When we think of kindness we probably think about being nice to our friends, our family, the neighbors down the street, even the stranger at the grocery store. If someone were to ask you if you are a kind person, chances are you would say yes. In most settings, we were raised with the basic knowledge that we should be kind to others, following the old saying “treat others how you want to be treated”.
Now what if someone asked you if you were kind to yourself? Are you kind with the thoughts you think on a daily basis? Are you kind with the way you treat your body? Are you kind when it comes to listening, trusting and honoring your body?
Likely that question brought up some emotions. Maybe shock. Sometimes guilt. Or maybe pride because you have worked really hard to become a kinder person to yourself. What I’ve noticed in my time working with women, being kind to others is second nature, being kind to ourselves, takes some work. Wherever you are on the self kindness scale, it’s never too late to begin. All it takes is some curiosity, an open mind and a willingness to challenge behaviors and beliefs.
Today my goal is to explore with you what being kind to yourself looks like and how you can begin the journey today.
When most of us first start out on this ‘kind to ourselves’ journey we have no clue what that even looks like or how it’s even possible. Many of us know how to take care of our families, friends and others around us, but being kind to ourselves? Is that possible?
A big part of choosing kindness is just that. It’s making a constant choice to reframe the old habits that we have formed. It’s taking the time to pause and ask ourselves “what do I need in this moment?”. The next step is making the choice to honor what comes up. Being kind to yourself is offering yourself compassion. It’s understanding that you are human, just like everyone else, and you are allowed to be imperfect. Being kind to yourself means you are a friend to your body, working with it, listening to it and trusting it.
Choosing kindness is:
- Honoring my body and trusting it to tell me what it needs whether that’s rest, food, movement, connection, a good cry or a good sleep.
- Moving my body in a way that feels good to me and brings me joy
- Making sure my basic needs are being met
- Eating a wide variety of foods without rules and restriction
- Listening to and trusting my bodies wisdom when it tells me I am hungry and full
- Being mindful and living each day with intention
- Choosing compassion for myself
The first step you can take today is carving out some time to explore these journal prompts below. Be mindful about what comes up and gentle with yourself. This is a great time to begin choosing kindness for yourself.
- What are things that I value most in my life?
- What purpose has critical self talk served me?
- What would I be thinking about if I wasn’t busy beating myself up?
- How would my life be different if I was kind to myself?
- What fills my heart up?
- What would I do if I had more time in the day?
- What brought me joy as a child?
- What positive words describe myself?
- To me, choosing kindness means…
I hope some of these tips help you on your journey to choosing kindness. Be gentle with yourself, offer lots of grace and remember we’re all in this together.