5 Ways to be Kinder to Yourself

Try these practical strategies to improve your self-compassion.



(PKpix /Shutterstock.com)

Kindness is a value held and practiced by so many people, maybe even most people in the world. Giving to others, looking out for others, smiling at them, giving charity, spreading love, all of these are examples of kindness that you may practice and think about on a daily basis. But did you know that kindness towards yourself is important too? 

Some may worry that kindness towards yourself means that you are being selfish. But that is not an accurate representation of what true kindness is. According to Ideas.Ted.com, people who have higher levels of self-compassion and kindness towards themselves are motivated and more successful over time. 

So how can you cultivate self-love and kindness towards yourself? Below are five ways you can practice self-compassion and self-acceptance.

Spend quality time with yourself
Spending time with yourself doing something you enjoy is critical, reports Healthshots. Getting to know yourself better and feeling comfortable being alone are important life skills to develop. Self-awareness does not come easily or naturally to everyone. Some ideas of activities you can enjoy doing solo are working out, journaling, and taking yourself out on a date doing something you enjoy. These activities can be enjoyable and also help you learn what your needs are and therefore how to treat yourself better.

Forgive yourself
According to Healthline, in order to forgive yourself you need empathy, compassion, understanding and kindness. Forgiveness is a gift you can give to others but you can also give it to yourself. It is a choice. Choosing to acknowledge a mistake that you made and see it as a learning experience can bring inner peace. Just like with forgiving others, it may take time to process and to get to the point of forgiveness, but it is worth the effort.

Healthy sense of self-respect
Respecting yourself is healthy. According to the mindbodygreen, when you respect yourself you are more likely to give love and respect to others. Some of the practical tips and strategies they suggest to accomplish this are being 100 percent honest with yourself, learning how to be authentic, learning to say no and setting clear boundaries and writing love notes to yourself. 

Give yourself physical affection
Need a hug? WebMD recommends you give yourself hugs and pats on the back and arms. Real, literal and physical hugs and pats. They explain that these gestures have proven to reduce stress and are a great way to help yourself feel grounded and loved. 

Take Care of Yourself
You might have predicted this one was coming but yes, self care must make the list. Taking good care of yourself is one of the best ways to give yourself the kindness you deserve. For example, giving yourself enough sleep, nutritious food and some form of exercise is something that you’ve got to do for yourself. Someone else can't exercise for you, right? Making sure your needs are a priority is important, explains Daring to Live Fully. When you are in the position of taking care of someone else, you might be the one to encourage them to do these types of things for themselves. Sometimes it is good to remember that you are “someone” too.

5 Small Changes Optimizing Self Love
Opening the Door to Self-Care
A Guide to Becoming Your Own Best Friend