Last month I announced that I’ve partnered with the folks from MightyNest, an online store specializing in natural, non-toxic products for the kitchen and home, on a series of giveaways: I am so excited about this partnership!

Valentine’s Day is behind us and I am betting you doled out lots of love to others this month, but have you been showing yourself kindness lately? I wrote about being kind to yourself in my book, and I am going to excerpt that chapter here in this post. You will also find a giveaway for some items that are perfect for the theme of self-care in this post :)

BeKindtoYourself copy

Many of us are unnecessarily hard on ourselves on a daily basis. We don’t treat ourselves with respect or compassion. I personally have a history of being quite unkind to myself because my “inner voice” used to engage in overwhelmingly negative banter. Do you have an inner voice that’s overly critical, too? If the answer is yes, it can be life changing when you start to train your inner monologue to be kind instead of harsh.

What does it mean to be kind to yourself, exactly? Well for starters, being kind to yourself means not judging yourself harshly for not being perfect. It also means not holding yourself to impossibly high standards. And it means putting an end to comparing yourself to others and to beating yourself up for making a mistake, or for not being good enough at something. Being kind to yourself means being your own cheerleader. When you are consistently kind to yourself, you don’t need others to validate your efforts and boost your self-confidence, because you can do those things for yourself.

Banishing negative self-talk isn’t something that can be accomplished in one day, though; it can take time. Here are some steps to take that have worked for me: Surround yourself with encouraging, supportive friends; recite positive affirmations every day (don’t knock it until you try it!); learn how to be in the moment; make a conscious effort to choose optimism over pessimism; and practice gratitude. Like I said, this all takes time. It is a process. (And setbacks do happen sometimes…believe me, they do.)

Being kind to yourself is not the equivalent of spending each and every day on the couch eating bonbons, though. Quite the contrary: being kind to yourself means respecting your body, so that you take excellent care of yourself. Being kind to yourself means you are more likely to eat healthy food, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and attend to other aspects of self care. When you are kind to yourself, you’ll feel better mentally and physically. You’ll be more likely to excel at all that you do, and you’ll be better able to take good care of others.

(Text adapted with permission from my book One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life. Copyright 2013; Published by Chronicle Books.).

To inspire my readers to be kind to and take good care of themselves, MightyNest will give one of you a self-care gift package! Included in the package: 1. A chemical-free yoga/pilates mat 2. A porcelain reusable tea/coffee cup 3. Organic “Revitalize” Tea 4. Natural/Organic Calming Body Lotion 5. Plant-based Cell Stimulating Face Mask and 6. Organic Lavender Sugar Scrub. The retail value of this giveaway is $114.94 and it is open to readers in the USA only.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post AND follow the directions found in the widget below. Please know that when you use the widget to pledge to be kind to yourself, you’ll automatically be entered to win the giveaway and you’ll be signing up for the MightyNest for Schools Program. When you sign up for this program, 15% of any purchase you make from MightyNest in the future goes back to the school of your choice (it can be your child’s school or simply a school that is in your local area)!

Good luck!


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  1. 1

    Janet Brown — February 26, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

    Don’t judge yourself, don’t compare yourself, encourage yourself – YES.

  2. 2

    Eileen McDonnell — February 26, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

    Be your own cheerleader

  3. 3

    Roxanna Miller — February 26, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

    Being kind to myself has always been something I have struggled with. Thanks for reminding us that we can change the negative patterns!

  4. 4

    ann — February 26, 2014 @ 11:13 pm

    I read this in your book, but I think I need to read it more to let it sink in. (Well, that is true for a lot of what I have read in your book so far!)

  5. 5

    Jennifer M. — February 26, 2014 @ 11:57 pm

    Yes, yes, yes. So hard to remember to be as kind and gentle with ourselves as we are to others. When I stop and listen to the sorts of things I’m saying to myself I’m shocked sometimes- especially when I realize that I would never say such things to someone else.
    Thank you for the reminder to continue to be kind and gentle to ourselves.

  6. 6

    Heather @ The Soulful Spoon — February 27, 2014 @ 12:00 am

    Thank you for this lovely giveaway!!:) It’s always nice to enter through Mighty Nest giveaways since they’re so generous!!:) Have a great evening!:)<3

  7. 7

    Lucy — February 27, 2014 @ 12:10 am

    Health begins by nourishing the soul, the mind and the heart. It is a journey of love that is never-ending.

  8. 8

    Lanna — February 27, 2014 @ 12:42 am


  9. 9

    Bonnie Sanders — February 27, 2014 @ 1:39 am

    Thanks for the reminder to be kind to myself and the chance to win.

  10. 10

    Kim — February 27, 2014 @ 3:57 am

    Why is it so hard for us to take some time for ourselves and just relax and maybe even pamper ourselves a little?? After reading this, I vow to take just a little time each day for me! In the long run, it will benefit everyone!

  11. 11

    Jessica — February 27, 2014 @ 4:42 am

    One of the earliest lessons that I learned when I became a mother (nearly 8 years ago) is that it’s impossible to take care of a child if you aren’t taking proper care of yourself. Happy mommy=happy baby is really the truth, and that extends throughout life. My home and family’s daily rhythm is a reelection of my positive vibe.

  12. 12

    Nancy A. — February 27, 2014 @ 5:14 am

    Women need to remind themselves over and over to take care of themselves. They take care of everyone else first and they are forgotten. The ones who count on you will benefit from your taking time for you!

  13. 13

    Carlyn — February 27, 2014 @ 6:46 am

    Make sure to give yourself 5 minutes of kindness every day, or 5 minutes several times a day. It could be as simple as a walk around the block (yep, city kid here) or taking 5 minutes to read a book you enjoy. Have a cup of tea. Or sit in a lovely garden. Just do something that brings you peace for a few minutes, you’ll thank yourself at the end of the day.

  14. 14

    Suzannah — February 27, 2014 @ 7:05 am

    Nice thing to read in the m

  15. 15

    Suzannah — February 27, 2014 @ 7:05 am

    Oops. In the morning! I meant to say;)

  16. 16

    Julia — February 27, 2014 @ 7:58 am

    Love this post! It is definitely a challenge of mine to learn to not be so hard on myself!! Thx:)

  17. 17

    Diane — February 27, 2014 @ 8:18 am

    Love this blog and the message in this post.

  18. 18

    Jennifer R. — February 27, 2014 @ 8:20 am

    Great idea for a self care giveaway. We often forget that one of the best way to care for others is to make sure we are caring well for ourselves! That way, we can be in the best health mentally and physically to give to others.

  19. 19

    Allison — February 27, 2014 @ 8:39 am

    Thank you so much for this post. Much needed, and a good reminder. :) Thank you.

  20. 20

    Debbie — February 27, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    “Enjoy the Journey”

  21. 21

    Isabella — February 27, 2014 @ 9:17 am

    be kind

  22. 22

    Janet T — February 27, 2014 @ 9:54 am

    I used the widget to pledge. The self-care gift package is wonderful. Thank you for posting ways to help our schools.

  23. 23

    Victoria — February 27, 2014 @ 10:00 am

    Just the thing I needed to be reminded of today, thank you. Please enter me in the giveaway of these great products. Oh and I just received your book, loving it.

  24. 24

    Suzanne — February 27, 2014 @ 10:10 am

    I am reading your book Winnie, love it! Great giveaway and I am so happy to help out Maia and Laila’s school!

  25. 25

    Amanda — February 27, 2014 @ 10:34 am

    Thanks for the uplifting message!

  26. 26

    Dawne — February 27, 2014 @ 11:07 am

    Thank you for the reminder, Winnie :) I do often forget to take care of myself.

  27. 27

    Sami — February 27, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    Very nice message – one we could all listen to more often!

  28. 28

    Amanda Paa — February 27, 2014 @ 11:57 am

    I love the positive affirmations tip. I used to do this all the time, but have fallen out of the habit. Time to restart!

  29. 29

    Susan H — February 27, 2014 @ 11:58 am

    Lovely giveaway! Loved the book and the important “simple changes” contained. This message of self-care is just what I needed to hear today!

  30. 30

    Christine — February 27, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

    What a wonderful concept, thanks for contributing!

  31. 31

    Jessica T — February 27, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

    Thank you for the reminder to be kind to ourselves! It is easy to forget about that when we are so busy caring for everyone around us.

  32. 32

    Jaz — February 27, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

    what a great reminder!

  33. 33

    Sara — February 27, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

    Such important advice! Thank you!

  34. 34

    Amy — February 27, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

    I’m a new mother and trying my best to be kind to myself so I can be there for my little one!

  35. 35

    Amanda — February 27, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    Take what looks ugly and find the beauty in it.

  36. 36

    Kendra — February 27, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

    Recently found your blog via eatingfromthegroundup and LOVING IT!

  37. 37

    Lindsay — February 27, 2014 @ 8:00 pm


  38. 38

    Kim — February 27, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

    This is something I really need to get better at doing. I have been getting sick every few weeks this winter because I haven’t been taking good care of myself. It is so upsetting. I am working on changing things now.

  39. 39

    Michaela — February 27, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

    Self-care is key! I take a nightly bath (or two) :)

  40. 40

    Nancy — February 28, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    Cast all your care on God because he cares about you!

  41. 41

    Zoya — February 28, 2014 @ 10:58 am

    Thank you for great post and giveaway!

  42. 42

    betsy — February 28, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

    Be positive and don’t focus on the negative.

  43. 43

    KayDawn McCoy — February 28, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

    I would love to win this and pamper myself with these items! Thank you for the chance to win!

  44. 44

    Jessica — February 28, 2014 @ 4:32 pm

    A great reminder for all us – thank you.

  45. 45

    Melissa — February 28, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

    What a great article! It is very encouraging!
    Thank you!!

  46. 46

    april — February 28, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

    Thanks for such a kind giveaway and for giving us the opportunity to take care of ourselves!

  47. 47

    Leigh — March 1, 2014 @ 12:33 am

    Great message! Thanks for reminding us, and for sponsoring this wonderful giveaway. We all need more self-nurturing.

  48. 48

    Natalia — March 2, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

    so hard yet so important. thanks for the reminder!

  49. 49

    Jodi — March 3, 2014 @ 1:17 am

    Forgive yourself!

  50. 50

    Sarah M. — March 3, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

    Great reminder for us all to be a little kinder to ourselves and each other!

  51. 51

    Emily — March 3, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

    Great reminder! Love this whole piece and the little package – that lotion is amazing! I try not to sweat the small stuff, but also focus on the little things. Counter intuitive but important : )

  52. 52

    LJ — March 4, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

    We’re often more kind to others than we are to ourselves. Thanks for the reminder.

  53. 53

    lizzie — March 4, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

    thank you for this – so important to read on a stressful day.

  54. 54

    Tiffanie — March 4, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

    So hard to be good to yourself when taking care of everyone else! Good reminder!

  55. 55

    Michelle Taylor — March 4, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

    What a wonderful blog I have stumbled across! Teaching these truths to my teen girls!

  56. 56

    Kerry — March 4, 2014 @ 7:24 pm

    Thank you for the reminder to be kind to myself.

  57. 57

    Visi Tilak — March 4, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

    Loved reading your interview on Food 52. I look forward to reading your book.
    It sounds wonderful…

  58. 58

    Mary E McDonald — March 4, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

    Looking forward to winning & trying these products! Thank you.

  59. 59

    Joann Krehbiel — March 4, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

    I love your common sense approach to health and self care – thank you for offering this awesome package!

  60. 60

    Mei — March 4, 2014 @ 11:24 pm

    Posted on my birthday-this was a nice birthday reminder.

  61. 61

    Teresa — March 5, 2014 @ 9:34 am

    I had never heard of Mighty Nest before…. such a perfect partnership with your blog! (Glad to have found your blog, via a ‘pin’ on Pinterest… fascinated by your book – plan on purchasing sooner rather than later.) :)

  62. 62

    Mbaniya — March 5, 2014 @ 10:44 am

    I am trying to get pregnant for more than a year now and really am not feeling too kind to myself, I am so much of blame to my body, my hormones and things not working out for me when everyone else around seem to be able to do everything. So this is a good reminder that I need to be kind to my body and treat it well.

  63. 63

    Martha — March 5, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

    Looks like a great collection of self care items. Thank you!

  64. 64

    CJ — March 7, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

    Take the time to sing while cooking. Play a game with a child. Take a walk and notice how the ground feels under your feet, and the colours in the trees.

    Self-care is the basis for all of our ability to care for others — if we aren’t nourished, we have nothing to give!

  65. 65

    jacquie — March 8, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    take a walk with the dogs and be really present and in the moment with them.

  66. 66

    Sam — March 19, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

    Thank you for those kind words…lot’s to think about!

  67. 67

    Michele — March 21, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

    This was a wonderful read :) Thank you!