If you have read some of the previous kindness posts you would notice a bit of trend… Chel, Dani and I all focused on being Kind to ourselves. I’d love to say this was some grand plan on my part but it really is just a lucky coincidence. It is the best place to start when considering this habit. We are all much better able to be kind to others if we have taken care of ourselves. With this in mind, here are 5 simple ways you can be kind to yourself today.
Get enough sleep – Yesterday I only had four hours of sleep. My hubby is away on business so I had no incentive to follow my usual routine and get to bed. Sure it was fun to work on things into the wee hours of the night but I paid for it by not really being present for most of the day. I kept thinking I wanted a nap and generally was unable to concentrate.
Lack of sleep is linked to a whole host of health problems including increased risk for weight gain, depression, colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Yikes! I’m going to bed early tonight. How about you?
Laugh – When was the last time you had a good laugh? Children laugh all the time. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress. Laughter decreases stress hormone, boosts the immune system and promotes an overall sense of well-being. If we aren’t doing it regularly and spontaneously we should schedule it!
Take time to watch a funny movie or even a you tube video. Tell jokes, read funny books. Hang out with children and join in their silliness – if all else fails you can tickle them and their squeals of delight are certain to tickle your funny bone too.
Lighten up – I take myself too seriously. I can get extremely focused on how I think things should be. If I don’t get the house picked up, if I don’t get the blog post written, if I don’t call my mother, if the car is low on gas, etc. etc. they are all proof of my inadequacy. It really is OK for things not to be in perfect order. It is also OK to make mistakes.
Try to catch yourself when you are headed down the spiral that is things should be some way other then the way they are. Focus on something or someone besides yourself and you will be feeling better in no time!
Delegate – You don’t have to do it all! This is a huge danger sign – if you can’t let other people assist you or take on some of your workload, whether it be in the home or in the workplace. If you continuously operate as if ONLY YOU can do things you’ll start to feel very trapped.
I’m learning this the hard way with my five year old. So often I just want to pick up for her or even get her dressed because it is just so much quicker. Doing so is a trap because I remain responsible for it happening, and my daughter can never learn.
What can someone else do for you now?
Breathe – Gosh, we breath every minute of every day but how often do you pay attention? Taking a couple of minutes just to focus on the air going in and out of your body can do wonders. Paying attention to our breath for even a couple of minutes can help calm and center us, and make an an enormous difference in how the next few minutes or even the day go.
How about right now?
Pause for a moment right now and take a deep breath… Feel the breath flowing in and out.
Again. Feel the breath, in and out.
One more time. In. Out.
Repeat as needed through out the day to maintain peacefulness. 🙂
Which of these will you try today?
In what other ways do you show kindness to yourself?