If you don't, who will?
When I think about being kind to myself, it runs deeper than manicures and massages. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but they are not a part of my everyday life.
I’m talking about the self-care type of kindness that keeps you rejuvenated long after you leave the salon or indulge in a tasty treat.
This type of kindness is a gentle reminder that you don’t have to do it all, know it all, be it all or be seen to be valued. Just being is hard enough, so I’m doing myself a favor and keeping it simple.
This type of kindness will stop you in your tracks and remind you to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. This isn’t easy stuff. But it’s necessary.
Being kind to ourselves doesn’t look the same for everyone — nor should it — but I’m sharing my notes with you in case any of it resonates. Use what you can and put your own twist on this list to be kind to yourself.
Learn how to say “no,” and don’t feel bad about it. There are so many people and things vying for your time and attention. God made you the steward of your schedule, and it’s an important role that you should not take lightly or delegate.
Declutter — internally and externally. A cluttered mind is a heavyweight to carry. It’s even heavier than a messy house. Daily, we have to pause and take inventory of what we are thinking about. What are you exposing yourself to? What do you spend most of your time listening to and watching? All of these things affect how you think, and your thinking affects how you feel.
Let it go. You owe it to yourself not to rehearse past hurts in your mind. When I say past, this doesn’t necessarily mean months or years ago. Sometimes past hurts are unpleasant encounters we have at work or while running errands. I know that hurt can run deep, especially when there are lingering emotions that aren’t fully processed. But there is such freedom when you start the healing process.
Encourage yourself. What are you saying to yourself and thinking about yourself? Feuling yourself with the truth can get you out of a ditch. You won’t always have people around you to cheer you on and encourage you, so embrace the role of being your own cheerleader. God has your back, front and side.
Own your mornings. Having a morning routine is life-changing. I know everyone isn’t a morning person, but preparing yourself mentally for the day is LIFE. We don’t always know what we will be up against, but taking time to pray, meditate on scripture and say encouraging affirmations will better position you to deal with what comes. Maybe you enjoy listening to soft music while you stretch. It is your morning, so own it and do what works for you. Pro tip: Before you jump out of bed tomorrow, be still for a minute and meditate on this: All is well. Jesus loves me, and I know it.
I don’t want to overwhelm you, so I’ll stop there. I might do a part two because, as I said earlier, this is important stuff. It’s hard to treat others with love and kindness if we don’t first do that for ourselves.