Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Way to Be Kind to Yourself

I’m not talking about a shopping trip to the mall to buy yourself a treat. (But if that works for you, that’s ok.) What I’m talking about is giving yourself some time, perhaps just a few moments here and there where you can be alone.  You don’t need to do anything special - just enjoy feeling calm and peaceful. Your self worth will be nourished, your nervous system restored, and consequently you will function at your best.

How we spend our mornings, in particular, can very much effect how we will experience  the rest of the day. I have always felt pretty lousy on awakening, pained by the sound of voices and rummaging with frustration for something to wear. I promised myself I’d find a way to make waking up a more gentle process for me, and I have. I have turned the first 20 minutes of each morning into Being Kind To Myself Time.

Prep starts just before going to bed at night. I turn my comfy chair towards the sliding glass door that leads out to the garden. I set the footstool in front of it and fluff up my beat-up old pillow. In the kitchen I set up the coffee pot ready to go and put my favorite red mug next to it. (Remember that I feel bad in the AM and don’t want to hunt for anything.)

Then upstairs I set the alarm clock for 20 minutes earlier than anyone else will wake up, throw the bathrobe over the foot of my bed and (God willing) go to sleep.

When the alarm sounds I wake up only as much as I need to throw the bathrobe over my shoulder and hit the “on” button on the coffee pot.  I go “ powder my nose” (you’re welcome) and wash my hands, grab the Half & Half and pour my coffee. It smells great and I have made it a perfect golden brown. I am a little more awake now.

The family is still a sleep. I pull the drapes back, sit down, feet up and wiggle against my pillow. I soak in the silence, sip the coffee and let my eyes rest in the greenery of the garden. As I sip, my mind and body are slowly getting into sync. I feel hugged and cozy and grateful to have all this. As I finish my coffee my time is up. The day looks good and I am ready.

I pull off the list taped to the refrigerator that tells me what not to forget today (I don’t trust my memory). I wake up the kids. As they thunder down the stairs the first fight breaks out almost immediately. I raise my voice to the necessary level to be heard and follow them. It’s okay, because I know that’s not all there is.

Be kind to yourself often, and you’ll have so much more to give.

Good luck with your goal!

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