I blogged about the Kindness Project here, but in short, it’s an initiative by a group of bloggers to try to make kindness not a random act, but a daily reality for themselves and those around them.
Today though, I want to talk about being kind to yourself.
I chose this smiling picture because I wondered, how often do we see a face like that when we look in the mirror? (Of course, if you are a bloke, it’s never, but work with me here.)
The woman in the picture is smiling as she would on seeing a friend and the question I am asking, of myself, as well as you, is how often do we treat ourselves as well as we do our friends?
Think about it for a moment…
Would you ever:
- shout at a friend for being late?
- give a friend a hard time for gaining a few pounds, or having trouble losing them?
- give a friend a hard time for not keeping the house as nice as she would like?
- tell a friend they’re a bad parent?
- begrudge a friend something she enjoyed, like a relaxing bath or a good book?
- tell a friend who is being mistreated that she doesn’t deserve any better?
I’m thinking seldom to never. But how often do we do precisely those things, or kinds of things to ourselves?
We need to be nice to ourselves. We need to give ourselves a break. We need to be gentle with ourselves and we need to care for our own physical and emotional needs. It doesn’t make us week or selfish. In fact, the better we care for ourselves, the more able and equipped we are to care for others. And the less we care for ourselves, the more likely we are to be grumpy and difficult with our nearest and dearest. Nobody loves a martyr.
So my challenge to you for this week is to choose something you like and give it to yourself. It doesn’t have to be big and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. A bath in the evening. A hot chocolate with a book. A visit to the library by yourself. Your favourite tea, made in a pot and drunk from a special cup. But find something nice to do for yourself and carve out the time to do it. Every day, if possible. If not, try for at least three times this week.
And if you don’t know what to choose, maybe your first nice thing should be giving yourself time to sit down and think and reconnect with what you like most.
See what it does for you and for your mood. And if you want to do something nice for someone else as well, come back and tell me how it went.
The world needs more kindness. Start with yourself.
The image of the smiling woman was provided by: FreeDigitalPhotos.net