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7 ways to be kind to yourself

The way you speak to yourself sets a tone for your whole outlook on life. Speak to yourself like a friend giving another friend advice and treat yourself with respect.

1. Stop the glorification of "busy." Being "busy" is admired in our culture, but being overstretched is the number one marker of unhappiness. Practice creating space in your life. Take a personal day. Give yourself a break from social engagements, activities, work and your phone. Be okay with doing nothing from time-to-time.

2. Get outside. Even a few minutes of fresh air can calm and refocus your thoughts and improve your mood. Go for a short walk, eat outside or simply enjoy the breeze. Plan outdoor activities and reconnect with nature. Get outside daily even when the weather isn't "perfect."

3. Turn off the phone (and social media). Social media is teeming with weight-loss tips, body transformations, diet talk and negativity, none of which are helpful when trying to be kind to yourself. Turn it off and engage in a more positive activity or hobby. Engage and strengthen relationships with people in person.

4. Eat well. Respect your body with nourishing and nutritious foods. Prioritize cooking. Hydrate with water. Eat slowly, mindfully. Most of the time practice eating when hungry, stopping when full.

5. Say no. Whether big or small, practice saying no every day. Purposefully don't answer your phone or respond immediately to an email or text. Say "no" to others to say "yes" to yourself.

6. Practice affirmations. Affirmations can build self-esteem and self-confidence. Start with "I matter" or "I believe in myself and my abilities." Repeat them during times of doubt or self-consciousness.

7. Stop using bullying words. Words that hurt are no way to be kind. Fat, ugly, stupid, useless, etc. need to go. Stop using bullying words (and thoughts) toward yourself and others.

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