Practice Self Kindness

"The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself."---Steve Maraboli

As we know life can be very stressful.  With so many demands on our time, through juggling family, work, and friends, it can be difficult to give ourselves the attention we really need and deserve.

Here are our top 20 pointers to YOU caring for YOU.

  1. Stretching - Treat yourself to a really good stretch before getting out of bed in the morning - it gets the blood moving, it helps to fire up our sleep brains and it also gives us a few moments to connect with our body before the day starts.

  2. Drink plenty of water - This is simple, but it's so good for you.  Being dehydrated makes everything harder.  H20 is pure liquid WIN!

  3. Regularly breathe deeply- If you're stressing, feeling burned out, anxious or even just suffering from boredom, take a few moments to STOP and allow EVERYTHING to drop away. Then pay attention, breathe mindfully and relax.  Doing this daily can bring many benefits.

  4. 5 A Day - Eating healthily is an obvious way to practice kindness to your body and mind.  So, if you can, try to consume at least 5-pieces of fruit and vegetables a day.  PLUS, fruit and veggies are YUMMY!

  5. Don't forget to play - This is something we can easily allow to slip away as adults.  Whether it's a board game, sports, finger painting or even having a good old pillow fight - have some fun!

  6. Watch your self-critic - Is your inner voice a harsh task meter?  Do you regularly berate yourself for failing in some way?  You are only a sensitive and vulnerable human being, just like the rest of us are, so please be gentle with yourself as much as you can.  Maybe even begin to offer yourself some praise to give you a little balance to any ongoing, negative inner dialogue?

  7. Say no - Give yourself permission to say no to doing things that make you unhappy and yes to the things you'd rather do instead.

  8. Act on what you need and not what you want - You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward with your life, instead.  By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.

  9. Stop hating your body - Why?  Because you are a unique and amazing once-in-eternity expression of the Universe's brilliance.  The universe did NOT get it wrong.

  10. Exercise - Even if it's regular walks.  One of the most effective ways to be kind to your mind and body is exercise.  BUT...STOP doing exercise that doesn't make you smile or laugh!  Life's too short to choose misery.  'no pain, no gain' only goes so far.

  11. Give Hugs - Lots of hugs.  For every one you give, you get one back also!

  12. Disconnect - Every now and then it is freeing to stop communicating via the Internet or playing with our phones.  Even if we NEED these tools for work, etc., there will be opportunities to put technology down for a while and simply be with what is happening right in front of you.

  13. Listen to Your Body - Many of us are so busy and preoccupied, that we have, to some degree, lost connection with our own bodies.  Should we experience any aches or pains, instead of reflecting on what these pain 'messengers' are trying to tell us, we tend to automatically medicate them away or even totally ignore the symptoms.  Tragically, people will often do nothing about potentially serious symptoms of the disease until it is too late for a cure.  Our bodies carry ancient wisdom and if we can only find more time to listen deeply to this, we will surely realize a greater sense of well-being.

  14. Sleep - How much sleep do YOU need to feel truly rested and at your best to face the challenges of the day?  Are you getting this required amount of sleep every 24-hours, regularly or rarely/never?  How do you actually feel, physically and mentally, if you have not slept well or for long enough?  Are there any habits, routines, or unaddressed 'issues/questions/concerns in your life that are interfering with your body's need for sleep?  Can you bring wise and gentle attention to your current sleeping habits, making sure you are kind to yourself?

  15. Stop complaining - It rarely helps and who's listening anyway?

  16. Mindful Eating - Chew your food slowly, focusing on each bit and flavor whilst also being aware of the (hopefully healthy) nourishment you're offering yourself.

  17. Laugh - Laugh lots.  Laugh loudly.  Laugh regularly.  Laugh till you have tears running down your cheeks and your tummy is aching.  Whatever it is that makes you laugh like that...get/do/see more of it.

  18. Express yourself - perhaps in a diary, a blog, through music or even short stories.  Everyone has a creative side.  Letting it out can do you the world of good and even help you to widen your circle of friends!

  19. Gut Instinct - Learn to listen to the timeless intuition that every one of us possesses.  Look for signs or warnings and pay attention to your gut feelings.  You'll often hear two inner voices when you are thinking an issue through.  The quiet, subtle, voice is your instinctive, wiser self; the louder voice is usually your ego. (Almost) always go with the quieter voice.

  20. Walk tall - and look the world right into the eye.  Lift your head as you walk - and SMILE as you go!