Self care and compassion for others can be closely linked. After all, how can you show genuine compassion to other people if you don’t demonstrate it to yourself on an everyday basis?
According to research from the Dignity Health survey, a lot of us wish that we were kinder to the people around us. The main reason for this? Negative feelings about ourselves, such as doubt and self criticism. These can mean that our intentions to show love and compassion to others go out of the window so there’s a lot to be said about the importance of self love!
Here’s how to show love to other people every single day, from friends and family to complete strangers.
Ditch the negative self talk
Firstly, it helps if your inner dialogue isn’t making you feel bad about interactions with other people. It’s easy to feel as though you’re to blame if strangers seem to be acting negatively towards you but most of the time, this isn’t actually going to be about you. Other people have bad days and a range of different emotions, just like you.
If you can start to accept that their attitude or behavior isn’t always a reflection on you, it’s a whole lot easier to move towards feeling truly compassionate about other people and ultimately, accepting yourself for who you are.
Listen to them
One of the biggest and most underrated ways that you can show love to other people is by listening to them. It’s easy to talk and engage in a conversation without truly listening to what the other person is saying. There are often really good intentions attached to what you say but it can be more powerful to take a step back and just listen, rather than chipping in regularly to add your thoughts.
Giving your full attention shows that you really care about what they have to say and that can make them feel validated. This is something that you can do with strangers just as easily as with friends and family.
Give lots of compliments
You know how receiving a compliment can really brighten up your day and lift your mood? Doing the same for friends, family and even random strangers can make their day and it’s sure to make you feel better too. If you can see something to compliment, do it! You never know how someone is feeling and how much they may take from a positive remark.
Send a handwritten card or note
Sending someone a handwritten note or card can make them feel special. We don’t always spend time doing this kind of thing nowadays and this is why it can be such a lovely gesture. If someone has done something nice for you lately, why not buy them a card and write them a note by hand to let them know how much you appreciated it? They’ll probably be expecting a verbal thank you and will be super happy that you took the time to do something so personal and unexpected.
Contact someone you haven’t seen for a while
When life is busy, it can be hard to find the time to stay in touch with everyone you know. Before you know it, there are people that you haven’t spoken to, texted or emailed for months (or even longer!) and some of these are probably people that you care about but have just lost touch with.
Getting back in touch with them is a great way to show them some love and boost your own self care routine. Have a flick through your contacts and find some people that you’ve not been in touch with for a while. Chances are, they’ll be thrilled to hear from you and very pleased to know that you’ve been thinking of them. And it can lift your mood to catch up with their news!
Give someone a personalized gift
It’s always nice to get gifts but the recipient will feel extra special if they can see that you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into it. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to do this but taking the time to choose something that you know they’ll love. If you have time, you can even think about making a unique gift. Either way, make sure that your gift is super personal and highlights some of the quirks and personality traits of the recipient.
Finding opportunities to show the people around you that you care about them is a great way to adopt acts of kindness that help your own self care routine. And you can extend this to strangers too. Studies have shown that random acts of kindness can be really powerful for self care and self love so if you’re not already doing this, now is the perfect time to make it a key part of your self care.