Have you ever listened to yourself? I mean really listened. If, like most of us, you find plenty of judgment and self-criticism bubbling up, the idea of routinely doing something nice for ourselves doesn’t last.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy—we think we deserve no better than what our critical voice says, so if we stretch beyond that comfort zone, we get backtalk like, “Who do you think you are…?” “You’re being a bit self-centered, don’t you think?” I’m sure you could tap into a steady stream of reasons not to put yourself first.
Self Care in Small Steps
Here’s the thing—you don’t have to change how you live all at once. You don’t even have to start with something spectacular, because you’re not likely to keep it up. Just as we can keep ourselves locked into unsupportive behaviors, we can begin to build up a foundation of uplifting behaviors starting with the easiest activity that only slightly stretches our comfort zone.
Think about meditating for 5 minutes every morning before getting up. Maybe you could do some deep breathing at work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You might take a walk at lunchtime. Reward yourself with a monthly massage that helps you detoxify and drains the lymph system. How about writing down three things you’re grateful for before turning out the light?
Pick one self care practice and stick to it for at least three weeks before adding another. You will begin to feel better about you and more deserving of self care. Like learning to ride a bicycle, suddenly no one is holding on and you’re freely riding all by yourself!
Enjoy… the little things do make a difference.
Start a kindness ripple. A simple gesture of opening a door, squeezing a hand, or giving a thoughtful gift that warms the heart spreads from the receiver to the next person they feel inspired to touch with kindness. That person will pass it on to the next and the next and it will ripple out infinitely. Just that one simple gesture has such immense power…