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Self-kindness reflections

 Sometimes we need a reminder of how we can be kind to ourselves

Firstly, the science...

Research in the field of wellbeing science consistently demonstrates the profound impact of self-kindness on mental and physical health. Studies have shown that practising self-kindness, which involves treating oneself with compassion and understanding, is associated with lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Engaging in self-compassionate behaviors, such as reframing negative self-talk, nurturing oneself through difficult times, and acknowledging personal strengths and achievements, promotes resilience and fosters a sense of emotional balance. Self-kindness is also linked to greater life satisfaction and healthier relationships. 

Why this activity?

Self-kindness is crucial for nurturing a positive relationship with ourselves and fostering overall wellbeing. By practicing self-kindness, we learn to treat ourselves with compassion, understanding, and acceptance while also  reducing self-criticism and feelings of inadequacy. Self kindness also supports the development of improved self awareness, emotional regulation and resilience. 

You'll need

The Being Kind to Myself worksheet - one for each of your ākonga and perhaps the kaiako card to support the pātai and kōrero around self-kindness.

What to do

Kōrero with tamariki about self kindness. You might use these pātai as prompts:

  • What is self kindness?

  • Why is self kindness as important as kindness towards others?

  • In what ways aren’t we kind to ourselves? (don’t allow ourselves to make mistakes, say mean things to ourselves, sometimes genuinely think we’re bad or stupid)

  • What do your friends and whānau say to you when you mess up, compared to what you say to yourself? Why do you think this is? (it’s normal to have a negative inner voice sometimes - it gives us motivation to try harder).

  • How might our negative self-talk get in the way sometimes?

  • How might we change this? (catch yourself, look for evidence, actively change the channel and say something kinder)

  • Sometimes we can think about our inner voice like we would our favourite sports team - we might stop them like they’re an unkind member of our team and say “It’s not okay to talk to me like that!” The better we get at this, the more we’re able to interrupt our negative, unhelpful, unkind thinking. Imagine if someone you loved heard someone talk to you like that! What would they say to that team member? What would I (your kaiako) say to that team member?!


You might like to ask older rangatahi to explore this topic more deeply. Especially if they’re new to the idea of self-kindness, and their inner voice might not always be their favourite team member. 

Some people have mantras they say to themselves to support their self-kindness. The Self Kindness worksheet does just that.

Kaiako card

To make things easier, print the Kaiako Card for this activity.

Whānau engagement

Encourage tamariki to take these learnings home and continue showing kindness at home. Tamariki can kōrero with whānau about other ways we can be kind to ourselves

And to add to this...

To support tamariki to continue being kind to themselves and considering how they are amazing try Dialling up our strengths, an activity all about seeing our potential.

Curriculum Links

Health and PE Curriculum
Personal Health and physical development: A1 - Personal growth and development  

Personal health and physical development: A4 - Personal identity

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