If you caught our blog post on Friday, you will already know the importance of self- kindness to your overall health and wellbeing. Not only does being kind to yourself improve your mood, there has actually been evidence to suggest that it helps you live longer. Mind blown, right?
With that in mind, we have put together a list of ten great ways to show yourself a little more kindness.
Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a loved one
This sounds simple enough, but it actually takes some practice to retrain the way you think about yourself. It is so easy to get sucked into the habit of negative self-talk, after all, self-criticism is actually a biological instinct (don’t believe me? Check out Friday’s blog), and so it can feel unnatural at first to switch to a more positive mindset. To get you started, try to think about what you would say to a loved one if they were in a situation where you would usually be overly critical of yourself. Say, for instance, that they try a new recipe and it doesn’t go according to plan. You wouldn’t berate them and call them a failure, you would probably say something like, “it’s okay, you tried and next time you know what to do differently.” Try affording yourself the same compassion.
We all know that stress has a negative impact on our health, so it is important to set aside time to regularly practice self-care. Find an activity that relaxes you and do it often. This can be anything from reading a book to taking a bath to going to a cat café and snuggling all the moggies. Whatever it is, fully immerse yourself in the activity and get those “feel-good” hormones flowing.
Buy yourself a present
How often do you find yourself buying gifts for others? Whether it’s Christmas, someone’s birthday or you’re just sending someone a little pick-me-up, you are probably always reaching for the debit card without ever buying something for yourself. Well, now is the time to add that pair of shoes you’ve wanted for a while to your basket. You deserve it. Giving yourself a gift may feel silly and self-indulgent, but it’s actually a really effective way to boost your serotonin levels and relieve stress.
Learn that saying no is okay
It might be scary to think, but you do not have to please everyone all of the time. Sometimes, the most basic way to be kind to yourself is to say no. We may fear being rejected as a result, or worry about angering someone that we care about, but it isn’t good for our wellbeing to continuously neglect our own wants and needs. James Altucher sums it up brilliantly when he says, “When you say yes to something you don’t want to do, here is the result: you resent the person who asked you, and you hurt yourself.” Be a bit kinder to yourself by learning how to say no.
You will have heard us say this a million times if you were following our #MindfulnessMoments campaign last month, but meditation has so many wonderful health and wellbeing benefits that you can take advantage of. There have been countless scientific studies that have looked into the effects of meditation on our wellness and they all reach the same conclusion, that meditation is good for us. So, go ahead and break out the yoga mat, book a silent retreat or try your hand at guided visualisation, you will experience the benefits in no time. If you’re interested in medidation, take a look at our mindfulness blogs from last month.
This is a hard one and can take some courage, but making peace with past mistakes is an important part of learning to be kinder to yourself. The fact of the matter is, we are all human, none of us are perfect and we all get things wrong sometimes. And that’s okay. How else can we learn if we don’t make a mistake from time to time? Self-forgiveness is important to your mental wellbeing, because it allows you to finally let go of the exhausting negative emotions that accompany feelings of guilt. Show yourself some understanding and compassion, and know that it is okay to let go.
You will have undoubtedly seen the phrase “tidy home, tidy mind” on social media, written in the captions of Instagram posts of beautiful bedrooms and clean office spaces, but there is actually a lot truth in it. Decluttering your home has a whole host of benefits that lead to a happier you. A clear space helps reduce stress, improve productivity and make you feel healthier. It is a sure fire way to show yourself some more kindness.
Eat a balanced diet
One of the best ways to be kinder to yourself is to be kind to your body. Eating a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in vegetables and nutrients is key to showing yourself the care you deserve. Diets that are high in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates have been linked to a lower standard of mental health, whereas diets that are rich in fibre and vitamins lead to higher levels of mental and physical health. That doesn’t mean you have to cut out all your favourite treats, just make sure to eat them in moderation and incorporate at least five fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.
Drink enough water
Who knew that the stuff that comes out the kitchen sink can reduce the risk of mental illness? Our brains are actually made up of 75% water, which means that dehydration can result in less efficient brain function and, therefore, an increased risk of conditions like depression and anxiety. Drinking enough water a day goes a long way in minimising symptoms associated with mood volatility. The NHS recommends drinking between six to eight glasses of fluids a day, so get glugging.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is incredibly important for good health, though it is something that is so often neglected. High sleep quality has been linked to several wellbeing benefits, such as improved productivity, better concentration, healthier BMI and faster metabolism. If you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, try a cup of TEA+ Sleep to get you feeling all warm and cosy.
Two blog posts and ten TEA+ tips later, there is no reason not to start being kinder to yourself. But self-criticism is a habit that is not easily broken, so try not to worry if it takes a little while to change your attitude towards yourself. Just remember, being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others.