Kindness for Yourself
Golden Rule Challenge: Week 3
So far, our awesome Golden Rule Challenge for the month of October has been going strong, and we’re super excited for the arrival of Week 3! This week’s challenge asks our students to do one kind act each day for family members, but that also includes themselves as well. In fact, the emphasis for this week is for students to do kind things for their own sake. How we treat ourselves often tends to reflect how we treat others, so being kind to ourselves is an important habit to practice. There are many ways to practice kindness for yourself, including keeping a healthy lifestyle, not being overly hard on yourself, and taking care of any necessary responsibilities or tasks.
The bottom line is, self-kindness starts with self-discipline. Self-discipline means keeping ourselves in line by following self-imposed rules and philosophies that guide us to be good people. It is more than simply just “self-control”, which is a subdivision of the broader self-discipline.
Self-discipline is what allows us to govern ourselves, and self-kindness is a practice that should be worked into your discipline for the best results. Adding self-kindness to your life will bring about happiness, confidence, and a more positive worldview. When we are kinder to ourselves, we are more likely to be kinder to others, and to the World as a whole (stay tuned next week for more on kindness for the World).
To put it another way, kindness itself is a discipline, so self-kindness is inherently part of our self-discipline.
One of the most prominent ways to be kind to yourself is to keep a healthy lifestyle. That means eating three nutritious, full, balanced meals a day. Make sure to include a healthy serving of fruits and veggies at each meal, and cut down on junk food. That doesn’t mean you can’t have potato chips or french fries every once in a while, but have them in moderation.
This is where self-discipline kicks in, as we need to be careful what we’re fueling our bodies with. When they say “You are what you eat,” they really do mean it. When we eat healthy, we feel healthy, and that allows us to do more throughout our day. Doing that for ourselves is a great way to start practicing self-kindness.
Another part of a healthy lifestyle is daily exercise. That doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every single day and work-out, but it does mean to get on your feet and make sure you’re moving around throughout the day here and there. It can even be as simple as taking a refreshing walk outside. Just be careful not to be sedentary for too long, so make sure you move your body every once and while.
A good way to start practicing good exercise habits is to start by being active for at least 30 minutes every day, with at least 2 intensive work-outs each week. Once you’ve got that under your belt, try being active for 60 minutes each day, with 3 weekly intensive work-outs.
Again, that doesn’t mean you have to be in the gym, though you most certainly can if you’d prefer. But, it does mean to follow a routine. You’re more than welcome to do the “hard-core” work-outs at home or outside. Whatever you do, make sure you create a plan and stick to it. It all comes back to self-discipline.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Another great way to start incorporating self-kindness in your daily routine is by being mindful of how you treat yourself. People make mistakes from time to time, but that’s how we learn and go. It’s best not to be too harsh on yourself when you mess up, because then you start to focus on the negatives. Instead, try to maintain the “glass half full” viewpoint, where you can start to appreciate the lessons we learn, and make the most of a tough situation.
If your test score comes back lower than you anticipated, don’t let it get you down too much. Instead, take it as an opportunity to see where you need to grow, and ask your teacher for extra help so you don’t make the same mistakes next time! There’s always a positive way to look at every situation; the “silver lining.” It may be hard to see at times, but being nicer to yourself will open up that window.
That’s not to say that you should completely ignore the downsides of a situation, but it’s important to recognize how our mistakes make us better. That is a philosophy known as “falling forward,” which tells us that even when we fall down and make mistakes, we’re still moving in the right direction as long as we choose to do so. It’s not about how many times you fall, but rather how many times you choose to get back up.
Whether it’s keeping a neat space or crafting a daily to-do list, staying organized is another fantastic representation of self-kindness and self-discipline. Whatever your daily responsibilities and tasks are, it’s important to make sure you stay on top of them by keeping good focus.
Cleaner living and working spaces will help you concentrate more, and get work done more efficiently. Less clutter means less distraction, and more opportunity to sustain your attention. It seems small, but staying visually and physically organized buys back much more time throughout the day.
Making a to-do list every day is one way of organizing tasks, and will help you keep track of all your important responsibilities. Another great way to do this is time blocking, where you not only list the things you have to get done throughout the day, but plan when you do it and how much time you will need. Whichever strategy you choose, by turning your to-do list into a visual aid, you can clearly paint the picture of what needs to be done so you can better manage your time!
Giving yourself the time and space necessary to accomplish all your daily goals is a great way to practice being kind to yourself. It might seem tedious to plan out your daily activities, but these strategies are used by the most successful business owners, and help them stay on top of everything. Just remember: practice makes perfect!
In Our Classes
This week in classes, we will be focusing on helping our students practice self-kindness by showing them the same strategies listed above. We will place emphasis on healthy living habits, not being overly self-critical, and organization techniques. Our instructors utilize these strategies day in and day out, and are equipped to share these practices with our students. We will remind our students to eat nutritious meals and exercise regularly, while teaching them how to manage time and keep a positive outlook. The truth is, all of these routines go together hand in hand, so it’s easy to start practicing all three!
Self-kindness starts with self-discipline, which is the ability to govern yourself by personal morals and beliefs. Add these three tactics to your daily routine, and you’ll be sure to see an improvement in how you treat yourself! It’s important to keep in mind that the Golden Rule applies to yourself, too. You should treat yourself how you want to treat other people, and how you want others to treat you as well. Just like other kinds of kindness we’ve talked about this month, self-kindness is a cycle that will keep you happier in the long run, while additionally spreading kindness to others in the process!
What ways do you practice self-kindness?
What other ways can we show kindness to ourselves?
Self-kindness and self-discipline are two different, yet interrelated things. How do you see these two concepts playing a role in your life?