Kindness Starts With You: How to Show Up for Yourself

Kindness Starts With You: How to Show Up for Yourself

We often think of kindness as something we do to or for others.

Which it is; partly.

But kindness is also something we should do to and for ourselves!

In fact, happiness DEPENDS on self-kindness and self-compassion. It’s hard to be good or kind to others if we’re constantly mean to ourselves.

Interested in learning more about how to take care of and be kind to yourself? Then read on …

via Psychology Today by Robyne Hanley-Dafoe


  • For many people, self-kindness starts with repairing one’s relationship with oneself.
  • Self-kindness is a component of a self-compassionate frame of mind and contributes to greater well-being.
  • Everyone has the capacity to practice behaviors that are restorative and kind.
Simon Ray/Unsplash

Source: Simon Ray/Unsplash

Kindness is leaning into a deep trust that people are really trying their best. It is holding space that life is inherently hard, and people have varying degrees of capacity in how they show up. Knowing this, we meet people with compassion and understanding and maintain perspective. There is also a gentleness in kindness with knowing that no one has to carry the weight of the world on their own and that there are people who want to help.

Take a moment to reflect. Do you show up for yourself in this way? Do you recognize that you are trying your best with the tools and resources you have, in the circumstances you find yourself in? Do you offer yourself the same gentleness and compassion that you would show a dear friend experiencing struggle? Too often, we neglect to show up for ourselves in this way.

We hold ourselves to such high standards and meet ourselves with judgment and criticism when we fall short of our expectations. So many of us try to be perfect and leave little room for error in our personal and professional lives. We get stuck in this “when-then” trap, telling ourselves, “When I get this done, then I will give myself a break.” Unfortunately, the breaks and self-care never come, and we start neglecting our own needs. We think that we have to handle all the chaos life has to offer us on our own. But this is unfair to us and those we care for.

The reality is that life is messy and complex for all of us. Holding ourselves to these ridiculous standards of perfection is not sustainable. We are humans, living the full-human experience, and not one of us is without faults. We will inevitably make mistakes, experience setbacks, and stumble along the way. We need to meet ourselves with compassion and forgiveness in these moments and find kinder ways of living.

Kristin Neff is a researcher in self-compassion. She views self-compassion as treating yourself as you tend to treat others experiencing suffering, failure, or feelings of inadequacy. In Neff’s work, self-compassion involves three elements: self-kindness (being gentle and understanding with ourselves), common humanity (recognizing that suffering and setbacks are part of the shared human experience), and mindfulness (observing our thoughts and feelings as they are, without suppressing or exaggerating).

According to Neff (2009), having self-compassion is linked to greater feelings of happinessoptimism, and connectedness, and decreased anxietydepression, and fear of failure. It is also shown that those who demonstrate self-compassion experience greater well-being and life satisfaction than those who are self-critical…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE