World Kindness Day is on November 13, 2022, and just as it sounds, it is a day to be kind. Remember that it is just as important to be kind to yourself as to be kind to those around you.
There are many ways to be kind to yourself and feed your mind, body, and soul. Some ways to fuel your mind could be reading a book, listening to a podcast, playing brain games, and meditating. Ways to honor your body could be getting a massage, working out, eating healthy, and drinking water daily. Being kind to your soul could look like listening to your favorite music, going on a hike, choosing to be happy, and learning to pause.
Learning to be kind to yourself can be difficult, but these simple acts can assist in the practice of showing yourself kindness. Remember that self-care and self-compassion are of the utmost importance. Have you ever heard the phrase, “you cannot love yourself until you love yourself”? Those powerful words hold so much truth, especially in our world today. Take time to reward yourself with a kindness day celebration, such as catching up with a friend, treating yourself to your favorite meal, or taking time to be alone.
Strategies for cultivating self-compassion
Self-compassion, like self-care, takes practice and consistency. Developing self-compassion consists of two parts; part one includes knowing how to cultivate it, and part two involves exercising it.
To grow self-compassion is to learn to nurture and forgive yourself. Harvard Health Publishing says that practicing mindfulness, writing letters, encouraging yourself, and comforting your body are ways to achieve this. When you make a mistake, try not to beat yourself up for it and attempt to go back and see where you went wrong. Reflect on past things that you have done and learn to practice self-forgiveness. When life is knocking you down at every turn, channel your resiliency.
Speaking with a mental health professional is another great way to discover or enhance self-compassion. Mental health professionals can help you see things differently and guide you through life’s challenging moments. Utilizing mindfulness and meditation are also effective in improving the ability to process and explore your methods of thinking and feeling, which in turn can assist in boosting self-compassion practices.
Why self-care is important for the community
Our world today is hectic; everyone is always on the go and in a rush. Most people work two or three jobs to get by, and those who can only perform one job have a workload of two or three. As a result, stress, depression, and anxiety rates increase daily, yet we are doing nothing to manage them constructively, which is where self-care comes into play.
We as humans must take the time to take care of ourselves. Mind you, it does not have to be anything extravagant, but simple self-care practices can drastically change our community. We would see stress rates decrease, and people would be more mild-mannered and less tense. We would see people being kinder to others around them.
As a community, we need to improve self-care to maintain our sanity. Start with kindness exercises for yourself; set boundaries with work and others. Make sure to eat when hunger strikes. Take breaks when needed. Be a kind inspiration to others by caring for yourself first and setting a positive example for others to follow.
Benefits of kindness to yourself and others
Why should you be kind to yourself and others?
“Kindness not only makes us feel good but also has a positive impact on our health — both physical and mental.” Acts of kindness are things that we do for others when they have not asked, and we expect nothing in return.
Think about a time when you gifted someone something they wanted or knew they would enjoy. Picture their face in your mind at that moment; their smile, the joy they exuded upon receiving your gift. Now recall the feeling that gave you, and channel it. I bet it felt good and made the other person very happy.
This example is just one of the benefits of kindness. Other benefits include positivity, strength, and a better world overall. Being harsh, rude, and downright mean to the people around you is easy. Being nice to a total stranger or someone who has wronged or hurt you takes excellent power. The concept seems simple enough, doesn’t it, to merely be good, but it takes consistent practice and determination.
When you can do at least one kind thing each day, you start to feel better about yourself and continue to be kind to everyone around you.
Written by: Emily Shelton, LCPC, CADC, CRSS.
At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in therapy and psychiatry services. To learn more about how we can support your mental health, call Clarity Clinic at (312) 815-9660 or schedule an appointment today.