Whether it’s buying a coffee for the person behind you in the queue, leaving a book in a public place for someone else to enjoy, or simply holding the door open, being kind does not have to be difficult.
With the aim of making the world a more compassionate and connected place, November 13 was named World Kindness Day in 1998, and has been inspiring individuals towards incorporating selfless acts into their day-to-day lives ever since.
But with our hectic and crowded schedules, there is one person we can often forget to be generous to – ourselves.
According to various studies, practising self-compassion can result in an ability to cope better with stress, lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety, alongside enhancing immune function and increasing motivation.
Therefore, far from being narcissistic, being kind to yourself is actually incredibly important.
Here are six ways to do just that:
1. Compliment yourself
It might sound ridiculous, but standing in front of the bathroom mirror in the morning and voicing what you love about yourself or what you’re grateful to have in your life, has the power to alter your mindset.
When we look at ourselves, we tend to only focus on all the things we would change, but the ‘mirror technique’, a favourite of body-positive activist and model Iskra Lawrence, reminds you of the qualities that make you and your life amazing, which can have a positive impact on the rest of your day.
2. Skip the social gathering
Sometimes, all you want to do is put your pyjamas on, apply a face mask and lie down while eating as many chocolate-based snacks as humanly possible, rather than go to that social gathering. So do it.
Every once in a while it’s OK to switch off from the world. Listening to yourself and putting your wellbeing first is really important. Take some time out - you can always go to the next event.
3. Try meditation
Having gained a large following in recent years, meditation and mindfulness have proven to have a number of mental health benefits.
With free content accessible online and via dedicated apps, you can give yourself the gift of a clear mind and heightened concentration, requiring only a few minutes from your day.
4. Stop scrolling
In this current digital age we are able to compare ourselves to absolutely anyone, from an old school friend we lost contact with 15 years ago, or someone we’ve never met living on the other side of the world, and this can leave us feeling inferior and desolate.
Reduce your chances of developing repetitive strain injury, and do something that banishes these feelings from your mind.
Go to the gym, visit your family or re-watch the Lindsay Lohan version of The Parent Trap for the millionth time - it’s up to you.
5. Try something new
Leaving your comfort-zone is an extremely scary prospect, but forcing yourself to mix things up can be a very rewarding experience. In giving a new activity or sport a go, you can learn a new skill, increase your confidence and feed your creativity, which can assist you in other areas of your life.
While you might end up hating the thing you pick, it could be something your future self thanks you for.
6. Treat yourself
Whether it’s buying that dress that’s been on your Asos wish-list for months, indulging in those cupcakes you see everyday on your walk to work, or booking a mini break, you deserve to reward yourself from time-to-time.
Whether it’s an extravagant once-in-a-lifetime purchase or something that doesn’t require breaking the bank, doing something you want to can boost your mood, reduce stress and remind you that you’re doing great.
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