Do you know how to be kind to yourself?
A few months ago, I experienced a severe flare-up. My usual bag of tricks lays empty, so I texted a friend for prayer support. My friend responded, “Be kind to yourself.” Showing kindness to myself is an idea I continue to unpack and understand.
“Talk to yourself like you would someone you love.”Brene’ Brown
Unable to do anything thing else, I did what my friend suggested. As the liquid mercy (a.k.a. coffee) brewed, I dug through the pantry for a-calories-don’t-count-today-snack. “I will be kind to myself today,” I spoke aloud as I reached for books, blankets, and TV remote. This new me was as giddy with excitement as Ferris Bueller skipping school.
“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first, it means me too.”L.R. Knost
As incredible as it may sound, showing kindness to myself was a difficult concept to grasp. As the daughter of a Baby Boomer, I am part of what I call the Taffy Generation. Like taffy, many needs pull at my attention. Raising my teenage children and caring for my aging parents occupy most of my days. Even as a full-time patient, I put my needs last. I guess that is why my friend’s text message, was so important. It gave me permission to do what I know I should do more, which is taking care of myself.
12 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself
As a member of several online rare illness support groups, I posted the question, “How do you show kindness to yourself?” The responses flooded my inbox, giving legitimacy to the need we each share. Here is a sample of the replies:
Take a nap.
Phone a friend.
Read the novel I’ve been putting off.
Bing watch my favorite Netflix movie or show.
Listen to my favorite music and sort through photos.
Create: Knit, sew, quilt, or scrapbook.
Discover a new hobby or revisit an old one.
Work a jigsaw puzzle.
Visit the library or bookstore across town for a different vibe.
Take a class at the local library or adult education center.
Pretend to be a tourist in your town and visit the local museums and eateries.
Treat me to a manicure or massage.
Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. Whether you are a full-time patient or full-time caregiver, taking time for one’s self is vital to our overall physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
This article was first published in Broken But Priceless Volume 5 Issue 2
Images courtesy of Kaboompics and Jesshoots @ Pixabay