33 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself

Posted by on Feb 22, 2013 in Personal Development | 8 comments

Are you feeling worn out? Burned out? Beat down? Let’s face it, sometimes life is tough. When times get tough it’s especially important to take care of ourselves.

I’ve been dealing with a particularly difficult work situation the past few months. The intellectual and situational stress of my job have taken a toll on me. I’m doing my best to take care of me but, I’ll be honest, it’s not enough. I’m suffering from job burnout. I’ve taken steps to improve my situation and in the meantime it’s more important than ever to be kind to myself.

An added benefit of being kind to myself is an increased and natural capacity to be kind to others. Don’t we all deserve a little kindness? Yes, we do!

33 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself

01. Adjust your expectations

Sometimes I need to adjust my expectations. I enjoy life more when I am mindful of what I do, not what I get. One leads to happiness and the other, more often than not, leads to frustration. I control what I do, I don’t control what happens next.

02. Let one thing go

I admit it, I care. I care about all kinds of things. Sometimes I care so much I cause myself a little bit of pain. But for all the cares I pick up throughout the day, I can always put one thing down.

03. Set boundaries

I get in trouble every time I fail to set boundaries. Without boundaries I am stressed out, burned out, and unhappy- that’s no way to live! Boundaries are the ultimate form of self-kindness. I can set boundaries any time, any day.

04. Get a good night’s sleep

I don’t know about you but I barely function without a good night’s sleep. When times are tough I need sleep more than ever! Yeah, I’ve been known to go to bed at 9pm every night. What? Girl loves her sleep!

05. Listen to music

I choose music to suit my mood- mellow, happy, relaxing, energetic- whatever I’m feeling I have a favorite track that imbues good feelings.

06. Be happy

I don’t need everything to go my way to be happy, all I need is to celebrate whatever happiness exists in this moment. I can cultivate habits of happiness that carry through to difficult days. Happiness is always there, whenever I choose to embrace it.

07. Be silly

A little silliness is the best medicine when I’m taking life too seriously. I might make run around in circles, wave my arms, do a funny dance. I can be spontaneous, be ridiculous, and just plain silly!

08. Take a nap

You already know I like my sleep, and some days being well-rested takes more than a good night’s sleep. Some days a nap is in order to get me through the day. When I nap I wake up refreshed and clear-headed.

09. Exercise

I hold my stress in my body. My jaw clenches and my shoulders tense. Moving my body regularly breaks up the tension and provides and outlet for my stress.

I can ride my bicycle, take a walk, or dance along to a favorite tune. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym- just moving my body!

10. Know yourself

A little self-reflection goes a long way. Before I can decide what I want, what I need, or what needs to be done I must first know myself. Even just a few minutes of thoughtful mediation or journaling can give me insight into myself.

11. Read

I love to read! Curling up with a good book is a wonderful reprieve from the stress of the day. Reading a favorite blog can motivate and inspire me. Not a bad way to spend a few minutes of my day.

12. Catch up with a friend

There’s nothing like catching up with a good friend- it’s good for my soul! Isolation, on the other hand, is undoubtedly bad for me.

13. Take a break

Taking a break is not only rejuvenating- I actually get more done when I take breaks than when I don’t. Plus, taking breaks is a really nice way to be nice to me!

14. Ask for what you need

I’m not a mind reader and I have to assume no else in my life is, either. Whatever I need, I have to ask for it.

15. Write

I love to write! Obviously, I write this blog, right? Before I wrote this blog I kept a journal. My journal was actually my inspiration to start blogging.

It doesn’t really matter what I write, only that I get my thoughts down on paper instead of keeping them churning about in my mind.

16. Stretch

Every day I stretch my smile, stretch my body, stretch my heart, and stretch my mind.

17. Get inspired

I try to get a little inspiration every day. Sometimes I inspire myself by writing my blog post. Other days I read something inspiring, collect inspiring quotes on Pinterest, or get out there an be inspiring.

be kind

Source: lylaandblu.com via Chrysta on Pinterest

18. Do more of what you’re good at

I do something I’m good at every day. Maybe it’s sharing a smile, helping another person, crafting, planning, organizing, giving hugs, or writing a blog post. I get energized when I do more of what I’m good at.

19. Relax

I’ve got to have my “me” time. I might catch up on a favorite show, re-watch an old favorite, snuggle with my dogs, snuggle with my cats, or simply do nothing at all!

20. Say no

Kindness is saying no when I want to, when I need to, and when I mean it.

21. Laugh

Laughter is life’s best medicine for whatever ails me. When all else fails me, there’s always Grumpy Cat.

22. Eat good food

When I eat well, I feel well. Eating good food is kind to my body!

23. Accept and love yourself exactly as you are

Right here, right now, I love me just as I am today. I’m not perfect and I never will be. I’m doing the best I can in this moment and that’s enough.

24. Be gentle with yourself

I can be hard on myself but, really, that gets me nowhere good. On the other hand I make more progress when I am gentle and caring with myself.

25. Celebrate your success

Every day I muster all my awesome in whatever I do. Even better, I celebrate each day’s success- from small to big. (By the way, today I won 2nd place in my Toastmasters club International Speech Contest. Woo hoo!)

26. Say yes

Sometimes I need to say no, and sometimes I need to say yes.

27. Have fun

There’s a little fun in every day! All I have to do is enjoy it!

28. Eat ice cream

There’s nothing wrong with a little self indulgence, is there? Like the ice cream sundae I enjoyed just now. mmmmmm…!

29. Do what’s right

All I really have to do is the right thing. What’s the right thing? Well, that depends on the moment. When I take a deep breath and quiet my mind I usually know what’s right. When I focus on simply doing what’s right, everything else seems to fall into place.

30. Adjust your attitude

What I experience is up to me. When I’m struggling I can often find relief by simply adjusting my attitude. I don’t have to be stuck in negative thinking, I can choose to think positive instead.

31. Express yourself

Failing to express myself will undoubtedly cause me frustration and pain. It’s important that I’m honest about what I’m thinking and feeling.

Even though I don’t have to believe everything I think or everything I feel, it’s important to recognize those thoughts and feelings exist.

I don’t necessarily have to take action- just acknowledging and expressing myself is enough. I don’t even have to tell someone else what I’m thinking and feeling- I can write it down and put it away until later.

32. Respect yourself

I used to put other people’s opinions, needs, and expectations before my own and that way of living was quite unkind. I have to believe in myself and trust myself to live a happy life. I have to respect myself so I can be someone I’m proud of, someone I admire.

33. Try again tomorrow

Some days are difficult and it’s all I can do to somehow muddle through- that’s okay, I can try again tomorrow.

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I love your comments! What other ways do you show kindness to yourself? Which of the ways I suggested is your favorite?

8 Comments

  1. Hi Chrysta!

    You really loaded this post with a lot of goodies! I noticed several of my own personal favorite practices throughout the post. Being kind to one’s self can be a challenge for many people. It used to be for me too. I used to think that if I cared more for myself than I did others, people would think that I was coincident or stuck on myself, which couldn’t be further from my character as a person. I had to learn that self-love isn’t that at all. Instead, it’s loving one’s self enough to be able to truly love anyone else. If we don’t love ourselves, we may put ourselves in a position where we allow others to misuse us; turning a “strength of humility” into an instant weakness. In celebrating ourselves, we learn how to celebrate others, and it won’t cost us our self-dignity in doing so.

    Well done with this post, my friend. As I said before, loved all 33 of the ways you’ve listed here. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Deone!

      I used to think being kind to myself was selfish and immoral. Thank goodness I know better today! I’ve found if I’m not nice to myself it’s difficult to be nice to anyone else, and the nicer I am to me, the nicer I am to others. When I show compassion and love to myself I fill up my own well and have much more to share with others.

      I appreciate your point about allowing ourselves to be abused by others- this has also been true for me. No one deserves to be misused- not me or anyone one else! If I can’t hold myself to a standard of kindness, how can I expect to hold that standard to anyone else?!

      Have a grateful day! <3

      Chrysta

  2. Saying no and letting go are my favorites. I have to work on those myself.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Cat! Saying no and letting go are two of my favorites, too! I would not be happy and healthy without them.

      So glad you stopped by. Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  3. ah, how I love reading your blog. It`s precisely what I need when things are difficult, and I need a break!

    • You are so sweet! Thanks for your awesome comment!

      I tell you, I write this blog to keep myself on an even keel as much as anything else. Life gets difficult and we all need a break!

      Have a fabulous day!

      Chrysta

  4. Many times in my life that I have not been aware how cruel I am to myself. Perhaps my early conditioning in life has built upon me negative attitudes that is holding my true potential. You have enlightened me here about the ways I punish myself and how to liberate from them.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, John!

      I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m cruel to myself, but I do have a habit of putting other people’s & organizational needs before my own and that’s certainly not being nice to myself!

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

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