It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th and I wanted to turn it around to ourselves for a change. We so often think about kindness as an external thing, that to be a kind person we must do good to others. And whilst that is true, it all starts by showing kindness to ourselves first. Now this can be a challenging thing to do, so it got me asking, how can I be kinder to myself?
Why showing yourself kindness first, is the kindest thing to do
When we’re in a good place mentally and physically, it becomes a lot easier to be good and kind to other people. It doesn’t feel taxing or forced; it comes far more naturally. But it often feels uncomfortable and awkward to be kind to ourselves first, because it feels selfish in some way, or we often feel like we have to work really hard to deserve it in the first place.
If we’re able to
get past this point of feeling like we must deserve kindness through doing
something challenging, we can tap into a whole beautiful world of self-love.
And with that comes better energy, more abundance and a happier mood. Showing
yourself kindness in the first instance improves your mood which helps you to
see more of the good around you. Being kinder to yourself allows you to see
your strengths which helps you to repeat them more often and see them in others
too. Giving yourself a little more kindness and empathy allows you to relax and
cool-off so you’re not running from one thing to the next all the time.
And from this space, we’re more readily available to spread kindness all around!
How can I be kinder to myself?
Let’s get to it, eh? Now we know that ultimately looking after ourselves first means we can better look after others, you can now ask the question how can I be kinder to myself. And this comes down to a few things. Below are some practical steps to be kinder to yourself, but first we must accept and believe we’re worthy of the kindness. It often feels hard to be kind to ourselves, because we don’t feel we naturally deserve it. If you start with this step, you’ll make all the practical ways far more powerful.
Decide you are worthy of your kindness
To do this, ask yourself some of these questions:
What have I done recently that was good?
How can being kind to myself help my life?
What will happen if I’m not kinder to myself?
Now tell yourself these following affirmations:
I am capable of showing myself kindness
I have a right to be kind to myself
When I show myself kindness, I become a better person
7 ways to be kinder to yourself
For any little thing, tell yourself you did a good job. Made a great cup of tea? Tell yourself you did like you would to someone else! Stayed calm in a tough situation? Tell yourself you handled it really well!
Physically give yourself a pat on the back
It might feel silly at first, but it’s a powerfully comforting thing to do. Giving yourself praise feels better and lasts longer than anyone else giving it to you, and doing something physical like this affirms that.
At the end of every day, week or month, give yourself a treat. It could be a nice bath, a new outfit, a massage or anything! But make a conscious effort to show yourself some love. When we do this, we start to believe we’re worthy of that kindness.
Take a day off if you need it
A sick day doesn’t always have to be because we’re physically unwell. Being mentally unwell often feels just as hard. If you give yourself time to overcome whatever is bringing you down, and support yourself in this way, you’ll come back stronger than if you don’t.
Look at the bigger picture
Sometimes we get so bogged down in the day-to-day challenges that forget most things don’t matter. Take some pressure off yourself and remind yourself completing every little task of your day perfectly isn’t going to dramatically affect your future. You can slow down a little if you want!
Reflect on your challenges and what you’ve overcome
Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve been through. Have a think about all the challenged you’ve overcome, and how you handled them. Whether they’re small like a daily activity, or big like managing grief or a job loss, show yourself some kindness by reflecting on your challenges.
Accept your trials and love yourself for your resilience!
‘How can I be kinder to myself? I must accept the challenges I come across, and know they’re building my resilience.’ Saying things like this to ourselves, helps us to feel more relaxed and calm in our situations. When we push against something or resist it, we only make it harder for ourselves. Show yourself some kindness by accepting it feels hard, and love yourself harder for how strong you’re becoming.
It can sometimes take some playing around and patience to show kindness to yourself, but these are great starting points. I’m not the best at doing this for myself so I’m going to take a leaf out of my own book and practice these often!
How do you already show kindness to yourself? Give yourself a pat on the back for that.
And you can continue to show yourself kindness with Yoga LIVE. Each week we meet live for 3 sessions, in our own homes. We’re all there supporting and guiding each other, and our monthly challenges are great ways to share and spread the self-love. Join us here for $10 a month and get your 2-week free trial. You’re totally capable of being kinder to yourself, and your starting point is here. Join Yoga LIVE here.