely.

Things have a way of working out when you stop stressing about them. Take a deep breath knowing that you’ve done all you can. Let the puzzle pieces fit together.

Focus on YOU

Much of our anxiety results from comparing ourselves to others.  We scroll through our social media feeds and see the pictures of our friends and associates accomplishing their goals and living seemingly happy lives. These images lead to us questioning our own lives. Why can’t I own a car? Why can’t I own a home? Why can’t I build a career doing what I love? Why can’t I find love? 

Why, why, why do we allow these thoughts to consume us?

The only life you have some amount of control over is yours. Focus on your journey. One day you will be able to reap the rewards you so earnestly seek. However, you have to be patient.  Things will happen for you at the right time. 

Focusing on you also means carving out some much needed “me” time. It’s so easy to try to be everything for everyone else. However, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You’re able to give more to others when you feel refreshed and your cup is full.  Don’t feel guilty. Take some time for yourself and watch how your attitude and perspective on life changes.

Choose a Focus Word

I attend many training sessions for my job. About a year ago, a particular presenter said something that has stuck with me.  She said that each year she chooses one word to focus on for her personal development. In 2015 her word was patience.  Throughout the year she focused on making a conscious decision to be more patient. By the end of the year you’ll realize that focusing on that word helps you develop skills you never even knew you had.

Stop Striving for Perfection

Perfection is impossible. We are flawed beings. Love who you are and embrace what you have to offer to the world. There will always be someone who is better than you. Instead of focusing on that fact, focus on being the best you can be. Accept that you won’t get it right all the time, but your effort is worth something.

Pay Attention to What You’re Doing to Your Body

You only have one body. Take care of it. Investing in developing a healthy lifestyle will save you a lot of long-term health expenses.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Stop using the excuse that you function better at nights to work until the wee hours of the morning. You need your rest! Your brain functions at its best when it has gotten enough sleep.

Ingest the right food. You don’t have to become a vegetarian or vegan to eat healthy. Making a decision to only drink water, for instance, is a step in the right direction. Your body will thank you for making these healthy choices. 

The power to create the best version of yourself rests in your hands. You can only accomplish this feat if you learn how to be kind to yourself. Make a conscious decision to incorporate each of the strategies listed above into your own life.  Watch how much of a change it makes.

Christine is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.

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