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Be kind to yourself

15 June 2020

Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.

Christopher Germer

We spend so much time in our lives focusing on being kind to others. Trying to be polite, courteous and conscious of how others may be feeling. But often, we forget to show kindness and love to the most important person, ourselves. You cannot pour from an empty cup and although you may want to be there for others in your life, the first step is being kind to yourself.

Here are a few ways that you can begin to self-care and refill your cup. You can only be there for others when you yourself are ok.

Speak kind words out loud

Our words have power. What we say has meaning and sometimes the words we use about ourselves are not kind, considerate or helpful. Just think, would I say these words to a friend? A lot of the time no. So now is a time to practice speaking to yourself as you would a loved one who is having a tough time.

You can speak these words out loud in your room, on a walk or to the mirror if it helps. Don’t feel too self-conscious about it, though it may take time to get used to. But this simple practice of saying loving words about ourselves out loud can greatly improve our mood and change our demeanour.

What nice words can you say to yourself today?

Write a letter

Writing letters can be therapeutic, but have you ever written to yourself? This is such a powerful practice and it can be so helpful in showing compassion to your past, present or future yourself.

Write the letter as if you were addressing a friend or family member, in third person. You can write your name throughout to bring the focus back and really ensure you are speaking about yourself.

Seeing your story, your words, your thoughts on paper and reading them back can be such a kind and generous give to yourself. You may even find it becomes a regular practice for processing thoughts and feelings.

Do something you love

Such a great act of kindness is allowing enjoyment, fun and happiness into our lives. Remembering the things that bring you joy and actively doing them can be such a precious gift.

Whether it’s baking, horse riding, time with a friend, bubble baths or a good book, you can allow yourself to really engage in the time doing something that makes you happy.

Often this time is thought of as selfish, or indulgent, but it’s necessary for our wellness to do things that fill us up. Just as when a friend is down, you would take them to enjoy their favourite activity, you can treat yourself with the same loving kindness.

There are so many more ways to show yourself some simple kindness, but it falls to the bottom of the priority list. Whether you’re in grief, finding this time challenging or supporting someone else in grief, you have to be kind to yourself – first.

We love hearing from our community, so please do share with us something kind you’ve said or for yourself lately.