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Living the KIND Life

What does living the KIND life mean to you? I’ve partnered with KIND snacks to reflect on how I live KIND – and I’d love to hear how you do as well!

As I get older, I’ve discovered more and more the importance of living KIND. What is living KIND? There’s no right or wrong answer, but to me, this means doing the KIND thing for my body, my taste buds, my mind, and for others. Here are some more details on the ways I work to live KIND on a daily basis.

1) Doing the KIND thing for my body with regards to fitness.

Doing the KIND thing for our bodies will look different every day, and I’m a big fan of using an intuitive exercise approach (just like with intuitive eating). Ask yourself: what form of movement will serve me best today? Some days, this means getting in a sweaty, heart pounding workout. Another day, it might mean a restorative yoga class. Yet another day, it might mean some fresh air in the form of a social or solo run, or a casual walk. Just like with food, we should aim for variety in our fitness endeavors – and that includes rest days, too. Those are just as important – both mentally and physically – as active days! (See also: How to Know When You Need a Rest Day)

The most important thing? Try to find the joy in movement. Just because someone else is doing something doesn’t mean you have to – find what serves you best and remember that movement is your time to de-stress, not ADD stress. If exercise is adding stress, it’s time to take a rest day – or to try something else entirely. (See also: How to Love Exercise – Or At Least Not Hate It)

how to make exercise fun

2) Doing the KIND thing for my taste buds.

This is basically a fancier way of saying that I practice intuitive eating. It’s so important to listen to what our body is telling us day to day! Here are some of the main things I focus on:

  • Am I hungry? Do I need food? Before my stomach actually starts growling, hunger usually manifests for me as a general feeling of being annoyed/anxious. This is my cue that it’s time to eat a meal or a snack, because getting “hangry” never ends well for anyone. Being too hungry is not only really stressful physically and mentally – but it also means you’re likely to overeat at your next meal because you are too hungry to eat slowly/pay attention. Be prepared by bringing healthy snacks with you everywhere! I often have a KIND bar floating in my purse or backpack (yes, I totally bring a backpack to the office – I know, I’m so cool) – my ultimate longtime fave KIND bar is the coconut almond, but I have been enjoying their savory STRONG & KIND Bars lately, too.

IMG_9303

  • Am I full? Should I stop eating? Your body will tell you when it’s had enough if you listen to it. This is easier if you eat without distractions and eat slowly enough that your body has time to catch up! How much food you need will vary each day based on a variety of factors, so acknowledge but don’t judge what your body is telling you. One day you might have the exact same meal as usual and it’s perfect, then the next day it is too much or not enough. That’s okay and completely normal!
  • Is what I’m about to eat what I really want/need right now? Sometimes, we try to make healthier choices even though it’s not what we actually want. Have you ever done this before, like if you go out to a great restaurant where you love the burgers but you decide you should just have a salad instead? If we ignore our cravings, they will usually come out later in the form of a much stronger craving, like an intense sweets craving. (See also: How to Get Rid of Sugar Cravings) Instead, next time, think about what you really want/are craving, but then be smart about how you can indulge that craving while still fitting in some balance. Having the burger or pizza? Add some salad on the side so you get some nice veggie volume in there. Want a big ole plate of pasta? Make sure there’s a protein in there to help with satiety, and then again, add some veggies for volume. If you indulge your cravings and listen to what your body wants, you’ll find you actually do end up craving veggies and things that make you feel good a lot of the time, too – I promise. (See also: Because Being Healthy Means Not ALWAYS Being Healthy)

intuitive eating

3) Doing the KIND thing for my mind.

In addition to challenging negative self talk, which is so important for a happy mind, focusing on balancing work and relaxation time are key for me so I don’t get burned out or run down. I also make sure to consciously plan a fair amount of social time, because I’m a big extrovert and happier when around other people. I love making workouts social, and I also work out of a coshared office most days of the week so I’m not at home by myself all day. Another thing I’ve added lately in an effort to be KIND to my mind is meditation! I downloaded a meditation app and have been working to incorporate it most days of the week. I find it really helps, especially when I don’t have time to fit in yoga, which is another of my favorite KIND mind (and body!) activities.

yoga for the mind

4) Doing the KIND thing for others.

Doing the KIND thing for others can take a lot of different forms. Sometimes, it means sending a nice note or some flowers to a friend or family member just to let them know I’m thinking of them. Sometimes, it means volunteering in my community, like I did as a coach this past fall for Girls on the Run. Sometimes it means leaving an anonymous Operation Beautiful note or message.

operation beautiful

But most often, I try to do the KIND thing for others by spreading a message of positivity and balance through this blog and my AnneTheRD nutrition practice. It makes me so happy to hear that others have found a healthier, happier, less stressful relationship with food and exercise through my words, whether written or spoken.

At the end of the day, for me, living KIND is always a work in progress. I’m certainly not perfect and there’s always more I could do for myself and for others. The important thing, though, is trying. Aiming to live just a little KIND-er, every single day. :)

How do you “Live KIND. every day™”? What are you doing for your body, your taste buds, your mind, and your community/the world?

Read more on the KIND blog: http://www.kindsnacks.com/blog/ – and follow the conversation with KIND on social media via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and #LiveKIND.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of KIND.

Comments

  1. 1

    This weekend I was downtown with my family and there was a homeless young women standing in front of the the theater with a sign. I didn’t have any cash but I did have a KIND bar in my purse. I walked over and asked her if she would like it and she was so gracious and thanked me.
    My 6 year old learned a lesson in kindness and so did I. The young woman was so kind and gracious and all I did was hand her a snack bar.

  2. 3

    I try to make workouts social events so my friends and I can get fit, healthy and have fun!

  3. 5

    Great post! There is not enough kindness in the world, for others, ourselves, and the environment. I think the easiest way to practice kindness for strangers is to smile. You never know how much someone needs something so simple. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. 7

    I’m doing the KIND thing by trying to get more sleep! I actually just did a post on the relationship between sleep and sports performance, and by not sleeping, not only do we feel yucky and probably don’t treat others well, but it also actually hinders our ability to exercise hard.

  5. 9

    I make an effort to tell my co-workers how much I appreciate them. There can be so much complaining, gossiping and competition with the people you spend 40 hours a week with, but I’m truly grateful to work with people that support me. Everyone likes to hear some positive comments about themselves so if your colleague helped you with a project or makes you laugh when you’ve had a stressful day, TELL THEM SO. It’ll brighten their day and make you happy too.

  6. 11

    I was part of an organization that had as its motto, “Be kind.” It was an excellent approach!

  7. 13
    diane carignan says

    In addition to volunteering with a local Seniors’ organisation, I’ve decided to knit for others. I’ve been knitting lap blankets for Veterans, who now reside at the Ste-Anne’s (!) Military Hospital in Montreal. I do this because I can and because the professionals at the hospital took such great care of my Dad, when he resided there. This year, I’ve added scarves to my knitting repertoire. I place them, along with a pair of socks and a note in a bag, which I leave in parks where I’ve seen people without a residence. We all have something to give or share – sometimes we make it so complex to just get it done!

  8. 15
    Daniel Rais Abin says

    Wow this was really eye-opening. I have myself never heard of this approach and although I may have implemented some elements of it already, such as a year of working with and helping disabled people. I will now try to begin with the actual KIND mindset and see where it gets me! One thing I would add to the list though is sleep – not just the amount but also the quality (which I actually find more important than the quantity). The reason why I mention this is because I think that sleep is a topic closely related to healthy living which is oftenly forgotten. I really wanted to say thank you to Anne for this article!

    • 16

      I agree, Daniel — sleep is a VERY important component of health! I’ve actually written some posts on that topic in the past. Should have included it in this one, too – thanks for the reminder! :)

  9. 17

    Love your tips on being KIND to our taste buds, and taking the time to think and ask a question before we eat. Being more mindful of everything we do has such great rewards.

  10. 18

    I love KIND bars. They are my go-to snack. I’ve been trying to practice more yoga too.

  11. 19

    Love this! I also took a bookbag, cooler, and gym bag to the office when I was working in one! I would study for my PT during my lunch break and head straight to the gym after work. I’ve also written on the fact that “healthy is not one size fits all”….just because it works for your best friend doesn’t mean it will work for you or even that you will enjoy it. Great post! My favorite bar is the Blueberry Cashew!

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