It’s really no surprise that you should be kind to yourself, right? But that doesn’t make it easy…
What exactly does it even mean to be kind to yourself? And how can you make it a habit?
Self-kindness looks a little different for everyone. But there are a few key ways that you can work on self-compassion and kindness.
Because you deserve to have a super awesome, loving, joyful relationship with yourself. And it’s absolutely possible to achieve that.
Need a hand? Take mine, let’s dive in!
5 Tips To Help You Be Kind to Yourself
1. Get Friendly With Self-Love
Self-love, my sweet friend, is the true foundation of a healthy lifestyle. And one powerful way to be kind to yourself.
Super bonus – that love only begets more kindness. Because it’s so much easier to be kind to yourself when you love yourself.
When you love yourself fiercely you feel inspired to take care of your lovely self. You’re your own best friend and you’ve got your own back. And you make choices that benefit your own best interests (including any healthy lifestyle changes you might be interested in.)
I love clinical Psychologist Deborah Khoshaba’s powerful thoughts on self-love:
“When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.” (source)
That’s a heck of a lot of goodness, eh?
That doesn’t mean that self-love is easy. In fact, sometimes it can be really hard. And it’s so important that you know that it’s absolutely normal to struggle sometimes. Your relationship with yourself will have ups and downs, just like any other relationship. And that’s ok.
Self-love is more of a continuous journey than a destination. What matters if that you make a commitment to yourself to work on loving yourself and, ultimately, being kind to yourself. Once you’ve made the commitment to love yourself everything else can start to fall into place, one piece at a time
Related: 8 Ways to Love Yourself Fiercely (Your Health Will Thank You)
2. Focus On Self-Care Activities You Enjoy
I love talking about self-care. Hello Captain Obvious! I have tons and tons of different articles about a variety of self-care activities and how they can benefit your health.
But does that mean that you should try to work all of them into your routine?
Heck no! That’s impossible. And, honestly, it would make for a pretty packed and anxiety inducing self-care plan. (Which isn’t really self-care anymore…)
Ultimately it’s all about doing what’s right for you!
If a self-care activities excites you, do it. If it makes you feel good, boom! You’re working with magic! But if you aren’t interested at all or it just doesn’t feel right, well, it’s time to say bye, bye!
Also – know that self-care should be flexible to your needs.
Self-care is an umbrella term, love! Yes, it can be things like bubble baths and massages, yoga and journaling. But it can also be a day in your pajamas watching Netflix if you need it to be.
There are no rules in self-care town. And there is no one size fits all. It’s just about responding to your personal needs and prioritizing your well-being. What that means looks different for everyone. And should be flexible so you can switch things up when you need to. That’s a pretty sweet way to be kind to yourself!
3. Allow Yourself To Slow Down
In today’s world so many of us are hustling almost constantly. You likely have a never ending list of things to do. Chores that need our attention. Goals that need chasing. Dreams that need dreaming.
Honestly, so many of us are overstimulated. Almost always on. Digesting information, making decisions and judgements calls and getting a ton done. Practically. All. The. Time. (source)
It’s really easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself.
So much pressure in fact that it can feel like you’re failing when you do slow down.
Or, at least, that’s how I felt…
Graves Disease has forced me to pump the breaks on more than one occasion. My first flare up made walking around the block incredibly difficult. Forget about functioning through a normal day like a typical adult. I had to leave my co-workers hanging after my doctor put me off work, which made me feel like a giant bag of crap.
But, surprise, I wasn’t a loser at all, I was just sick. I needed to stop so that I could focus on getting better. Which is worth more than anything! It’s absolutely possible that someday I’ll need to do that again. And that’s ok.
And you can bet your sweet bippy that, these days, I have no issue slowing down when I need to.
But you don’t need to be ill to slow down. In fact, we all need to slow down sometimes to recharge our batteries.
So, in case you need a friendly reminder:
It’s ok to slow down.
It’s ok to stop.
Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can with the cards you’ve been dealt. And, as a human being, you honestly can’t go-go-go forever.
Doing nothing sometimes is good for you. And a true kindness to yourself. (Plus, it ultimately makes you more productive and creative… so, like, win win!)
Related: Want To Stop Procrastinating? You shouldn’t! Here’s Why…
4. Re-Examine Where Your Purpose Comes From
There’s this idea that your purpose is something that exists outside of yourself. A career, a hobby, a volunteer project… Essentially, the prevailing idea is that your purpose is about what you do (typically for a living), instead of who you are.
There’s a real problem with the idea that your purpose exists as a list of accomplishments you need to achieve in order to feel like you have real value.
When your purpose exists outside of yourself it can be taken away (if it’s ever even found at all). By a layoff, a health problem, a change of heart…
The only constant in life is change. And when something that you associate with your purpose changes you likely end up with that soul-crushing feeling. “Losing your purpose” is incredibly painful. And can really kick you in the self-esteem.
Which is a shame, because changes like that shouldn’t make you feel like you’ve lost some value. Feeling worthless isn’t good for your well-being after all.
Your purpose truly has nothing to do with what you do!
What if your purpose were within you instead?
If your purpose is internal, you’ll still accomplish a ton of incredible things! Things that might align awesomely with your purpose. But you won’t need to worry about finding purpose (or losing it) because it’s right there inside you, always. And you can take it with you on all of your amazing adventures.
Re-framing the way you look at your purpose can be a huge relief.
It releases the pressures of having to find the perfect job, an amazing hobby, tons of Instagram followers… you get me! You can absolutely still strive for those kinds of things. But they’re just flowers you can water with your purpose. Not your purpose itself!
I’m by no means claiming that this will be perfectly simple. Nor will the idea always stick. Much like self-love, this kind of thinking can be difficult (because we aren’t really taught to think this way). But doing a little reflecting and working on seeing your purpose as something that comes from within is a beautiful way to be kind to yourself.
Related: The Truth About Finding Purpose And Why It’s Not About What You Do
5. Prioritize Your Mental Health
Without mental health you have no good health at all.
Your mental wellness matters just as much as your physical health. They are perfectly intertwined. When one falters the other often falls down as well. They each deserve to be respected and held at equal importance.
We all need to know that there’s no shame in experiencing a mental health concern. It’s the ultimate way to be kind to yourself!
A good way to look at it is like this:
We’ve all experience digestive upset in some shape or form in our lives, right? It happens. Our tummies can have a sensitive moment. Totally, 100% normal.
And some of us develop more extreme digestive health issues. Depending on what they are, they might come and go. Or they might stick around, require some dietary restrictions and even need medical treatment and/or medication.
Would anyone judge someone for that? Of course not! Needing to make adjustments, see a doctor or take medication to manage a health issue is normal. Because we all deserve to feel well.
Well, your brain is an organ too. And it deserves the same attention, care and love as your digestive system and the rest of your beautiful body. Whether you’re having an off day, a mental health concern that comes and goes or something that sticks around and needs extra support.
Related: This Is What Happens When You Prioritize Your Mental Health
And if you do find yourself in need of extra support, know that seeing a therapist is totally awesome!
We all need an emotional support network. Which should include the people you love and trust, like your close friends and family. But sometimes speaking with a therapist can provide amazing stress relief too. And help that no one else can truly provide.
Therapists create a safe space free from judgement. Everything is confidential. And the relationship is unique to your needs.
Philip J. Rosenbaum, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and is the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Haverford College, describes it like this:
“Therapists engage with their clients’ lives without becoming a daily part of it. Well-defined boundaries allow therapists the perspective from which to observe behaviors that friends who are involved in a client’s life may be too close to see.” (source)
Therapy can be such useful too and a beautiful way to help yourself heal if your mental health needs a boost. Almost everyone experiences mental health related difficulties in their life (this lady included). And when that happens we can all benefit from therapy.
Interested in Online Counseling?
BetterHelp is a wonderful option for anyone interested in online therapy. They offer affordable, private online counseling and provide access to licensed, trained, experienced, accredited psychiatrist and therapists. They’ll even help match you with the right counselor for your needs. How awesome is that?!
Check out www.betterhelp.com to see if they’re the right option for you.
There are so many lovely ways to be kind to yourself. Tons of self-care activities you can try, marvelous ways to be gentle with yourself and cherish your mental health, sweet little actions that will boost self-love.
Everything I spoke of today is truly so broad! And there is no one right way to approach any of them. It’s so important that you feel safe and free to do things in a way that works best for you!
Need an example? Let’s take a peek at re-examining where our purpose comes from.
Meditation might help you shift your perspective. Or maybe journaling is a better approach for you. Perhaps just going for walks and thinking works best. All of these things are wonderful! And one approach isn’t better than the other. What matters is that they feel right and work for the person who chooses to do them.
You do you lovely! If your actions are built on self-love and your intentions are to be kind to yourself you’re rocking it! No matter how you need to approach it!
What do you think about these tips? Have they inspired you to be kind to yourself? Anything that you would add to the list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Health and love,
Thought of the day: You have the right to build a personal lifestyle that works best for you! You are so beautifully unique and the activities and actions that make you feel awesome are often just as unique as you are <3.
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