We Pour and Pour
Take a moment to think about the most recent kind thing you did. Perhaps it was for a friend, a co-worker or a stranger passing by. Showing random acts of kindness is quite the trend in our current society; stories of pure human compassion pop up on our news feed to remind us that, yes, there is kindness in the world, and yes, it’s worth fighting for. These acts, big or small, can have an immensely positive impact on our surroundings. But when was the last time you showed kindness to yourself?
We often hesitate to focus solely on ourselves. It feels selfish. For so many of us, it’s easier to give. But continuing to give without taking time for yourself can do more harm than good, especially to your mental health. The saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” rings true. In order to give compassion to others, we have to start giving compassion to ourselves.
Practice Makes Progress
Before the self-care rituals, there are self-care practices. Learning to show kindness towards ourselves is full of trial and error. What makes us happy? What makes us uncomfortable? Is this helping you grow or pulling you back? Banish the idea that your kindness practice must equal perfection. What works for others might not work for you, and vice versa. The only thing that matters is that it does, in fact, work for you. Developing a sort of personal intuition helps us cope with the ups and downs of life. Thinking intuitively—turning your focus inward—is the first step in practicing kindness towards yourself.
Treat Yo Self Unironically
Take another moment to think about the most recent kind thing you did for yourself. If nothing comes to mind easily, take this as a sign to work on your self-kindness practice. Showing kindness towards yourself doesn’t have to be extravagant. Pamper yourself with a bath bomb and face mask, enjoy that fancy cup of coffee or simply give yourself a little grace as you walk through your everyday life. Canceling plans because you’re tired or anxious isn’t selfish, it’s kind. A simple shift in perspective allows us to put our mental health at the forefront of our attention. Making a moment for yourself and bestowing a little personal kindness will fill up our cup so we can pour with peace of mind.
Making time for your mental health is a personal kindness we all can strive to achieve. When we’re feeling stressed, rundown or simply overwhelmed, a random act of kindness towards ourselves can make a world of difference. Reach out to a friend or loved one, take a walk outside to enjoy the changing seasons or simply do something that makes you happy.
We all experience life differently, and we’d love to hear how you show kindness towards yourself. Share your rituals, practices and comments below! And who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired, or inspire someone else, to show personal kindness right now.
BetterHelp sponsored this post to help encourage awareness around mental health. For online counseling, BetterHelp is our go to source. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to get the help you need.