Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
I wrote about kindness a lot when doing my daily deeds challenge, and remember how it encouraged me to think about how one small act of kindness can really go a long way.
And the best thing about being kind, is that it doesn’t have to cost a thing!
It’s likely that you think of kindness and you automatically think of the kindness you give to others, that was my immediate thought anyway. So if you’re like me, I want to remind you that you are the priority in your life and your wellbeing matters first. I would like you to keep yourself at the forefront of your mind whilst reading this, because the kindness I’ll be writing about today isn’t the type that you give to others, it’s about the kindness you give to yourself.
What does being kind to yourself look like?
I’ve been in my new role for just over 2 months now and I’m also at university, it’s been quite the adjustment and the way I’m set up, I want to do everything at once. But when I initially started working and studying I felt overwhelmed and was thinking where will I find the time for me? Exercise (one of my 5 E’s for a fufilling day) had to take a back seat whilst I was finding my feet in the world of working full time, something I hadn’t done before. I was getting frustrated because I wanted to workout but couldn’t see where I could find the time to do so. And that in itself was something I needed to wrap my head around because finding the time to exercise wasn’t even a question; training and all that it came with it dictated my life. But I had to recognise that I am now a different version of me.
So I write all of that to say, being kind is being patient. Take your time, you really don’t have to try and do it all at once. If you want to return, then slowly re-introduce yourself back to whatever it was you took a break from. Understand that you are forever evolving, so what if you’re not where you previously were? It doesn’t matter as long as you’re honest with where you are going.
Being kind is being accepting. Sarah Blondin is someone who I often meditate to and in one of her loving kindness practice’s she mentioned, how we should give ourselves permission to be in all the places we are – no judgement, no criticism. I loved this because it’s about accepting wherever you’re currently at in life and being okay with it. It could be the progress (or lack of progress) you’re making towards a goal, your relationship status, where you’re at it in your career, it could be a recent change and all that it comes with, or even the diverse range of emotions we feel on a daily basis. Giving yourself permission validates your experience and gives you the opportunity to sit with whatever is going on for you right now, I’m not saying you have to like it, it’s about recognising you’re current state and not dismissing it as nothing, because it’s never nothing.
Being kind is being non-judgemental. As I’ve got older I’ve learned to give myself more grace, which if I’m being honest has been a consequence of not reaching certain goals. If a younger Sabrina didn’t acheive what she expected of herself, she would react negatively. Sometimes it would motivate me to do better, but that initial reaction wasn’t pleasant as I would be highly critical of myself, would question whether I was good enough and this led to self-doubt. I realised that this pattern of thinking wasn’t beneficial, and learned not to drown in the judgement by simply asking what does being so harsh do for me? Be gentle whenever in doubt or when feeling vulnerable just as you would a friend, give that same compassion to yourself.
Being kind is being flexible. This is about being flexible in your approach to life, acknowledging that life does what it wants and we can’t really control that. And because life does what it wants it will scatter your plans and create some barriers that you weren’t expecting. It’s important to understand that it’s inevitable and you cannot plan for every eventuality but what you can do, is have a flexible approach versus a rigid one. This can be acheived in a few ways such as: having a plan B & C, find alternative ways to reach the same outcome, even thinking that everything happens for a reason can be useful. Flexibility in life can help prevent you from being completely stuck in your tracks and potentially reduce the stress you feel when life decides to throw you a curveball.
Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to think about kindness a little differently and take it into consideration because you deserve all the things that kindness is, it’s now about putting those things into practice.