Every year, World Kindness Day is celebrated on November 13. But what does World Kindness Day mean? Well, put simply, it’s a day dedicated to being kind to yourself, to others, and to the world at large. While it’s important to show kindness to others, it’s equally important to be kinder to yourself.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ways you can be kinder to yourself.
The Importance of Self-Kindness
But first, what does it mean to be kinder to yourself? Self-kindness, also known as self-compassion, means treating ourselves like we would treat a friend.
It’s more than just having good self-esteem. And it involves more than just self-care. It’s having a positive attitude towards ourselves. That means being more understanding, empathetic, and accepting of our flaws, mistakes, and perceived inadequacies.
By practicing self-kindness, we can improve our overall well-being. Self-compassion can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, boost happiness and motivation, give us a stronger body image and better coping skills, and even improve our relationships with other people.
5 Ways To Be Kinder To Yourself
1. Take Care of Your Body
One of the best ways you can be kinder to yourself is by taking care of your physical health. That can mean making sure you go to the doctor when you’re sick, wearing sunscreen, eating healthy, nutritious meals, drinking enough water, and exercising.
It’s also important not to deny or overwork your body. Depriving yourself of food or overexercising in an attempt to lose weight or look a certain way isn’t healthy.
Related Read: How to Improve Your Mental Health with Exercise
2. Be Mindful of Negative Self-Talk
Have you ever looked in the mirror and immediately thought, “Eww, I hate the way I look”? Or felt bad about yourself when you’ve made a mistake?
We’re all guilty of the occasional self-criticism, but it’s important to be mindful of this negative self-talk. You can practice self-compassion by recognizing when you fall into this habit and correcting yourself. Instead of thinking “I’m a failure,” talk to yourself with love: “I made a mistake, like everyone does, but next time I’ll be better.”
When you find yourself criticizing your body, remind yourself of what you find beautiful about your appearance.
3. Smile More Often
A smile is a powerful thing. Smiling can actually boost your mood. When you smile, it triggers certain chemicals in your brain which in turn tricks you into feeling happier.
It also makes your more approachable to others which can help improve your self-esteem. That’s because if you smile at someone, they’ll naturally smile back. Smiling more often, then, is one of the easiest ways to be kinder to yourself.
4. Take a Social Media Break
Social media can be great for a lot of things. Unfortunately, feeling good about ourselves typically isn’t one of them.
Too often, when we look at social media, we end up comparing ourselves to others. Usually, that’s not a good thing. People tend to portray themselves and their life better on social media, so when we compare our real life to their cultivated one, it makes us feel inadequate.
Practice self-compassion by taking a break from social media and instead focusing on what you love about your real life.
5. Show Kindness To Others
Just like smiling, kindness is contagious. When you’re kind to other people, it makes it easier to be kind to yourself.
In addition practicing kindness can improve your own feelings of happiness. Being kind produces feel-good hormones in your brain and can make you feel good about yourself. Even one small act of kindness can boost your self-esteem.