I love the stories of the kindness of others – whether it is the videos of Secret Santas, neighbors helping neighbors, or groups of people rallying around those in a time of need. But how good are you at being kind to yourself through the actions you take and the stories you tell yourself each day?

For example, how can we be kind to others if we are mean and nasty to ourselves? How can you love someone else, if you hate yourself? How helpful is it to acknowledge what others do, then belittle your own accomplishments? How supported do you feel when you constantly put the needs of others before your own.

I have often heard the saying that change is an “inside job”, in other words, it is the focused energy and effort we put into ourselves. A common metaphor used to illustrate this point is when a flight attendant says – “put your oxygen mask on first”. Being kind to ourselves and staying conscious of our self-care is one way we actively support that “inside job” effort. Yet it doesn’t stop with us.

I was listening to a video recently when I heard the statement – “Kindness when it’s done right, can become a circle”. That circle starts with you. While there is no “I” in the word team or wellness, if we don’t start with “I” there is in fact a very important component we leave out – ourselves.

Knowing that kindness is an inside job, what are ways you can treat yourself with kindness?

  • Allow yourself to receive the kindness of others? Compliments, thank you’s, and offers of assistance?
  • Pamper yourself and treat yourself like you would an honored guest
  • Connect with the special people in your life
  • Look in the mirror and say something nice to yourself (and mean it)
  • Say good-bye to relationships that no longer serve you
  • Forgive yourself
  • Clean out your closet and make room for something new
  • Download my 3 Ways to Use Color to Transform Your World
  • Use a gratitude practice and celebrate your successes
  • Feed your body with healthy foods
  • Ground yourself to align your energy
  • Feed your senses
  • Do something fun (whatever fun means to you)

Once you find ways to be kind to yourself, notice what shifts when you spread that kindness to others with:

  • A kind word
  • A donation
  • An offer of assistance
  • A thank you
  • Or whatever ways feel right to you

Wishing you a season of kindness – both towards yourself and others.

© Mindy Schrager, Systems of Change, LLC