We often jump to discuss the topic of self-kindness and compassion in times of stress or hardship (which is important!) but we should equally be normalising treating ourselves with kindness and compassion on the daily. 

What do we mean by self-kindness and compassion? It might sound a little fluffy, but the idea is centred around allowing yourself some flexibility, acceptance and care. It is about showing yourself warmth and changing your inner monologue for one that builds you up rather than tearing yourself down. This is a far more productive mindset, as less time is wasted talking yourself out of trying new things or beating yourself up for things that went wrong, and let’s face it, it’s far more enjoyable! 

There are a number of ways to practise self-kindness, and we are here to discuss a few!

Ways to practise self-kindness:

  • Only speak to yourself the way you would speak to a friend
  • Check in with yourself regularly
  • Prioritise your needs
  • Fuel yourself properly
  • Find ways to move your body daily

For whatever reason, it seems the default position for many of us is to blame ourselves for when things don’t go to plan, and to pick apart all of the areas of ourselves that we don’t deem to be perfect. But the truth is, no one can be! We need to be able to regain perspective and retrain our thought processes to allow ourselves space for being human. 

Only speak to yourself the way you’d speak to a friend

Take a moment to consider some of the things you have told yourself in the past, and then reframe these memories to imagine you are telling someone you love these same thoughts. How do you imagine they would react? How would this make them feel? 

If you would never tell them about your perceived shortcomings the way you would tell yourself them – maybe you shouldn’t be telling yourself them either!

Your body and mind have to manage so many activities and challenges each day, it is impossible for every single one of them to work out 100% of the time. There will be days when you feel on top of the world and others when you just don’t have the energy and focus. And this is absolutely OKAY. 

Try to make space for yourself to be flexible, switch around your routine to fit with your natural energy cycles and if you notice any negative self-talk creeping in, rewrite the thought into something more positive and productive. 

Check in with yourself regularly

With busy schedules and hectic life commitments, it is easy to forget to really connect with how you are feeling within your body and mind. By checking in to recognise your status, you are able to make more informed decisions about how to take care of yourself each day. If you are feeling run down, stressed or tired, explore the reasons as to why that may be, and what might help you come back to equilibrium.

Equally important is to recognise the factors at play when you are feeling good – remember what you did that helped you to feel that way. Was it getting up and moving? A good catch up with an old friend? Being able to pick out patterns in what helps to influence your feeling and mood will allow you to make more conscious decisions to sway the needle towards the positive aspects of your routine. 

Prioritise your needs

I know what you’re thinking… it’s easier said than done, and you’re not wrong. When you have other commitments, such as jobs, families or people relying on you, it can be hard to put yourself first all of the time. But it is important that you are making space for the things that you need to be happy and healthy, such as nutrition, sleep and time to relax. While the world will keep spinning, and your responsibilities still exist, you are worthy of having down time. In fact, it is this time you take for yourself that allows you to recharge your batteries to be able to uphold your other life commitments. 

Fuel yourself properly

Your body is a well oiled machine, but like any machine, it requires a little TLC from now and again to run efficiently. This means fueling it with the nutrients it needs to function. And while of course, we are recommending you eating a balanced diet and getting your greens in, it is also important to allow yourself flexibility for soul foods – the foods that make you happy and satisfied. There are no ‘bad’ foods and everything can be enjoyed within a balanced diet. 

There is no one ‘perfect’ healthy diet, what works for each individual, their energy expenditure and tastes will differ, so comparisons to other people’s diets are futile. 

Find ways to move your body daily

Similarly to the message around fueling your body, another way to keep your body running effectively is to use it. Get it moving, the blood pumping, heart racing and sweat dripping! Exercise helps to release happy hormones in your brain that will contribute towards your ability to keep a positive mindset, and will help to reduce any feelings of stress and anxiety. Even if you are not a fan of vigorous exercise, try to find ways to keep your body moving. Take the stairs, get your 10,000 daily steps or make sure you get up from your desk at least once an hour to stretch your legs. Your body will thank you for it!

True self-compassion

While we have made some suggestions for ways to practise self-care and kindness, true self-compassion is allowing yourself the option to follow your own intuition for how to care for yourself. If there are days when you aren’t able to achieve all that we have set out above, guess what? That is okay! We are all human, and none of us are perfect. We can simply strive to make positive steps to be happier and healthier each day.


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