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With so much to do, it’s no wonder that it feels like there’s never enough time left for you. It’s easy to find yourself running on empty and before you know it your health begins to suffer both mentally and physically. And, to quote a slightly overused saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ - which makes sense, doesn’t it?
If we want to enjoy our days and share the best of ourselves with those that we love, then we have to carve a little time out to nourish ourselves. This can be as simple as being kinder to yourself. So, let’s look at a few ways that you can practise self-kindness in your day - ideally every day if you can but start where you are and build on it along the way...
Create Mindful Mornings
What do your mornings look like? I truly believe that they set the tone for our entire day. But, too many of us start off by snoozing the alarm before reluctantly getting out of bed and then seeing where the day takes us. Even if you’ll never be a morning person, that’s ok, just try to do something kind for your mind body or spirit. It could be 5 minutes of meditation, a nourishing breakfast, your favourite yoga pose or simply pausing while you enjoy your morning tea.
If you start in a kind and positive way it’s so much easier to continue that feeling throughout your day. Read more on creating a more mindful morning.
Even when times are challenging, positive thoughts can help us navigate those waters. If you’re working towards a goal and feel like you’re not making the progress that you had hoped for, then remind yourself of your daily efforts and speak kindly to yourself about the progress that you have made so far.
Make an effort to look for the positive, it’s usually there and it’s always more motivating than the negative.
Be Your Own Best Friend
Sometimes we have to be our own best friend; a comforting voice and cheerleader when we need it. And, it’s pretty easy to do, just think of how you’d speak to a friend who was having a bad day or facing your current challenge. I know that you’d be a lot kinder to them than you’re being to yourself. Whisper those gentle words and encouragement and shower yourself with the same kindness that you’d offer to someone else.
Schedule Time For Yourself
We often make time for others when they need it but we rarely do the same for ourselves. It might feel strange at first - indulgent even - but, book a 10 minute slot in your diary for yourself. You don’t need to fill it with anything and at first you might have to resist the temptation to skip over it. But, these 10 minutes will give you the time you need to pause, breathe well for a few minutes and gather your thoughts before moving on.
This gets easier with time and you may want to start adding several short pauses into every day.
I used to think that slowing down would mean getting less done but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Letting go of never ending to do lists and multi-tasking is very freeing and once you’ve mastered the art of doing one thing at a time, you’ll never go back, I promise. Here are a few more tips on how to break the cycle of being busy, single tasking and slowing down.
I love this one. Smile at others, smile when you look in the mirror and even smile when you’re sat on your own! It’s an instant physical reminder that there’s something positive in your life to be grateful for and it’s free.
I’ll be honest, for some of us this can be a bit of a challenge. But, let’s start with those small mistakes that just remind us that we’re human. The key is to keep a balanced perspective and it helps when you don’t let your inner critic blow everything way out of proportion. Again, speak kindly to yourself as if you would a friend or colleague, put right what you can and then let it go - do not ruminate over it all day!
Give yourself Gifts
Some people call these treats but I prefer to think of them as gifts; a bunch of flowers, a new book, your favourite bath product or skincare. We shouldn’t only feel loved when someone else finds the time to show us how much they value us. Of course, you can also give yourself the gift of time to do something that you love. Try making a list of kind gestures that lift your spirit and then you’ll have a variety of things that you can dip into for inspiration.
No matter how different our paths and where life takes us, self-compassion and kindness will always help us to grow and become the version of ourselves that we want to share with the world around us.
Don’t wait, start being kinder to yourself today.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.