We know how easy it can be to forget about looking after ourselves when we are busy with life, especially when we’re stressed and feeling rather fatigued… to forget about the positive benefits of taking a little time out to look after yourselves. Being kinder to yourself is more than just eating and sleeping, it’s about putting your own wellbeing at the center of everything. It’s about acknowledging that you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself first so you can reach your full potential!
Here are some tips from mind coach Alison Blackler about how to be kinder to yourself.
Giving yourself a hug can replicate these feelings of comfort and safety. Think of it as a sort of stand-in until you can hug someone else again. Giving yourself a hug or a soothing tough does actually release the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel safe. This helps to increase your own internal power rather than waiting for someone else to comfort you.
Start a ‘To day’ list
I’m a fan of – a ‘ to day’ list rather than to-do list. This way you can plan a list of realistic tasks and then ticking off your achievements. This is good on so many levels and particularly around celebrating your successes. It is also keeps an eye on feeling like a failure if you haven’t achieved what was on a list which is too full.
Focus on the small wins
At the end of each day, write down 3 small wins. Not necessarily linked to your tasks, more importantly to your self care. If you have managed a walk on your lunch break that is a result.
What’s your self talk?
Keep a check on your self-talk. We are very often very hard on ourselves and would never talk to a friend like we often talk to ourselves. Writing down our negative thoughts to change them from just going round and round in the mind. Next ask yourself ‘Is this true’, ‘is this really true’.
Sometimes we need to get out of our heads, a simple mindfulness exercise is to use the 5 senses. The exercise is to ask yourself – 5 things I can see, 4 things I can hear, 3 things I can feel, 2 things I can smell and 1 thing I can taste. This exercise brings the mind into the moment, the present which can help shift attention particularly when you are being hard on yourself.
Accept compliments when they come
Some people are really uncomfortable at accepting a compliment and often dismiss it. A tip is to practice accepting them with a simple ‘thank you’, without a ‘but’ or a justification.
Self-forgiveness can be as difficult, if not more difficult, than forgiving someone else. Guilt or shame are negative, heavy for the mind and can make us unwell. Finding a way to accept what has happened and probably find someone you trust to talk things through. More often than not, the mind can exaggerate or catastrophise situations and saying them out loud is the first step to accepting and forgiving yourself. Quite often it is not as bad as we first think!
Let’s all be a little kinder to ourselves, okay?
Alison Blacker is a leading mindset coach specialising in corporate leadership, inspiring leaders around the world.
Since launching 2minds 13 years ago, Alison has taught hundreds of individuals and businesses to achieve incredible things using her unique combination of coaching, counselling skills and science-backed techniques.