Being nice to yourself and being kind are different things, although that idea may seem strange: aren’t they the same thing? No, not really: being nice to yourself means to give yourself what you want, when you want it. Being kind to yourself means to put something off if it is good for you, for your health, so you can do something else that you need even more or even caring for yourself. Being kind can be acting like your own mother! It seems so nice to yourself to put off something you have to do: the term paper, the homework, the chores or whatever.
But being kind to yourself helps you realize that, if you did your term paper early, that would be very nice indeed. Being kind means that you do your homework, not because you have to do it for the teacher or for your parents or whatever but because when you learn things, you make everything easier. You can never know when you might need to remember about the square of the hypotenuse or that a cup of water is the same as eight ounces of water and the same as half a pint. You never know, so it’s kind to make sure you have as many tools in your toolkit for life as you can.
Being nice to yourself means doing your chores, again, not because you’re doing it for your parents or because you’re being punished! No, doing your chores like making your bed, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, makes things really so much easier in the future! If you know how to wash dishes then when you move out and you live alone you can always find a clean dish when you need one and you don’t have to go and buy one! If you take out the trash, all that walking and carrying makes you a little stronger, remember?
So: being nice to yourself usually means that you give yourself a free pass for right here and right now. Being kind to yourself is when you think things through for the future and you can see how something will be good for you later, even though it might not seem good for you right now.