The concept of being gentle and kind with ourselves is often lost during our daily struggles, stresses, and responsibilities. Just a quick glance at the headlines will tell you many people in the world are angry, stressed, and hurting. Often we can feel helpless to promote positive change in others and in the world.
We can, however, easily start with ourselves. This will often naturally flow over and benefit our relationships and the people we encounter in the world. It’s like a ripple affect, your happiness affects others and so on. So taking time for you is good for you — and the world!
So take a moment today and every today to be kind to you. Often we focus on others, providing so much care, love, and support that we find ourselves exhausted and depleted. Here are three simple steps that can help us nurture ourselves as well as others.
- 1. Begin each day with inner peace. Provide yourself enough time each day for a morning meditation, prayer, or observance of the beauty in the world around you — or whatever works for you. Start your day with this connecting to yourself and your surroundings. Even if you only have five minutes, take that time for you.
- 2. Make some “me-time” to do something that you love. Do this for no other purpose than to nurture your heart and soul. This may be an activity or exercise, may be reading a book, taking a nap, or snuggling with your pet. This is your time. When you find yourself hearing self-talk rushing you along to hurry to your next task, let it go, settle in and just be in this moment.
- 3. Learn to say “no.” We want to help others. Many of us are people-pleasers. Often we say “yes” knowing we are already overloaded. It’s okay to say “no.” In fact, it is empowering to say “no.” Often it can save us so much stress, grief, and distress if we can just speak up and be truthful about what we can and cannot handle. Saying “no” to overloading ourselves also allows us to be more present and capable of handling the responsibilities we say “yes” to each day.
“Accept yourself. Love yourself as you are. Your finest work, your best movements, your joy, peace, and healing comes when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same: to love themselves. Revel in self-love. Roll in it. Bask in it as you would sunshine.” ~ Melodie Beattie.
If we are so driven and dedicated to bettering the world and the lives of those around us, don’t we owe it to ourselves to be kind? Take time for you each day and watch how quickly your well-being resonates and affects those around you.