10 Activities for Personal Kindness
We hear a lot about being kind to others, but rarely hear about the importance of kindness towards ourselves. Nothing substitutes personal kindness as well as self-love. Unfortunately, we live in a society that is very much outward focused, ignoring the adage that kindness begins at home. We can’t give what we don’t have. Often, we think that compassion for others is how we’ll get it for ourselves, however this isn’t the case long-term. While altruistic deeds do make us feel good, they don’t compensate for low self-esteem, depression, or a negative belief system. In fact, constantly focusing on others leads to what is called “compassion fatigue”. This is a common condition that occurs with those who work in social service/medical fields. To combat this predicament between caring for ourselves (personal kindness) and being there for others, we can make sure to incorporate healthy activities such as the ones below.
1) Practice loving self-care; spend 10-15 minutes alone to meditate, read or pray
2) Get plenty of rest (7-9 hours is recommended by leading health professionals)
3) Eat nourishing foods: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish
4) Drink lots of water: 8-12 glasses per day! Breaks down to just 4 liters…
5) Get daily physical exercise (preferably outside amidst nature- go for a walk or jog in the park, roller-blade, go bike riding, take a hike at a nearby mountain trail, play tennis, swim)
6) Reverse negative self-talk; release thoughts of anger, stress or frustration replacing them with positive affirmations that are empowering and supportive. For example: replace “I hate my job” with “I am grateful for my job that allows me to support myself and my family. I do the best I can every day and I am good at it.”
7) Give yourself a break! Splurge on manicures, pedicures and or massages. Get these beauty treatments done regularly and alone so you can truly relax.
8) Keep up your personal appearance: Get regular haircuts and color if you choose. Heck, get a complete make-over at least once a year. Wear clothes that flatter your figure and help you look your best. And don’t forget the undergarments… never underestimate the power (confidence) of sexy underwear and bra’s that are just for You!
9) Take long luxurious bubble baths and post “Do Not Disturb” on the bathroom door!
9) Go shopping once a month or every other month and buy something that makes YOU feel beautiful. This could be perfume, a silk scarf, shoes, a new handbag, etc.
10) Do nothing for an entire afternoon or an entire day. Give yourself time and space to just be without distractions or to-do lists. Take a nap. Sleep in. Watch your favorite tv show(s) or a movie. Enjoy a cup of tea and just lounge; let yourself enjoy this much needed “down time”.
These activities will calm the nerves and soothe the soul. Try them for yourself or create new ones. The idea is to fill yourself up with loving kindness so that when you go out into the world, you can do so from a joyful and authentic place. Utilizing these activities regularly will eliminate stress, improve your health and relationships as well as increase productivity. Most importantly, you can then be kinder with others without depleting yourself.
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