How to be kinder to yourself

February 27, 2020

Many of us (me included) are guilty of not really treating ourselves with the level of kindness that we should. So if it’s something that you’ve been neglecting; you’re certainly not the only one. But it is something that you should try to change. Being too hard on yourself doesn’t really change anything and it certainly won’t solve your problems.

So how do you become kinder to yourself?

Being kinder to yourself is about changing your habits. It’s about starting to recognise when you’re simply being too harsh on yourself. We all do it but it can really drag us down and stop us from tackling the challenges of life with a positive attitude. 

If you’re looking for ways to change things for the better, here are some ways to be kinder to yourself each day.

Find time for yourself and your hobbies

We all have our time taken up by things that are not really that important to us. That could be life admin, projects at work that spill over into our personal lives and all kinds of different things. But amidst all that, it’s important to find time for yourself and what is important to you. If you can’t find time for those things, you’ll be neglecting your own needs and happiness and that’s not ok. Being kind to yourself means understanding that it’s ok to take time out for yourself and addressing your own needs.

Recognise your achievements and successes

When something goes well, you should recognise that success and celebrate it. Now, this is something I really struggle with because it feels like I’m blowing my own trumpet. It makes me uncomfortable and I worry that people will think I’m showing off. However, this has meant people often underestimate my capabilities because I’m not telling them about it so it’s something I need to get better at. 

The reality is there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your success and achievements in life. In fact, you should absolutely feel comfortable celebrating those things. After all, most people find it easy to criticise themselves but not so easy to recognise when things are going well. It’s time to redress that balance.

Stop comparing yourself to others

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to other people. But try to limit it, as much as you can because it’s not helpful. What other people are doing doesn’t need to impact your life and what you’re trying to achieve. And it’s also true that when you compare yourself with others, you often gloss over their problems and magnify your own. We tend to see the result of someone’s success but not the challenges that have gone into it. 

Forgive your errors and mistakes

We all make mistakes and get things wrong from time to time. That’s simply a part of being a human being: life is all about growing and evolving. Beating yourself up over past mistakes gets you nowhere and achieves nothing in the long-term. So, rather than doing that, try to forgive yourself for mistakes and then simply move on.

Take care of your body and mind

One way to be kinder to yourself is to try to treat both your body and your mind better than you’ve treated them in the past. It’s easy to take the focus off your health when you get stressed with work and life more generally, however, it’s never too late to try again. You’ll start to feel so much better about yourself when you begin looking after your mind and body more. Think about how you can protect your mental health better as well. It’s something we should all try to do.

Remember to treat yourself

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time and rewarding yourself – even if it’s just for being you. It can be as simple as investing in embroidered bathrobes or high-quality towels for your bathroom. Or it could be something else entirely; it’s up to you. 

Be as compassionate to yourself as you’d be to others

Most of us are far kinder and compassionate towards other people than they are to ourselves. If you feel that this is something that applies to you too, bear it in mind and start doing things differently. A good rule of thumb to live by is to try and treat yourself the same way. This means forgiving yourself for mistakes, understanding that you’re human and giving yourself a second chance. 

Remind yourself of your positive qualities

Everyone has positive qualities and these should be what you focus on when thinking about what’s good about yourself and your life. By focusing on the good, you’ll find it easier to be kinder to yourself as well. If you’re constantly focusing and lingering on the negative things, you’ll always have a negative mindset and you’ll treat yourself worse as a result, and that’s not what you want at all. Take the time to regularly remind yourself of your positive personal qualities.

Keep working towards your dreams

Doing what’s right for you and working towards the things you most want to achieve in life is important. That means working towards your dreams and doing everything within your power to make them happen. There’s no reason at all to give up on them when there’s still so much time and opportunity to take advantage of.

All too often people are more than capable of being kind and generous to the people around them but can’t treat themselves with the same level of kindness. That’s something that you should now look to change now that you know exactly how to start being kinder to yourself.

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