Kindness is such a tiny thing, that is very easy for it to get overlooked in the every day bustle of life, and the more important things. We are always being told we should LOVE OURSELVES, that we should have CONFIDENCE and other SELF BELIEF and other such CAPITALISED and American ways of thinking about ourselves. This can be quite overwhelming, when we are struggling to get through the day in one piece. They are such big concepts that is too much for us to deal with at times.
So how about kindness as a thought? What can you do right now that would be kind? Stop and have a cup of tea? Have a shower? Buy some fresh flowers next time you are at the supermarket so you have something prettying and bright to look at, regardless of the state of the house?
Kindness is a small thing, which doesn’t take much effort, but it can make a big difference to daily lives.
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or even just overwhelm at everything on your to-do list; taking a tiny step of kindness towards yourself is a big deal, but, crucially, doesn’t take a big effort to make it happen.
More often than not is free, or very low cost. When we are overwhelmed, with work, childcare, family and general LIFE, doing something kind can make you feel valued.
I have a list of kind things I can do which I keep in my drawer, so when I am feeling overwhelmed I don’t need to think about what would be a good thing to do, I just need to read the list and figure out what would suit me at the moment. Here are some examples (but it all starts by stepping away from the computer):
sit by candlelight
have a bath
go for a walk in the woods
do some yoga
read a book
have a pot of tea and listen to some music
play any of my musical instruments
write in my journal
go out with my camera
go for a swim
notice they are all nourishing, without any potential for regret – e.g. eating a large bar of chocolate! Your list will likely have different things on it to mine, yours might include calling a friend, or playing games with your children. The point is to create your own list. Most of these are very low effort – they don’t need any additional engagement with the world for the most part, which is something I find quite draining at times. Many of them are creative, because this is something which feeds my soul.
They are all digital free (apart from my camera, but I need to be away from the computer to use it), which is interesting. It all starts by stepping away from the computer and phone.
Taking care of ourselves is utterly vital, if we are not well, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, then we are not able to take care of others, or deliver well on our work. If I am not kind to myself then I end up highly stressed, not working well, and, in a relatively short period of time end up physically ill, in a lot of pain and exhausted. Many people do not have this early warning system which I have, they are able to keep going regardless.
So, what can you do to be kind to yourself today?