The anticipation of reuniting with friends, meeting new teachers, and embarking on new academic adventures often fills us with excitement. However, it can also be overwhelming to navigate the hallways, adjust to new schedules, and take on the challenges that come with each grade level.
So, as we embark on this new school year, please consider this invitation to practice kindness, a foundation of compassion. You can show kindness through expressing care and sharing a genuine wish to see others be happy, joyful, or safe.
While compassion is focused on responding to tough times that you or others may be experiencing, you can practice kindness anytime. Remember, acts of kindness don't have to be grand or extravagant. Sometimes, the simplest gestures can have the most significant impact.
Being Kind to Ourselves:
Self-compassion allows us to build resilience, cultivate self-care, and develop a positive self-image.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Make a list of things you like or appreciate about yourself: Take a moment to reflect on your strengths, accomplishments, and the qualities that make you unique. Jot them down and keep the list somewhere visible.
- Put a quote on the wall that reminds you to be kind to yourself: Find a quote or affirmation that resonates with you and serves as a gentle reminder to treat yourself with kindness. Write it on a sticky note or create a beautiful poster and place it where you can see it every day.
- Write a wish-list for yourself: Imagine all the things that would bring you joy, fulfillment, and contentment. Write them down as a wish-list, without judgment or limitations.
- Write a letter to your younger or future self: Take a moment to reflect on your journey, the challenges you have overcome, and the lessons you have learned. Write a heartfelt letter to your younger self, offering words of kindness, encouragement, and support. Alternatively, you can write a letter to your future self.
Being Kind to Our Community:
Acts of kindness not only brighten someone's day but also create a sense of interconnectedness and belonging.
- Text a friend or family member a few things that you like or appreciate about them: Take a moment to brighten someone's day by expressing your genuine appreciation for them. It could be a simple text message telling your friend how much you value their sense of humor or how their kindness always inspires you.
- Text a wish of kindness to a friend or family member: Spread love and positivity by sending a heartfelt wish of kindness to someone close to you. It can be a wish for their well-being, success, or happiness.
- Send a silent wish of kindness to someone you don’t know very well: Extend your kindness beyond your inner circle and send positive thoughts to someone you encounter in your everyday life. It could be a coworker, a neighbor, or even a stranger you see regularly.
- Share a quote or little note with a friend: Find a meaningful quote or write a little note that encapsulates kindness. Send it to your friend and let them know that you're thinking of them. Kindness not only benefits others, but it can also have a positive benefit for the individual practicing it too.
This set of practices was guided by students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Over 2,000 of your classmates were introduced to these and other wellness practices. The wellness practices included here are among the practices endorsed most frequently as ones students would continue to use in their daily lives.