Updated: May 23, 2021
W - 1. We-Love instead of selfishness O - 2. It's OK to feel not okay M - 3. Allow Mistakes E - 4. Lower Expectation N - 5. Express Needs & get help
M - 6. Me-Time A - 7. I'm not Alone R - 8. Relate to a compassionate guide S - 9. Self-talk empathetically - 10. Self-soothe physically - 11. Strength recognition
W - We-Love instead of selfishness
Self-kindness is neither selfishness (me-love) nor self-sacrifice for others (you-love). I need to take good care of myself so that I can care for you and others more effectively (We-Love).
O - It's OK to feel not okay
Nobody feels good all the time. It's natural to sometimes experience unpleasant feelings due to various causes and conditions. Gently let the feeling come and go, like clouds passing through the sky, rather than beating ourselves up for feeling bad.
M - Allow Mistakes
Instead of brooding over a mistake, try to acknowledge it with kindness and gratitude. Share the lessons from a mistake to educate others. We can also amuse others by laughing together at the mistake we've made. That's how we can honor a mistake - make good use of it for education and entertainment.
E - Lower Expectation
Find joy in simplicity. We may not always have the best, but we can always make the best from whatever available. Be kind to ourselves by lowering our expectations and try to make peace with uncertainty. No matter what happens, even if it's imperfect, it's always a learning experience.
N - Express Needs & get help
We can't solve all problems on our own. Be kind to ourselves by expressing our needs and give others the opportunity to help us. Let's support one another; in this way, life is easier and more meaningful.
M - Me-Time
As part of self-kindness practice, it's important to schedule time and space regularly to recharge ourselves to prevent burnout. A cup is always heavy, even if it's a small cup, whenever we hold it for too long. Put it down, rest and hold it up again; it will be lighter. “People cry, not because they are weak. It's because they've been strong for too long.” - Johnny Depp
A - I'm not Alone
Whatever hardship we're going through in life, it's helpful to bear in mind that we're not alone in the struggle. There're many people with similar problems whom we can contact and seek advice. Remembering our inter-connectedness is being kind to ourselves, a powerful antidote to the feeling of isolation, loneliness, and helplessness.
R - Relate to a compassionate guide
Some people find it difficult to be kind to themselves directly. Bringing to mind a compassionate person or object (e.g., a spiritual master, a nice school teacher, your loving pet, a safe place, an inspirational saying or image) can help to generate kindful feelings towards ourselves.
S - Self-talk empathetically
Pay kind attention to our inner voice. Relate to ourselves with kindness, empathy, and understanding, just as how we would communicate with someone whom we care. I often remind myself, "Every moment, in every way, I love, care, and accept myself, deeply and unconditionally."
S - Self-soothe physically
Pay kind and wise attention to our bodies. Listen to the body's wisdom to determine which method (e.g., kindful body stretching, kindful healing hand, butterfly hug) is useful to soothe unpleasant bodily sensations associated with stress.
S - Strength recognition
Pay kind and beginner's mind attention to our strength. Recollect our achievements and goodness. We're not perfect, but we're good enough.