(this article was co-authored by Joana the School Nurse)
CULTIVATING KINDNESS FROM WITHIN
How good are you at being kind to yourself?
Most of us may be better at being kind to others than we are to ourselves.
A lack of self-kindness might be an unrecognized cause of stress. Self-love, self-kindness, self-compassion (whatever you choose to call it), like self-care, is a vital part of our wellbeing. And without it, it can be really difficult to build genuine, vulnerable and meaningful connection with ourselves, as well as with others.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-KINDNESS, SELF-LOVE AND SELF-CARE
Adopting a positive mindset and promoting compassionate, loving and kind inner self-chatter love is not an easy task. Firstly, you need to become aware of your thoughts and what you are telling yourself, and then you need to proactively work on changing them. Here are three tools for your kit:
- Changing the conversation we have with ourselves
What do you tell yourself? Do you speak to yourself the way that you would to a friend or loved one? Are you judgmental and critical or kind and compassionate with yourself?
Treat yourself as you would a best friend – offer yourself the support and encouragement you would provide to your nearest and dearest.
- The power of affirmations
Affirmations are a great way to change our internal thought patterns and the dialogue that we have with ourselves. Try writing down three supportive statements and saying them out loud in front of a mirror 3-5 times, twice a day. It may be statements such as ‘
- I am strong, confident and successful’
- I am truly loved for who I am’
- ‘’I can offer and accept love’.
There are plenty of affirmations online too, if you don’t want to create your own, though the more specific they are, the better. It’s surprising how quickly affirmations can change your thought patterns. Repetition and persistence are key.
- Extend kind acts to you
Over the next 7 days offer yourself compassion and love. Try doing one kind thing each day for yourself. Here are a few examples for inspiration:
- Create a set of positive affirmations
- Listen to music that uplifts you or an inspiring podcast
- Exercise regularly
- Treat yourself
- Send little gifts to your friends and family – enjoy giving
- Send notes of gratitude to your friends
- Tell people you love them
- Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby
- Do things that make you happy, not what other people want you to do
- Be creative – dance, make something for yourself, draw, paint, write, etc.
- Allow yourself time to reflect, think and mediate