Men's Fashion

31 Days: Be Kinder to Yourself

Self compassion illustration

If you’re a regular reader of Valet., then you’re already well-versed in the art and science of self-care. But let’s get one thing straight: There’s a difference between taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself. If only it was as easy as copping a new pair of shoes or kicking back with a hydrating sheet mask. Those are nice, but as we all know, they don’t really lead to fulfillment, contentment or satisfaction with one’s life. Those can seem elusive to even the most successful and confident men.

In fact, a study by the charity CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) discovered that four in 10 men have at some point thought about taking their own lives. In the U.S., a man dies by suicide every 14.4 minutes. And there are nearly four male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide. Our self worth—or perhaps, our lack of it—is clearly a serious issue that deserves attention.

Self compassion illustration

Often, we’re our own worst critic. And when we’re overwhelmed with anxiety, overly stressed or feeling frustrated, we talk to ourselves far more harshly than we’d ever let someone speak to us. I didn’t get shit done today. I blew that presentation. What made me think I could do that? I’ll never find a date. We wrongly assume that criticism will motivate us to do better.

Self-compassion allows us to better manage our feelings and emotions, along with the existential angst and unhappiness that bubbles up from time to time. The good news is that people who have greater levels of self-compassion tend to be more motivated, less lazy, and more successful over time. What’s more, they tend to recover better (and faster) from psychological knocks, like relationship breakups or career setbacks. We got some expert advice on how to be kinder to yourself and these four tactics are as simple as they are effective.