The quote I posted in my blog on Friday, Treat Yourself Better, has stuck with me ever since I first read it. Do we speak to ourselves like we would speak to our friends? I seriously doubt it. I think many of us need to learn how to be not only kinder to others, but to ourselves as well. Research suggests that self-compassion, how kindly we view ourselves, may be the first step toward better health. People with higher levels of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. Here are 10 ways to be kinder to yourself:
I know this is an obvious one, but it is number one for a reason. You are what you eat. You eat bad, you will feel bad. It’s as simple as that.
Walk, lift some weights, or dance. Being kind to your body IS being kind to you. Plus, there is no better mood-booster than exercise.
I have written about the importance of saying affirmations before. Saying a mantra, such as, ” I accept and love myself”, can greatly improve self-compassion.
Jot down your best and worst traits and remind yourself that it is ok to not be perfect. Think of ways that you can improve the things you are unhappy with.
Take mindful breaks that allow you to breathe and re-focus.
I love to create in the kitchen. I know some of you non-cooks may roll you eyes at this one, but I urge you to give it a try. Start with a simple recipe, and let your creative juices flow. I am sure you will be proud of your accomplishment!
A little cat nap can be just what you need. Pull down the shades and pull up the covers and let your body rest and recharge. These short rests allow your mind to let go of the stress and worry that was previously occupying it.
A good pat on the back, your back, is necessary sometimes. Whether you nailed your presentation at work or completed a super hard workout at the gym, take the time to celebrate your successes.
Make some tea, light some candles, turn on some mellow tunes and draw a bath. This is the definition of relaxation.
Remind yourself that you are as important as anyone else. Often, we can get caught up taking care of and worrying about other people more than ourselves. Learning how to set personal boundaries is the key to loving yourself and having healthier relationships with others.