One of the constant refrains in my home this summer has been, "Be nice to your sister!" "Be nice to your brother!" or my abbreviated encouragement as I'm leaving the door for work, "Be nice to each other!"
I realize that along with this parental request, I should be encouraging, maybe even insisting, that my children be nice to themselves-- just as a means of planting this seed now. I'm often reminded, in my counseling office and in life in general, that we can be our own worst enemies by criticizing ourselves, imposing unrealistic expectations onto our situation, and denying ourselves simple opportunities for joy and nourishment.
For some of us, it might be useful to adopt the Golden Rule in reverse as a day-to-day mantra: "Treat Yourself in the Way You'd Like To Be Treated by Others," or better yet, "Treat Yourself As Well As You Treat The People You Love."
Such encouragements can help remind us to include ourselves in the kindness equation!