Are you kind to yourself?
Some of the most generous, caring, and wonderful people in the world forget to look after themselves too. However, if you’re not giving yourself the kindness you deserve, you can’t expect to enjoy a healthy level of emotional and spiritual wellness.
So, how do you show yourself some much-deserved kindness?
Like most things, the transition often starts with something small. You can start by simply recognizing when you’re having a difficult day and giving yourself permission to experience your emotions freely.
Consider these simple steps you can take to be kinder to yourself:
1. Forgive yourself. This might seem simple, but it’s often the hardest thing for many people to do. When someone we love makes a mistake, we’re keen to jump in and forgive them. Yet somehow, we’re often too hard on ourselves and refuse ourselves that same forgiveness.
- Although you might not be able to automatically forgive yourself as quickly as you’d like, it’s important to start practicing as quickly as possible.
- The next time you find yourself being angry with something you’ve done, said, or thought, take a step back. Ask yourself how you would respond to a friend who had done the same thing. If you would forgive someone else, try to forgive yourself too.
2. Nourish your physical health. Nourishing your physical health requires a constant commitment. However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems.
- For example, the next time you have lunch, ask yourself if you can choose the slightly healthier option. If you’re too tired to make something from scratch, ensure that you have some frozen meals ready to go, instead of picking up some fast-food.
- Think about how you can add small bits of extra physical activity into your day too. For instance, could you walk to the store rather than driving there? Not only will you get some extra exercise, but you’ll also save money on fuel and reduce your impact on the earth too.
3. Get help when you need it. It’s easy to assume that you’re on your own when it comes to dealing with difficult things. However, help is often around if you’re willing to ask for it.
- If you’re struggling at work with a range of tasks that are too much for you to handle on your own, speak to your boss and ask for guidance.
- If you’re worried about your anxiety levels or mental health, don’t hide in your room and try to “get over it” on your own. Speak to a therapist or talk to your doctor about your options. Getting the right help when you need it can save you weeks and months of pain.
4. Spend time with loved ones. Want to make being kind to yourself seem easy? Spend some time with the people you love. They’ll automatically treat you with the compassion you deserve and help you to see why it’s so valuable to look after yourself.
- If you’re beating yourself up about something, your friends and relatives can also make it easier to look at the problem from a different perspective.
- Human beings are naturally social creatures. Spending time with others is one of the best things you can do to make yourself feel good and nurture your emotional health. It’s also a great way to prevent yourself from isolating when you’re feeling down.
5. Add self-care to your calendar. We often find it difficult to carve time out of our busy schedules for self-care on a regular basis. If you’re struggling to find time to look after yourself, it might be worth adding a dedicated “self-care” day to your routine. Mark it into your calendar just like a meeting at work.
- During your self-care day, you can do anything you like to make yourself feel good. This might mean having a nice bubble bath and reading a book or watching your favorite movie. Self-care can even involve exploring things like deep breathing and relaxation.
6. Sleep well. Ensure that you get enough sleep each night. 7-9 hours is an opportune amount for most adults.
- Sleep quality counts too. The better you sleep, the more you’ll be able to handle the everyday challenges you face, without feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine, a dark bedroom, and a comfortable bed. Avoid screens, alcohol, caffeine, or a heavy meal shortly before retiring.
- Finally, when you want to give yourself an emotional, physical, and spiritual boost, grab your blankets. Some extra sleep can sometimes be a crucial part of resting and recharging in your day-to-day schedule.
Being kinder to yourself comes with a host of benefits! Do something nice for yourself each day, and soon you’ll be enjoying it as a regular part of your daily routines.