November 13th is World Kindness Day and I jumped at the chance to post about it.
I think our world could use a lot more kindness.
We could be kinder to ourselves, to each other, to our communities and to the environment.
However, while the readers of this blog might enjoy some ideas for specific ways to be kind to others, I suspect that many of us need the reminder to be kind to ourselves.
In my coaching practice, I spend a lot of time talking to people about how to be kinder to themselves. When they object (and they often do), thinking that to be kinder to themselves is being selfish or letting themselves ‘off the hook’, I like to borrow this quote to make my point.
“It is moral to treat people with decency, respect, compassion and kindness, Well, “people” includes you! You have as many rights, and your opinions and needs and dreams have as much standing, as those of anyone else in the world.”from Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time. Rick Hanson, PhD.
I’m not a philosopher so I’m not equipped to take on a debate about whether Hanson is right about the morality. I am, however, an advocate for kindness in all forms and that quote resonates with me.
It is good, and it is good for you, to be kind, especially when you are being kind to yourself.
This isn’t about ‘letting yourself off the hook,’ it’s about being compassionate about your circumstances, your capacity, and your needs.
It isn’t about being selfish. It is not selfish to recognize that you need and deserve care just as much as anyone else.
So, what does this have to do with Feminist fitness?
Being kind to yourself includes taking good care of your mind and your body, in whatever way makes the most sense to you.
For some people, that means taking a long run.
For others, it’s spending time on the yoga mat.
For you, today, being kind to yourself might mean meditation or journaling, it might mean rest or creative relaxation, or it might mean pushing yourself to work out (or work harder) even though you don’t particularly feel like it.
Being kind to yourself (and to others, in fact) is not about finding an easy way out. It’s about being compassionate and it’s about serving a need.
So, on World Kindness Day, I invite you to consider what you really need from yourself today and do what you can to meet that need.
I understand that your time may not be your own. You may not have the ideal resources at your disposal. But, I hope that you can find at least one small way to meet your own needs today.
PS – Self-kindness is especially important if you are currently coping with Covid-related restrictions or isolations. Be very compassionate with yourself, do what you can to help yourself through this with as much ease as possible.
I’ve got lots of back-up on the benefits of self-kindness, by the way:
Using the Practice of Self-Kindness to Cope With Stress
12 Surprisingly Powerful Health Benefits of Being Nicer to Yourself
21 Simple Reasons to Be Kind to Yourself
Being kind to yourself has mental and physical benefits
The Five Myths of Self-Compassion
A complementary approach: Being Kind to Others Is Being Kind to Yourself
More from that angle: Just One Thing: Be Kind to Yourself by Being Kind to Others