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Nurturing Your Inner Compass: 10 Ways to Increase Your Self-Care and Self-Kindness

Most of us are very kind and caring to others, to ourselves, not so much.

Often the more driven and determined we are, the more we criticise ourselves.

I want to show you how you can be successful, and be kind to yourself in the process.

No more harsh words

No more spiralling into negative thinking

Kind, caring and compassionate .. to yourself as much as you are with other people.

Firm, yet fair!

Here are 10 ways to increase your self-care and self-kindness whilst still pushing yourself forward.

chalk on a blackboard of 2 heads one with a scribbled 'brain' and the other with a spiral 'brain'
Your thoughts become your words and actions - be kind

Understanding Self-Kindness and Self-Compassion:

We often prioritise caring for others over ourselves. It is so much easier to focus away from ourselves and show kindness and compassion to those who need it, however, we rarely recognise and respond when we need it ourselves.

Understanding the concepts of self-kindness and self-compassion is crucial for our overall development and well-being, when we are more critical of ourselves then we are more likely to try and hold ourselves in the safety of our comfort zone. When we use compassion and encouragement and positive reinforcement we are more likely to keep moving forward, seizing opportunities as they arise and experiencing more positive emotions.

Turning Compassion Inward:

Extending compassion to others comes naturally to many of us, it is something we are taught at a young age and it is actively encouraged, praised and rewarded. Similarly we are taught not to criticise others, not to use hard or harsh language towards others. We are taught to be kind and compassionate and we are rewarded when we display these behaviours. Turning compassion inward does not come naturally to everyone. It is a learned behaviour and whilst some of us were taught to quieten the inner critic that often holds us back not all of us learned to do this at an early age.

Learning to talk to ourselves with the kindness and compassion we show to others, turning the compassion inward is an incredibly important skill and if we know we can do it to others then we can most certainly do it for ourselves too.

The Power of Mindfulness:

Mindfulness looks different to all of us, the important outcome, regardless of what technique is used, is ensuring that we are present in the moment, we can reduce stress, enhance our overall quality of life, and foster a deeper connection with ourselves.

Being mindful alongside self-care and compassion means that we are not bringing up the past and ensure that we focus only on the present and what is relevant in the here and now.

Mindful reflection helps prevent overthinking which often leads to criticism and a spiral of negative thinking and emotions.

Setting Boundaries for Self-Preservation:

Learn how to establish healthy boundaries so that you can protect your energy and your self-respect.

In this context, your boundary is an invisible line that protects the things that are important to you. Your values, needs, principles, ethos etc.

How you hold the boundary will be different on different occasions, in different situations and with different people. This is not a set of hard and fast rules, more a conscious awareness of what you are protecting when you respond to people or situations.

This helps preserve the things that are important to us which is one of the most important elements of our self-care.

Embracing Imperfection:

Embracing your imperfections is key to self-acceptance and growth. Reframing failure and setbacks can lead to greater personal resilience and self-love.

The more we embrace our imperfections and accept who we are, and where we are at means that we are more encouraging and accepting of ourselves even when we make mistakes, fail or get things 'wrong'. When we embrace imperfection we are so much more kinder to ourselves in our feedback - less critical and more kind.

Celebrating Small Victories:

Understand the significance of celebrating your achievements, no matter how small. Acknowledging your progress can boost your self-esteem and motivation and help to negate our human tendency for negative bias.

Our energy goes where our focus goes. When we focus on the wins and successes and you will naturally become your own cheerleader, a much better option than being your own critic!

Practicing Daily Self-Care Rituals:

Incorporate self-care into your daily routine. From mindfulness exercises to nurturing hobbies, find ways to practice self-care within your daily routine.

Self-care isn't just a luxury—it's a necessity.

It doesn't need to be for long and it doesn't need to cost you money.

For me, it's a quiet cup of coffee first thing in the morning. 10-15 minutes in the quiet, no distractions, no interruptions, peace and caffeine, and at the end of the day, 10 minutes with a fiction book before I go to sleep. I also prioritise being active, whether that's a walk, or a session in the gym.

You may need something completely different. Find what works for you and find a way to incorporate it into your routine.

Overcoming Self-Criticism:

Learn strategies that work best for you to help you overcome self-criticism and negative self-talk.

Discover how to challenge your inner critic and change your inner voice to one that is more compassionate.

Notice how you are talking to yourself, ask yourself if this is how you would speak to a friend or family member, think about what you would say to them and then practice saying it to yourself.

Criticism doesn't motivate people, it layers emotions of blame and shame and increases the feelings of fear of failure - it holds people back far more than it motivates them to be better.

Even when it is us, saying it to ourselves.

Cultivating Gratitude and Appreciation:

Explore the transformative power of gratitude and appreciation in enhancing your sense of self-worth and contentment. Shift your perspective and increase your happiness by spending a minute each day showing appreciation and gratitude for the things that you love about yourself, right now.

Notice what you appreciate about who you are now, where you are at in life, all that you are and all that you have been - flaws and all!

Spreading Kindness Beyond Yourself:

The easiest one for last, and probably the one that you already do really well!

Practising self-care and self-kindness can positively impact your relationships and communities.

Explore ways to extend compassion to others but please ensure that you are maintaining healthy boundaries and self-respect.

From a place of love - not 'for' love.

Writing - Always be a little kinder than necessary.  Arty writing with multiple colours
To Yourself - As much as to everybody else!

With these ten areas of focus, you will be better equipped to increase your self-care and compassion, nurturing your inner compass and prioritising your development and wellbeing like never before.

Stay tuned if you want more on each of these topics to help you learn the tools, skills and confidence to make life easier and better then you can check out our self-development online interactive programmes and online courses.

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