I have noticed kindness is a virtue easily shown through a smile, a friendly conversation or a warm hug. Offering someone an encouraging word or a smile can be a simple way to brighten another’s day, without exerting a lot of effort.
When life gets busy, it is easier for me to focus inwardly on what I have to do, what homework I have or how stressed I am. However, I forget most of my friends are likely experiencing the same thing.
One of my favorite books, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince,” speaks on the necessities of kindness, saying, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Even if you do good deeds and your actions seem beneficial, none of it will matter if your efforts are not motivated by kindness. Putting love behind your actions makes them all that much more impactful.
While showing kindness throughout your day is important, it is equally as important to be kind to yourself. Have grace for your mistakes and for the mistakes of others. No one is perfect, including yourself.
Taking care of your own needs and your mental health will allow you to live life more fully. There will always be an upcoming test or assignment to study for and always something stressful looming on the horizon.
Taking time out of the week to focus on yourself and finding time to recharge, whether alone or with friends, is crucial to sustain your own well-being. You can’t output your best work if your brain is tired and overwhelmed.
As an overachiever, I find it very easy to load my schedule with things I enjoy, not realizing how much time each of those things may take up. At first, because I love everything I do, I don’t realize how overwhelmed I get, then after a few weeks, the work seems to magically pile up.
While the work may still be enjoyable, taking care of myself moves to the bottom of my priority list when my life starts to get busier. This semester, I have been focusing more on balancing my schoolwork and personal health, and I encourage everyone to do the same.
Take the time to read a book, go on a hike, spend time with friends or find what relaxes your mind and rejuvenates your soul.
Love yourself and love others — I believe those are the two most important qualities to uphold in life.
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