Imagine that someone you love has had a horrible day and is crying in front of you. What would you do? No doubt you would rush to console them. Now how would you react if the person that was hurting was you? Would you still react the same way, rushing to console yourself? That is what self-kindness looks like.
Kindness to yourself is subtle. It’s how you breathe into yourself and whether you even notice your breathing. Feeding yourself something nutritious when you’re hungry, grabbing a drink when you’re thirsty, and having a nap when you feel exhausted are all forms of self kindness.
The key to being kind to yourself is noticing the small changes in your body and tending to them. With everything and everyone in our lives are vying for our attention though, we’ll put ourselves and our needs on the back burner. When little things are ignored, they become bigger issues later.
It’s sounds so simple to be kind to ourselves yet so many of us struggle with it, especially when stressed. We become frustrated with ourselves and judge ourselves for our feelings and pain. Rather than taking a moment to connect, we put off eating/drinking and push ourselves, trying to overcome our basic needs. If our focus is outside of ourselves, we can’t know what’s going on internally. When we finally do return our attention to our bodies, we’ll feel incredibly hungry, thirsty, and exhausted because we had ignored our needs for so long.
Being kind to yourself is a precursor to wellness so give yourself the greatest gift of self-kindness. Give yourself the kindness of a warm touch, a kind word, and putting yourself on your to-do list. Self-kindness is the type of kindness we need to give to ourselves during the holidays and everyday.
Challenge yourself to be kind to yourself for ten days: Drink water when you’re thirsty, eat nutritious foods when you’re hungry, have a nap when you’re tired, and most importantly, talk positively about yourself. Be gentle with yourself and love yourself fully.
Have a happy Hanukkah and a merry Christmas!