We’re a month into the new year. How are you doing with your resolutions? Or did you not make any?
I’m not a big fan of resolutions because they’re easy to break. You list a bunch of things you want to change but then you don’t make a plan. Failure is all but guaranteed.
When I wrote about my plan for my blog in 2014, a friend reminded me via Facebook to be kind to myself. In other words, I don’t always need to hold myself to the high standards that I do. Another friend said it would be okay if I only posted once a week.
Their comments were much appreciated and made me think about how I could be kinder to myself. I made a short list, and thought I’d share. If you’re already being kind to yourself, please do share your suggestions. And if you are not, or you need to be a bit more kind, then I hope some of these ideas inspire you.
Eat Healthy: Yes, we all know that. My challenge is actually doing it. Chocolate is so much more satisfying than an apple. Or is it?
I’ve been paying attention to my cravings after work, and discovered that I often really wanted the apple or cauliflower. I wanted crunch. So I’m stocking up on more fruits and veggies. I even keep them in a pretty bowl in the refrigerator to make them more appealing.
Go to a Farmer’s Market: This one is an offshoot from the prior one. It feels good to me to support local farmers and growers in my region so I try to go to the Farmer’s Market every weekend. Right now there is a bit of a lull, but I know it’s only a few more weeks until the markets running again. That’s where I stock up on my produce and usually fresh flowers. It’s also a great way to become more engaged with your community. Which leads me to the next kindness.
Get Social: I’m not talking about Facebook or Instagram or texting. I’m talking face to face. Go to lunch with a friend, meet for coffee, take in a museum exhibit. The conversation will do you good, as will the relaxation time.
Get Moving: You don’t need to join a gym. You do need to walk around your neighborhood or a park. You want to keep moving to burn calories, but more importantly to relieve stress. I also find the workout time relaxing for my mind. My workplace has been encouraging staff to take the stairs. I’ve resisted, but for this month, I’ve committed to always taking the stairs going down. It’s a start. Next month, I’ll take the stairs whenever I have to travel one floor. If you really want to get social, walk with a friend.
Be Still: I’m not good at doing nothing. Years ago, a friend of mine shared how he would come home from work, turn on his music (he had an impressive sound system) and sit on the couch and listen to the music for 20 minutes. “Didn’t you cook dinner or organize or something?” I asked him. “No, you’re supposed to simply sit and listen,” he responded. I tried it once. I didn’t make it through one song before I became fidgety. That experience has stayed with me, and through the years, I’ve practiced simply sitting and being still. I can now listen to music for about 15 minutes. Watching the birds feed also keeps me still, which ultimately makes me calmer.
Give Back: When the stress gets to be too much, it might be time to stop focusing on yourself and instead focus on others. In other words, help others out. You could volunteer at an animal shelter, read at a senior center or share your talents with a nonprofit. Your kindness to others will lead to kindness to yourself.
What are you doing to be kind to yourself?