Even when time is short, and you have very little left to spend on yourself, it’s worth remembering one of my favourite - if not slightly overused - sayings, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. Doesn’t that make so much sense? We simply cannot give what we don’t have and so the more we nourish and care for ourselves, the more energy and light we have to share with our families and communities.
Thankfully with a bit of practice, you can easily sprinkle more kindness into your day; starting with a few small habits and building on them slowly - here are a few of my favourite ways that we can all become a little kinder to ourselves…
Even when times are challenging, maintaining a positive mindset can help you navigate uncertainty. Yes, it takes effort but then so does a negative attitude - we can choose which one to fuel. I know that this can feel challenging, especially when life feels stagnant and you don’t feel like you’re making progress. But, try taking a step back. Review the daily efforts you’re making and celebrate the progress you’ve made so far. Commit to taking a small step in the right direction today.
Create Mindful Mornings
What do your mornings look like? I believe that they set the tone for our entire day. You don’t have to be a morning person to make the most of them. Simply add something to your routine that supports your mind, body and spirit. Start small with a few deep breaths, a short meditation, nourishing breakfast or simply pause long enough to enjoy your morning tea mindfully. When you start your day with a small kind action, it’s so much easier to continue feeling that way - Here’s how to start your day with a Positive Mindset.
Be Your Own Best Friend
Sometimes we have to be our own best friend; that comforting voice and cheerleader when we need it. And, it’s pretty easy to do once you get used to it. Think of how you’d speak to a friend who was having a bad day or facing your current challenge. I’m sure that you’d be a lot kinder and more supportive to them than you’re being to yourself. Consider the gentle words and encouragement that you would offer them and extend yourself the same kindness.
Schedule Time For Yourself
It’s easy to make time for others when they need it, but we rarely do the same for ourselves. It might feel strange at first, but it helps to schedule a 10-minute slot into your diary for yourself - you might have to resist the temptation to skip right past it the first few times you do this.
Take the time to pause and recalibrate. Breathe deeply; inhale slowly through your nose - and down into your belly - pause for a second - and then exhale slowly through your nose. Use this time to close your eyes and go within while you acknowledge yourself and offer kind words of encouragement.
I used to think that slowing down would mean getting less done, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I turned down the pace of my day, stopped trying to multi-task, and now enjoy taking one thing at a time - it’s liberating and increases my productivity. I’m sure that you’d love it. Here are 5 ways to to break the busyness cycle and slow down.
I love this one. Smile at others, smile when you look in the mirror and even smile when you’re sat on your own! It’s an instant physical reminder that you have something positive in your life to be grateful for - and it feels great.
Berating ourselves for our mistakes - big and small - can become a bad habit. Mistakes are part of life and just a reminder that we’re human. See them as an opportunity to learn and grow stronger. Keep a balanced perspective, and rather than using your energy to relive past mistakes, ask yourself what you can learn from them. Speak kindly to yourself while you do this and be prepared to let go of things that you cannot change.
Some people call these treats but I prefer to think of them as gifts; a bunch of flowers, a new book, your favourite candle or skincare product. We shouldn’t only feel loved when someone else finds the time to show us how much they value us. Of course, you can also give yourself the gift of time to do something that you love. Try making a list of kind gestures that lift your spirit and then you’ll have a variety of things that you can dip into for inspiration.
No matter how different our paths and where life takes us, cultivating kindness for ourselves will always help us feel positive, energetic, and happier to share that love with our families and communities.
How can you sprinkle more kindness around today?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.