Are you generally kind to yourself? To your treat yourself with respect and with dignity? Do you care for yourself well? From a very young age we are taught to be kind to others, to be respectful, to be nice. And I’m so glad we are. But are we ever taught to be kind to ourselves?
I think women, especially, can struggle with self kindness and self care. We often are so caught up in caring for our families, for our neighbors, for our parents, and for our friends, we sometimes don’t leave any space to care for ourselves.
It’s good to be kind to yourself.
But, sometimes showing ourselves kindness can get a bad rap. I don’t believe that line of thought is intentional, but in some instances, it can certainly come across that way.
What do I mean? Well, it’s likely many of us have been taught to put others before ourselves. In fact, that’s biblical.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.Philippians 2:3 NLT
We are encouraged to live selfless lives, to serve God and others. We find joy in helping the people around us. It’s a blessing to be a blessing, right? Imagine how empty our lives would be if we only served ourselves. (I’ve tried it. Take my word for it, it’s a miserable life.) So, meeting the needs of others sometimes means we set aside our needs for a time.
That is a very good and healthy and beautiful thing. And I will always agree with God’s Word.
But the thing is, if we keep giving and giving and giving, and pouring ourselves out day after day after day, we become empty if we don’t fill ourselves back up. Not only that, but just because we serve others, doesn’t mean we forego caring for ourselves.
If we don’t care for ourselves, we can’t effectively care for others.
Actually, as we serve and care for others, it’s must we show kindness to and care for ourselves.
Jesus was a perfect example to follow in this matter. Scripture shows us how He often retreated away from the crowds to be refreshed by God. He took time off. He cared for His wellbeing. As He served others, He also took care of Himself.
So, we have nothing to feel guilty about. You can be kind to yourself without feeling bad about it. You and I can care for ourselves without feeling guilty. And sometimes the ways we can do that aren’t always the first ways that come to mind.
So, here are 6 uncommon ways to be kind to yourself today.
1 – Pause and breathe.
Sometimes just pausing our bodies and breathing deep is all we need to show kindness to ourselves on a full day. That act alone helps usher in calm and reduces stress and anxiety.
2 – Think kind thoughts and say kind words about yourself.
This one isn’t so uncommon, but it’s so very important. The thoughts we think and the words we say about ourselves impact us in ways we don’t even realize. If an unkind thought or word appears today, replace it with its kind counterpart.
3 – Smile at yourself in the mirror.
I never do this, but I’m going to start. How often do we look at ourselves in the mirror, analyzing every gray hair or newly-appearing fine line? Instead, let’s show kindness to ourselves by smiling at the image in the mirror. She deserves your smile.
4 – Do something you enjoy but haven’t taken the time to do in awhile.
What do you enjoy but haven’t done in awhile? Spending the afternoon in the hammock? Hiking? Creating a new culinary dish? Whatever it is, do that thing. If you can’t do it today, schedule it for sometime soon in the future.
5 – Go on a date with yourself.
I’ve not done this recently, but I want to. Go to your favorite restaurant, or to your favorite coffee shop, or to a new movie that just released… with just yourself. Take yourself on a date, don’t rush, and enjoy the time out.
6 – Sleep in or go to bed early.
One great way to be kind to yourself is to get more rest. If you can, set your alarm a little later tomorrow morning or go to bed earlier tonight. Treat yourself to a few more zzzzzs. Your body will thank you.
I invite you to choose one of these ways to be kind to yourself today, tomorrow, or sometime this week. Or if you have one I should add to this list, share it in the comments below. I’m going to smile at myself in the mirror a lot more this week!
Friend, may we be a little more kind to ourselves from here on out. We will be better equipped and prepared to do all we do on a daily basis. Plus, I think it’s a great example for others as well.
Be kind to yourself. You are worthy of your kindness.
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