Merge's Blog

Kindness in the workplace has to start with kindness to yourself!

Today I’m back with another tip in our video series on creating more compassion and kindness in the workplace.  Today’s strategy is to be kind to yourself.

Be kind to yourself

What I’m really saying is to practice self-compassion.  You have to start with yourself.  Compassion and kindness in the workplace shouldn’t just be towards others, you also need to be kind and understanding towards yourself. You can’t show compassion to others unless you can show it to yourself first.  You are human too.  You can make mistakes, and when that happens, it is important to take care of your own well-being too.

Five things you can do to practice self-compassion

So what are some specific things you can do to practice self-compassion?  Here are five ideas.

  • Practice mindfulness. Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises. This can help you feel more centered and calm, and can help you to be more compassionate towards yourself.
  • Practice self-care. Make time for activities that help you to relax and recharge, such as exercise, spending time with friends and family, or engaging in hobbies.
  • Practice self-talk. Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself, and try to replace negative self-talk with positive and supportive statements. For example, instead of saying “I’m such an idiot,” say “I made a mistake, but everyone makes mistakes and I can learn from this.”
  • Practice self-acceptance. Accept yourself for who you are, including your strengths and weaknesses. Recognize that you are human and that you will make mistakes, but you, just like anyone else, are also capable of learning and growing.
  • Practice self-forgiveness. Be willing to forgive yourself for mistakes or past actions that you regret. Recognize that holding onto guilt or shame will only hold you back, and that forgiveness is an important part of self-compassion.

Compassion and kindness in the workplace begin with practicing self-compassion.  The bonus?  As a result, you can reduce your stress and anxiety, increase your resilience, and improve your overall well-being.

Are you good about being kind to yourself?  Many leaders I know focus on kindness in the workplace to others, but seem to forget about themselves.  If you’re willing to share, I’d love to know which side you’re on.  Please add a comment below.

And if you’d like to access the earlier fifteen tips in the series, you can do so here: Creating a compassionate workplace video series

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