Just like integrity, self-care is that right thing that you do when nobody else is watching. It is those tiny little acts to show yourself that you are worth a little kindness, a little time, a little love. It is something that we forget to do. It is something we might consider for others, but often neglect to do for ourselves.
If we are depressed, we may actively prevent ourselves doing such things, because we do not believe we warrant the trouble, the effort, the consideration. We might savagely do the opposite, to punish ourselves or perversely confirm some perceived failing.
It doesn’t have to be Mediterranean meditation, or mountain top yoga, or that super expensive spa thing that you like (though that would be lovely of course, if it were possible, on occasion).
It is those simple, tiny, everyday things you can do for yourself to show love.
- It is the shaving of the legs that nobody will see, but will make you feel nicer under your clothes.
- It is doing those back exercises because you deserve not to be in pain.
- It is spending a little extra on that healthy lunch because you know it will make your body feel loved.
- It is making yourself that healthy lunch, because the act of the making says you are loved too.
- It is relishing the occasional crisp sandwich (or pizza, or chocolate) because you are allowed to sometimes treat yourself without feeling guilty.
- It is buying new socks when the darns just can’t be darned anymore.
- It is giving up smoking because you know you do it as punishment. It is time to forgive yourself.
- It is buying yourself that special soft drink that looks so beautiful in the bottle, because today is not a wine day.
- It is stopping and listening to the birds, really listening. The task can wait a few minutes.
- It is ironing the dress.
- It is avoiding the overwhelming negativity of others when it makes you upset.
- It is avoiding the overwhelming positivity of others when it makes you upset.
- It is stepping away when you have over-eaten news reports and you are starting to feel really sick.
- It is turning away from that well paid job you are more than qualified for because you know that way madness lies.
- It is allowing yourself to cry, really sob, get properly soggy.
- It is walking home. There is time to walk home.
- It is staying under the blanket when you really need to and not beating yourself up about it.
- It is buying a nice pencil and notebook.
- It is putting on your cosiest jumper and watching the rain fall hard.
- It is writing to yourself.
- It is changing the bed sheets.
- It is buying that smoothie because the fruit makes you feel sunshiney inside.
- It is taking yourself to the beach.
- It is watching back-to-back whatever moves your soul, makes you laugh, makes you cry – whatever it is you need in that moment.
- It is buying the hard-back version.
- It is painting your toenails.
- It is making yourself a hot water bottle just to hug it because it feels nice.
- It is applying moisturiser and remembering to really feel your skin beneath your fingertips.
- It is making the cafetiere for one (perhaps with biscuits, on a plate).
- It is washing the car and then driving around with the windows down and music on.
- It is getting up ten minutes earlier to do that thing that will make the difference.
- It is starting the day’s chores ten minutes later to do that thing that will make the difference.
- It is throwing out the worn out leggings / knickers / pyjamas / moth-eaten, holey whatever.
- It is saying “Fuck it, not today!”
- It is saying “Come on, let’s make it today!”
- It is listening to the inspirational talk online.
- It is reading the book. Nobody else’s business what book.
- It is taking the time, making the time, claiming the time.
- It is clearing some space and protecting that space like a tiger.
- It is assuring yourself that your feelings, experiences, sadnesses are valid – even when ‘They’ don’t get it, hear you, believe.
- It is knowing that your blessings, enjoyments, projects, little steps forward are valid – even when ‘They’ don’t see it, recognise it, approve.
- It is allowing yourself to feel it. It is yours and only yours to feel. Really feel it.
It is these little sprinkles of light I am starting to notice in my sky.
It is these tiny little droplets of self-kindness and care which let me know I am getting a little better all the time ….
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