Being Kind to Yourself

It’s the second Wednesday of the month, which means that it’s Kindness Project day (and just quietly, I can’t believe how fast it has come around again).

I blogged about the Kindness Project here, but in short, it’s an initiative by a group of bloggers to try to make kindness not a random act, but a daily reality for themselves and those around them.

Today though, I want to talk about being kind to yourself.

I chose this smiling picture because I wondered, how often do we see a face like that when we look in the mirror?  (Of course, if you are a bloke, it’s never, but work with me here.)

The woman in the picture is smiling as she would on seeing a friend and the question I am asking, of myself, as well as you, is how often do we treat ourselves as well as we do our friends?

Think about it for a moment…

Would you ever:

  • shout at a friend for being late?
  • give a friend a hard time for gaining a few pounds, or having trouble losing them?
  • give a friend a hard time for not keeping the house as nice as she would like?
  • tell a friend they’re a bad parent?
  • begrudge a friend something she enjoyed, like a relaxing bath or a good book?
  • tell a friend who is being mistreated that she doesn’t deserve any better?

I’m thinking seldom to never.  But how often do we do precisely those things, or kinds of things to ourselves?

We need to be nice to ourselves.  We need to give ourselves a break.  We need to be gentle with ourselves and we need to care for our own physical and emotional needs. It doesn’t make us week or selfish.  In fact, the better we care for ourselves, the more able and equipped we are to care for others.  And the less we care for ourselves, the more likely we are to be grumpy and difficult with our nearest and dearest.  Nobody loves a martyr.

So my challenge to you for this week is to choose something you like and give it to yourself.  It doesn’t have to be big and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive.  A bath in the evening.  A hot chocolate with a book.  A visit to the library by yourself.  Your favourite tea, made in a pot and drunk from a special cup.  But find something nice to do for yourself and carve out the time to do it.  Every day, if possible.  If not, try for at least three times this week.

And if you don’t know what to choose, maybe your first nice thing should be giving yourself time to sit down and think and reconnect with what you like most.

See what it does for you and for your mood.  And if you want to do something nice for someone else as well, come back and tell me how it went.

The world needs more kindness.  Start with yourself.

The image of the smiling woman was provided by: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

12 thoughts on “Being Kind to Yourself

  1. Imelda, when I work, I work very hard. Usually 12 -14 hours a day, but sometimes 16 or even 18 hours. One of the kindnesses I give myself is the time it takes to read your Blog Post. Responses may fade as the show imposes, but your Blog is a favorite thing in my life. Thank you!

  2. What a wonderful post, Imelda. It’s so easy to work ourselves into the ground and toss aside all of our achievements because we’re not yet where we want to be (not to mention that I bet we all move the goal posts when we do arrive there…). Taking time out for yourself is so important.

    • You’re so right Stephanie. I didn’t mention it, but giving ourselves credit for the things we do well is another thing we are often not good at. It’s so easy to see how far we have to go and not appreciate how far we have come. Giving ourselves the kind of pats on the back we would give our friends is really important!

  3. So true… We are often too hard on ourselves… But, it is a philosophy I’ve been trying to apply lately: give myself a break!

  4. Lovely post, Imelda! That list of things you wouldn’t say to a friend is kind of sobering…Never thought of it like that before, but you make a fine argument for better self-talk 🙂

    • It is, isn’t it? Sobering, I mean. Somebody once put it to me like that and though I am inclined to forget (hence this reminder) I think it’s a really good way to think of it. Why should we treat ourselves worse than we would treat our friends? Do we really think we deserve less? It bears thinking about! Thanks for the boost, Alarna!

  5. If I don’t get up from the computer right this moment and take myself to a power walking at my favorite park, I am really going to be kind to myself…… if you know what I mean.

Go on, have your say. You know you want to...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s