Kindness is a word that I have often associated with how you interact with others, but as I go through my work and life, it is becoming even more apparent that it is important that it needs to be something that you practice on yourself.
Being kind to others is something that we teach our children about dealing with others or if we introduce a pet to the family, yet somewhere along the line when as we progress in life and work, the kindness we give ourselves and others can fade.
For women, especially, we can place high expectations on ourselves and focus on all the things we haven’t achieved, when in reality we’re doing the best we can as we balance work and family commitments.
For me, it has taken others that I love and trust around me to tell me that I was doing enough, and that I needed to take time out and understand that I was doing so much. This time out and personal awareness was the kindness I needed to give myself in order to be able to thrive in my work life as well as my personal life.
I also found that by being kind to myself shifted my view on how others were treating themselves as well as others.
When I look around me, and read increasing examples of how women in the workplace need to be kind to each other, to support each other, in order to help not only that person succeed, but also themselves and the Company they’re working for.
It’s a well-known researched fact that Companies with a larger number of senior women produce better financial performance.
So why is it then that a lot of women are still not being kind to other women around them, almost like they’re trying to protect their turf?
Perhaps it’s their individual experience with other women that has made them this way, or perhaps it’s that they are doing so much both at work and away from work, trying to do it all, and not being kind to themselves first and foremost.
Are you being kind to yourself?
It doesn’t take much to start, and it can only benefit you. Try starting small with one or many of some of the options I’ve been putting in to practice recently:
- Enjoy the time out to have a cup of tea or coffee of your choice (while it’s still hot) and enjoy the satisfaction that every sip brings. Whatever you need to do can wait for 5 minutes while you savour your choice of brew
- If you are feeling really tired, instead of going to the gym early in the morning like normal, have some time off the gym and go for a leisurely walk at a later time instead, where you can take in the sights and sounds of the beauty that surrounds you.
Not only will your body thank you, but your mind will clear and your mood will change for the better.
- If you are unwell, and are off work, then REST!
The emails can wait, and the business will continue. Working, even from home, when you are sick, will only extend the time it takes to get better. Sleep is the only natural remedy you will find to improve quickly.
- At the end of a work day, if you’re feeling spent, order take out for dinner with the family.
More recently, when I have done this, I like to set up a picnic in the lounge room with my family and enjoy dinner while watching a movie together. Phones definitely get turned to silent so that there are no interruptions or distractions.
By the end of the movie, I usually find one child on the single recliner chair with me, and the other with my husband. 2 hours of time spent together, that makes up for the hustle and bustle of the rest of the week.
If you’re not starting with you, then you’re probably feeling tired and grumpy.
Start with being kind to you by prioritising YOU and your loved ones will thank you for it.
Understanding this forms part of my 5-step methodology “Taking the Mask Off’, and it’s yours to download FREE here.
I’m Jo Martin, and I help women in male dominated industries understand their value, so they can stride confidently through whatever life throws at them to achieve their career goals.