Cultivating a mindset of self-kindness and less judgement is an important topic any time, but especially this time of year when school is about to end for the summer, sleep schedules change, you may travel more, experience allergies or your body adjusts to being more phsyically active and you spend more time outdoors. You and your mind can benefit from support and compassion during these transitions when decision-making and self-talk can be influenced by critical thoughts or judgement arising from feeling stressed or overwhelmed. This has been a hot topic in my practice this May in both coaching and therapy sessions and I want to share my clients’ favorite strategies.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. ~ Lao Tzu
Here are 5 tips to be kinder to yourself:
- One of my favorite strategies with mindset coaching clients (and I one that I use personally) when making decisions is to ask yourself, “What advice would I give my best friend?” This will shift you out of reacting habitually and make choices with increased compassion. You will treat those important to you with respect and kindness. Truly, you deserve this same treatment and I find it to be a great starting point.
- Along the same lines as above, it can be powerful to imagine yourself as a child. When you see that image, estimate your age. If possible, find a photo of yourself, print it out and make it visually accessible. When you are making decisions or finding that you are being hard on yourself, speak to and support this younger you that still lives inside of you. You will be more kind to all of YOU.
- When you look in the mirror smile and take a breath. This will give you space to pause and stop any judgement, harsh language or criticism that may automatically pop up regarding your appearance. Plus, when we see a smile, our brain produces chemicals (neurotransmitters) that can boost your mood, combat stress and calm your nervous system.
- Schedule time in your calendar to take care of yourself just as you do a work, a doctor or dentist appointment. You may schedule relaxation time, finally read that magazine that is sitting on the coffee table, meet with a supportive friend, read a book that makes you happy, and/or go to a class for fun or go outside.
- Ask yourself a question that will lead you to acknowledgement and celebration of you and your accomplishments. At the end of the day, check-in and ask, “What went right today?” or “What accomplishments am I proud of?” Or “How did I nourish myself today?” You deserve a pat on the back and we do not need to wait for others to give that to you. What you think matters most!
So, as we move into the summer, why not set the intention to be more kind to yourself! Less judgements, comparisons and foster more compassion. If you would like to discuss this topic more or shift your mindset, schedule a no-fee twenty minute coaching consultation here.