Simple Ways To Be Good To Yourself
By: Allison Kugel
Years ago, I was roaming the aisles of Costco and picked up a book, titled, 101 Simple Ways to Be Good To Yourself by Donna Watson Ph.D. I’ve been re-reading it ever since. As we grow older and our responsibilities mount, we lose touch with our own needs. Children, spouses, jobs (second jobs), mortgages, car payments, friends in need…the list is endless. The weekdays bleed into each other in a frenetic blur, and on weekends we can barely catch up on sleep, catch our breath and take the kids to their weekend activities. Sometimes “adulting” can make you want to cry “Uncle.” Most likely, you’re running on fumes. If your battle cry of the moment is, “Stop the ride, I wanna get off!” a few small adjustments can recharge a burnt out battery.
There are plenty of simple ways to be good to you, which will, in turn, help you be good to others.
BREATHE. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stop right there and breathe. Breathe out all of the air in your body through your mouth. Count to four and then breathe in through your nose, filling up your abdomen (not your chest). Hold for four seconds. Then, slowly let the air leak out through your mouth as your belly deflates. Repeat.
LAUGH. Make YouTube your friend. I personally love the television show, All In The Family. When I need a good laugh, I cue up a full episode on YouTube and laugh myself silly. Laughing is good for the soul.
LISTEN. Nothing soothes me like Jazz music. Did you know that brain surgeons play their favorite music in the operating room to take the pressure off? Sometimes, in order to do your best, you have to actually place your attention elsewhere to remain centered and focused.
WALK. Take a walk in nature. Walk briskly, look at the grass, the trees and the sky. Breathe in the crisp air, feel your body move and your heart rate slightly increase. Feel your muscles working to move your body.
SPEND TIME WITH ANIMALS. If you have a dog or a cat, spend time cuddling and petting your animal companion. Really take in their energy. If you don’t live with any animals, consider spending time at a dog park to be around animals, or at a local horse stable. Spending time around animals is healing.
TAKE A LESSON. You don’t have to make a commitment, time-wise or financially. You can simply take a lesson or two for fun. It will bring a sense of play and adventure to your life. Do it by yourself, or bring a friend or family member along.
TAKE A MINI-BREAK. Look for Groupons or off-season deals for short weekend getaways that are within driving distance, and change your environment for 48 hours…or 24 hours if you must.
MASSAGE. Everywhere you go now, there are massage and nail spas. Carve out 30 minutes and go for a shoulder rub or a relaxing foot rub… just because.
These are just a few of the simple things you can do to be good to yourself. Being good to yourself is like saving money in the bank. You can then spread the wealth to the ones you love.