In honor of World Kindness Day, let us be reminded to be kind to one another. Can you imagine what a difference it would make in the world if we all focused on being kind? A small act of kindness can change someone’s day or the course of their life. Are you kind to yourself? Sometimes it’s difficult to be kind to ourselves as we go through the challenges of life. We often give much of our energy to family and jobs and forget about our own well-being. Be kind to everyone, including yourself.
- Nutrition – Fuel your body with healthy food. Reach for real food and minimize processed food as much as you can. Refrain from empty calories like soda, fruit juices, candy, donuts, chips, and other high sugar and high fat foods. These might seem like comfort foods in the moment, but they usually don’t make us feel very good. Choose foods will nourish your body: veggies, fruits, lean meats, legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Exercise – Move your body daily. Maybe it’s taking a walk, doing some yoga, dancing, weightlifting, or playing sports. Whatever it is, do an activity you like. Along with the many health benefits, exercise releases endorphins that reduce stress, anxiety, and tension, while boosting your mood.
- Rest – Take time to rest. Don’t skimp on sleep. Good sleep is so important for overall health and preventing sickness. Naps aren’t just for babies. Taking a nap may not make up for inadequate sleep, but even a short nap of 20-30 minutes can improve mood and alertness (1). Schedule your rest time, whatever that is for you. Maybe that’s meditation, reading a book, or watching a TV show, but don’t feel guilty about taking “you” time to rest. The point is to slow down from the hustle and bustle and find peace.
- Treat yourself – Buy yourself a treat or go do something you enjoy. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a bunch of money. Take yourself on a coffee date, go to a matinee, get your hair done, buy new socks, buy fancy cheese. If you are someone that doesn’t usually do this, remember it’s okay to occasionally treat yourself. You deserve it!
- Forgive yourself – Forgiving yourself is the first step to self-love and acceptance. Unfortunately, this can be one of our biggest obstacles. We often carry past decisions and put ourselves down. We torture ourselves by replaying scenarios in our minds and we strive for perfection, which is unattainable. Nourish yourself mentally and let go of these lies. Believe in yourself and know that you are worthy of good things.
- Community – Surround yourself with uplifting, positive people. You shouldn’t have to go through life alone. We all need people in our lives to love on us and to love. Be part of a group with common interests or beliefs, where friends will challenge and encourage you. Find a community that nourishes you.
- National Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/napping. Accessed November 8, 2018.