Count the ways to be kind

self kindness, self care

I am taking a break from a work-week that has been stressful. I’m imagining urgent emails that need to be answered and doing my best to resist the urge to take a peek in my mailbox. Instead, I went for a long walk while listening to music before switching to a podcast. It’s spring time and a gorgeous season to be in Philly. I noticed more tourists milling around Independence Hall or standing in line to see the Liberty Bell. Away from the crowd, the colonial garden in  Society Hill was serene except for the cheerful sound of chirping sparrows. I felt the breeze coming from the Delaware River and noted the tree branches, especially the massive weeping willow, were filling out with young leaves. Flowers are coming up everywhere – the ground, planters, and window boxes. As I knelt to take a closer look at the white and yellow daffodils, a red-chested robin perched on a stone unbothered by my presence. I continued my walk, stopped in a store, picked up a book and a scented candle, before heading back home.

The practice of self-kindness – doing what nourishes our soul and in turn makes us feel better – can be instinctive. But more often than not, self-kindness requires being intentional. It means taking notice and even making a list of simple things that give small pleasures. Here are examples of self-kindness:

  • slowing down and calming the mind
  • taking long walks
  • being a tourist in my city
  • taking photos of what I find beautiful
  • paying attention to the changing of the seasons
  • (container) gardening
  • blogging and or journaling
  • dreaming and creating a home that you love
  • traveling to a new place

How do you practice self-kindness?


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