We’re taught to be kind to others from the very beginning, but all too often we leave ourselves off the list. Without even realizing it, we can be our biggest bully and greatest adversary. But life’s tough enough—there’s no reason to steal your own sunshine.
Here are eight ways to be a kinder, more loving friend to yourself:
1. Be in your corner.
Instead of submitting to your misgivings, stand up to them. Squash self-doubt. Cheer for yourself. You are your own biggest motivator, the true mover and shaker of your life. No one cares about you as much as you should care about yourself. So stand tall in your corner, and honor all that you are and all that you can become.
2. Pay it forward, to yourself.
Do things your future self will thank you for. Like wearing sunscreen. And starting savings accounts. And going to bed early—and actually taking vitamins. Send good karma into the universe. Do kind things now for the future you and future life you want to have. It’s never too late to start.
3. Give your flaws a high-five.
Your body is a powerful vessel capable of doing good and lovely things. Don’t be so hard on it. In an interview following the Boston Marathon bombing, one of the runners described how much she used to loathe her thighs—ashamed of their spider veins and collage of dimples. In the article’s photo she stood tall with her new prosthetic legs. “Now, I would give anything to have those legs I used to hate,” she said. Love your body, stretch marks, scars, and all.
4. Welcome the good.
Studies show that we subconsciously self-sabotage what we don’t think we deserve. If you don’t think you are worthy of love, happiness, or success, you won’t receive those things because you won’t allow yourself to let them in. So change your perception of what you think you deserve. Send out good vibes, and welcome them in with a warm heart when they come back to you.
5. Give yourself a hand.
Kindness is helping others when they are down, so help yourself just the same. If you’re down for the count or stuck in a rut, that’s okay—it happens. Accept it and then make a conscious effort to shift your perspective and pull yourself up. We’ve all been there, and you’d do the same for a friend.
6. Be whatever you are, wherever you are.
Yearning for the good old days or stressing about what the future holds dilutes the present. No matter where you are or what the situation is, feel it and embrace it. Don’t waste what you have now by wishing for what once was or longing for what could be. This is your time. Live in it.
7. Ditch the hard feelings.
Grudges are an ugly burden. And when you mess up, you can hold one against yourself. But the thing is, mistakes are a part of this wonderful life—and that’s okay. Don’t punish yourself by dragging past failures and mistakes around like a backpack full of rocks. They slow you down physically and emotionally. Learn from them, make peace with them, and set yourself free.
8. Be kind to others.
Many of us already know that volunteering has magnificent powers. When you help others, the work you’re doing, time you’re spending, or money you’re giving comes back around tenfold. Use your passion or craft to deepen the impact of your service. Teach a free yoga class for children, prepare your best dessert for a bake sale, or simply listen to the stories of others. Do good and be kind. It will pay invaluable dividends to the soul.
Photo via iStock
Laci Mosier is a copywriter living and loving in Austin, Texas. She and her one-eyed pirate dog live for exploring and discovering life’s magic. She is most inspired by yoga, running, Kundalini meditation, good books, great jams and even better coffee. Getting lost is where she is most often found. Follow her on the Twittersphere or Instagram.