During our recovery, we may be unnecessarily hard on ourselves. “Kindness,” says Harriet Griffey, “is perhaps the most underrated of those human gifts we can share — with others and ourselves.” Griffey is the author of “How to be kind” for In The Moment magazine. When you think about kindness, it’s important to think of the flipside: unkindness. This is often spread, even if we aren’t aware of it. It can be shown through our words, body language, and actions. We might not even realize it. Continue reading to learn more about how you can be kinder to others, but also yourself. First, Unkindness “Whether it’s a thoughtless dismissal of someone else’s woes, an unnecessary argument picked, or a mean thing said,” says Griffey, these things can hurt those around us. “There’s this sense that we should all be better, more successful and, if we’re not, then taking it out on someone else is somehow ok.” Here’s the thing: it’s not okay to be mean, even if you’re hiding behind an anonymous name or even your own self. Being kind to yourself starts with being kind to others. You cannot possibly think you’re kind to yourself if you spew negativity toward those around you. Griffey often questions what makes the person think and behave so negatively and unkind: “Is it thoughtlessness or lack of imagination, or are they really so mean-spirited? Is it just a projection or self-loathing?” These things are hard to guess when you don’t know the person, but it’s not a stretch to say that they must be going through their own stuff that makes them react negatively toward those around them. “I may never know about that stranger or where their sadness or vitriol comes from. But what I do know is that when I have felt upset and mean, and have said or done something that isn’t kind, it makes me feel much worse,” admits Griffey. “And that makes me wonder if being kind to ourselves first might make it easier to be kinder to others.” Small Acts of Kindness No act of kindness is too small. Showing that you are coming from a place of compassion and love is a great thing. You should work on being kind and coming from this place when you talk to yourself, too. “Being kind is about pressing pause and being a little more generous in thought and deed to others, which can start by being a little more forgiving to ourselves,” says Griffey. Instead of trying to do it big, “save the grand gestures and go for the small things that are simple to do but show genuine momentary thoughtfulness.” This means showing this kindness to yourself. For example, instead of planning a huge self-care weekend, try to relax at the end of a long day by doing some yoga or practicing a hobby you love. This small act of kindness to yourself is better than the large grand gesture which may cause you even more stress in the long run.
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you show yourself the kindness you deserve in your recovery. Call us today at 844.413.2690. We can’t wait to speak with you and get you on that journey today!