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Do These 20 Simple Things To Treat Yourself With Love and Kindness

Do These 20 Simple Things To Treat Yourself With Love and Kindness

Even the most highly evolved person can remain their own worst critic. As we strive to become more loving and accepting of others, we must first direct the love and acceptance toward ourselves. This is called self-compassion. According to Kristin Neff , a scientist whose research focuses on self-compassion, we need to begin by quieting our own inner critic. She identifies the three components of self-compassion as self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

Self-kindness is the desire to alleviate suffering. Treating oneself with care and understanding. Common humanity is our ability to see our personal experience as part of a larger human experience. Mindfulness is the ability stay present and avoid emotional extremes or suppression.

Why Don’t People Show Themselves Compassion?

In our busy lives we often want to rush right into problem solving mode before we have actually spent a moment feeling our feelings. Accepting them. And deciding why we feel that way and if it works for us. Why isn’t this self-compassionate way of thinking more prevalent? Some of the reasons people don’t afford themselves compassion and love include:

  1. Confusing self-compassion with a pity party.
  2. Difficulty interpreting the difference constructive criticism and bullying.
  3. Seeing self-care as over-indulgent
  4. Misinterpreting our compassion as excuses for our short-comings.
  5. Believing that the best way to motivate yourself to change is by being critical of you are today.

The good thing is that once you cultivate an attitude of acceptance for yourself you will find these benefits accompany it. For example, self-compassion offers the same advantages as high self-esteem and people who love themselves have steadier emotions. When people who accept themselves are able to discuss their negatives, they are able to buffer the emotional blow by using “we” instead of me as they share common humanity. Other benefits of self acceptance are compassion for yourself, freeing yourself from comparison to others, and increasing happiness.

20 Ways to Treat Yourself with Kindness

If you are convinced that being loving, kind, and accepting of yourself is something to prioritize, here are 20 ways to start treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated. Pick a few to try each day.

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1. Take a walk

2. Indulge in a treat like imported cheese, chocolate or some salty fries

3. Buy a new book

4. Have a picnic lunch

5. Skip a chore you really dislike

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6. Plant a flower

7. Throw yourself a kitchen dance party while you cook

8. Use the good dishes and make your table Martha Stewart worthy

9. Wear your most comfortable clothing

10. Clear your closet clutter and donate the things you don’t need to someone who needs them

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11. Give yourself a facial

12. Smile at yourself in the mirror

13. Listen to an inspiring podcast

14. Start a gratitude journal- list three things you are thankful for every night before you go to bed

15. Buy a better pillow- sleep well and your day will feel more smooth and relaxed

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16. Have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile

17. Invite someone intriguing but outside your normal social circle to lunch or to dinner

18. Plan a party

19. Register for a retreat

20. Pick one thing you have always wanted to do (like flying lessons or hot yoga) and do it!

Deciding to focus on habits that help you to flourish means knowing a bit about what boosts you happiness. For some it’s time alone, for others, a party. Becoming a student of who you are and what you like will help provide clarity as to how you can use simple hacks to increase your self-acceptance. When you love yourself this energy causes you to become more attractive to others. Remember, you are the priority here. Don’t be a martyr. Put yourself first. As the saying goes “You can’t pour from an empty cup”.

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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