Whether you’re going through a grueling breakup or you flubbed the last slide in your work presentation, our inner critic can be all too vocal. Sure, we know that we should go easy on ourselves, but what does that even mean? To get some tips on treating yourself super well, we talked with Kim Nicols, a speaker, coach and the author of Offering: The Gentle Power of Mindfulness to Awaken the Love, Calm, and Wonder in Everyday Life. She dished some awesome advice that’s perfect for every stressful day and beyond.
Treat Yourself Like You Treat the People You Love
Try, even if just for a day, treating yourself with the same amazing kindness and love that you show to your friends and fam. Kim says, “Notice the voice on the inside of your own head — the one that’s pushing you, criticizing you or speaking in a too-tough tone. And then ask, ‘Is this how I would talk to myself if I were a good friend?’” We bet the answer’s no!
A total bonus: When you practice being kind to yourself, you wind up creating even more love in the world for everyone at the same time. “Positivity will radiate off of you because emotions are contagious,” Kim notes. So drop the self-criticism and quit beating yourself up. You don’t want to treat yourself that way or put those bad vibes out there.
Ditch the “Reward Mentality”
No, you don’t need to jump through hoops to earn that slice of cake you’re craving. You’re allowed to buy a new bag without hitting your sales goal or to buy a cute workout top without attending class every day of your self-imposed monthly challenge. Kim emphasized the importance of treating yourself just because.
“Feeling pampered is all about feeling cared for and treated with kindness for no reason at all. It’s not about “deserving” or “earning” a reward. It’s about enjoying something and feeling cared for just because. A lot of times women create these gates — “I can pamper myself when…” Rewards can be a positive way to motivate yourself, but it’s nice to know that you don’t have to withhold pleasure and enjoyment. You can allow yourself to enjoy life just because you want to treat yourself well.
Indulge in the Little Things Often
Pampering yourself doesn’t always mean a trip to the spa or big weekend away — it can be super simple! We love Kim’s suggestions, which are totally easy to incorporate into your daily life. “Try treating yourself to a break from your desk or going for a walk in the sun for 15 minutes, just because it feels good. Or drinking tea from your favorite mug, because it feels good. Or putting on fuzzy socks, just because it feels good. And pausing to actually notice and savor how good it feels to make choices that delight you. For no reason at all.”
While it can be surprisingly difficult to reserve time and energy for yourself, practicing it will ensure you become better at consciously taking care of yourself over time. So, do what it takes — leave yourself notes, write on the mirror, soak up the sun — and reap the rewards of loving yourself and your life, all year long!
How do you treat yourself and practice self-love? Share a few your favorite habits and indulgences with us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)