Today, November 13th, is World Kindness Day. We often think of kindness as something we do for others. Yet self kindness is hugely important. If we are not kind to ourselves, we can’t offer as much to the world. It’s not enough having self kindness quotes on the fridge – we have to practice it.
What is self kindness?
It’s not about feeling wonderful, or telling yourself that you are great. It’s simply about being decent to yourself, like you would anyone else in the world. When we’re kind or compassionate to ourselves, we treat ourselves in the same way we would treat a good friend. It’s about flipping the Biblical verse and often quoted maxim ‘do unto others as you would do unto your yourself’ on its head – behave towards yourself like you would anyone else.
It’s about saying that you’re worthwhile.
There’s no good that comes from self criticism or self flagellation. It holds us back, makes us feel unworthy, saddens us, and stops us from being the awesome people that we really are.
How can I practice self kindness activities?
So today, set yourself a goal to say kind words to yourself and do something kind for yourself. When you feel that negative voice criticising you or pulling your down, challenge it. ‘I’m rubbish’ becomes ‘I’m ok.’ ‘I don’t deserve to rest tonight’ becomes ‘I’m going to sit down and read for half an hour.’ If what you really want to do is call a friend, do it. Even making yourself a nice lunch or stretching out after a few hours at the computer are easy ways to be kind to yourself.
Of course, I hope that you continue to do this beyond World Kindness Day. Forming a healthy habit takes time, but if you start small, with little acts of kindness, you can change your life. Recognise your self-worth and acknowledge your value.