Live Like Sam Day is fast approaching, and we’re excited to celebrate with communities around the world as they share their festivities on social media. Our organization is dedicated to helping youth develop positive self-identity, character, and purpose by providing them with educational programming and mental health initiatives aimed at strengthening their emotional and mental fitness. As part of this commitment, Live Like Sam Day was created to help people reconnect to what it means to live a life like Sam’s by celebrating through self-compassion and unsolicited acts of kindness towards others.
But what is self-compassion, and how can people show kindness towards others — especially those they’ve never met? In this celebration guide, we provide all the answers you’ll need to enjoy a happy, healthy Live Like Sam Day and beyond!
Celebrating Through Self-Compassion
What is Self-Compassion?
Self-compassion refers to the act of treating oneself the way you would treat a close friend in need. Not to be confused with narcissism or over-indulgence, self-compassion is a lifestyle perspective that focuses on adopting positive self-perceptions and developing healthy coping mechanisms for overcoming life’s hardships. Self-compassion is a skillset that we can teach ourselves over time, and doing so can provide many benefits, including:
- Increased happiness
- Improved life satisfaction and motivation
- Better relationships and physical health
- Decreased anxiety and depression
There are three main components to self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindful acceptance. Self-kindness refers to being kind towards yourself rather than judgmental. Common humanity means viewing your negative experiences as a normal part of life. Lastly, mindful acceptance is being in the present moment, accepting our hardships in order to give ourselves compassion.
How Can I Show Self-Compassion?
Developing compassion towards oneself takes practice. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that showing ourselves love, kindness, and acceptance is selfish, so it takes time to reverse this pattern of thinking. This Live Like Sam Day, you can start to change your perspective by trying the following self-compassion exercises:
- Keep a Self-Compassion Journal: Think about an area in which you are struggling and write down how it makes you feel. Next, think about someone else who is going through or has gone through something similar and write about that. Lastly, write down some words of kindness or encouragement in response to the emotions you feel. It may help if you imagine you are speaking to a friend in need.
- Take a Self-Compassion Break: Take a break, close your eyes, and think about the current stressors in your life. Acknowledge that they are stressful and remind yourself that this is part of life and you are not alone. Soothe yourself by placing your hands on your heart or stomach, or by giving yourself a gentle hug. Then, say the following affirmations to yourself either out loud or internally: May I be kind to myself. May I forgive myself. May I accept myself as I am.
- Invest in Yourself: Treat yourself to a delicious meal, warm bath, massage, beautiful hike, or something else that’s special and makes you happy. Just like you would shower a loved one with all the wonderful things you feel they deserve, so too can you invest these same things in yourself!
Additional self-compassion activities include meditation, reciting daily devotionals, and even exercising. As an organization founded following a devastating loss, we understand how essential it is to develop the self-compassion necessary for moving forward. This Live Like Sam Day — and every day — show yourself the love and kindness you deserve to move forward with grace and strength.
Celebrating Through Acts of Kindness
Why Be Kind to Others?
Not only is it important to show ourselves kindness, but it’s equally as important to show kindness towards others. Live Like Sam Foundation was founded as a way to honor the legacy of Sam Jackenthal, an internationally ranked freeski champion and inline roller blader who approached everyone he knew with kindness, love, and acceptance. We want everyone to live a life like Sam’s, and one of the best ways to achieve this is through unsolicited acts of kindness towards others.
Being kind to others is about much more than just the Live Like Sam guiding principles. Random acts of kindness also provide the following benefits for our mental, physical, and emotional well-being:
- Random acts of kindness help boost serotonin levels in your brain (“feel-good hormones”)
- Kindness eases anxiety
- Being kind releases oxytocin, a hormone in your body that reduces blood pressure and strengthens your heart
- Oxytocin also reduces inflammation, reducing your risk for diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, obesity, and migraines
How Can I Participate?
Participating in random acts of kindness is easy! The following list outlines just some of the things you can do to spread kindness throughout your community on Live Like Sam Day and beyond:
- Write a letter to a friend, family member, or neighbor letting them know how much you appreciate them
- Pay for the person’s coffee, groceries, or meal in line behind you
- Cook a meal for a friend, family member, loved one, or neighbor
- Donate clothing, food, or funds to a local nonprofit or family in need
Additional ways to help spread kindness include giving someone a gift, getting involved with community service, and donating to the Live Like Sam Foundation to help bolster mental health initiatives for youth communities. You can also join us for a live event on Live Like Sam Day for a full night of kindness, love, and compassion as we honor the anniversary of Sam’s celebration of life.
Live Like Sam & Celebrate Kindness!
As you find ways to celebrate Live Like Sam Day this year, be sure to share your experiences on social media and help get others involved in spreading kindness across their communities. Use #LiveLikeSamDay and tag us in your posts so you can be part of an inspiring online celebration that empowers people of all ages to embrace positive self-identity, character, and compassion. We can’t wait to break the internet with kindness on October 10!