You deserve and need kindness! Give this to yourself so that any kindness you get from others is just a bonus!
Ann (Director, The I Can Centre)
Managing barriers / problems
Kindness and self-care can be a challenge for beginning practitioners incl those with busy lives. As noted by Richardson (2009) self-care takes patience, commitment and practice which includes sitting with uncomfortable feelings initially such as guilt or fear (for erroneously being judged negatively). However, you deserve kindness. Additionally, self-care and kindness are not selfish; by respecting and caring for ourselves, we are more able to respect and care for others. You may even be a role model for others towards similar changes.
Managing challenges however is absolutely worthwhile. A more kind and compassionate way of life will mean:
For more information, talk to us in confidence about 1-1 CBT, or attend any of our FREE / low cost community courses that we run regularly throughout the year, incl our 6-week community Stress Busters course - see our calendar for the most up-to-date information about courses [click here / see top menu bar].
Steps towards kindness and self-care, and a new you, can include any of the following:
Becoming more compassionate and kind
Self- or other criticism is the opposite of compassion and kindness, This occurs when we accidentally allow an inner critical voice relative freedom to judge, undermine, condemn or even sabotage our efforts and activities. When this happens, moods often drop, stress or anxiety increases, and a lot of energy gets wasted. Typically however, this happens because people simply had not realised the negative consequences, or that there are better and more effective ways to manage ongoing negative, angry, anxious or worrisome thoughts. An effective first step towards dealing with setbacks and difficulties is through genuine self-compassion and kindness.
Being kind to ourselves means taking time to treat ourselves with respect, compassion and care. Kindness and compassion means being sensitive to suffering of the self, and of others, and it includes a deep commitment to prevent/manage that suffering and nurture well-being (Gilbert, 2015). As an example, if a colleague gets a promotion and you did not, it would be easy to self-criticise and tell yourself “you should have done better”, or “you messed that up”. By taking a self-compassionate and kinder stance however, you might say instead: “your time will come”, or “you are feeling annoyed / angry, and that’s painful – you need to do some self-care / a kind and compassionate activity at this difficult time to improve how you are feeling". Kindness and self-compassion, which includes self-care, are especially important at difficult times, but ideally, kindness and self-compassion also become a way of life.
Steps towards self-compassion and kindness
DAKtivism - daily acts of kindness
Compassion is crucial for health and happiness, and those practicing daily acts of kindness and self-compassion gain many benefits - more fulfilling lives and relationships; relief from stress, anxiety and low mood; deep feelings of self-worth; greater life satisfaction, happiness and purpose in life; better health and even increased longevity. These benefits can be available to everyone and so compassion is encouraged/taught as a first step with all our clients incl those getting 1-1 CBT, as well as those attending any of our community courses, such as 'Stress Busters', or our meditation classes.