As we've been doing all week, let's start with actually writing 5 things that you love about yourself. Seriously, it takes only a moment! Grab a piece of paper and write a few things, or send yourself a text. Notice how you're feeling about this practice, how you're feeling about yourself. Muscles we use get stronger, right? When we practice paying loving attention to ourselves, that gets stronger, too. And amazingly, when we are more loving toward ourselves we tend to be more giving and loving toward other people. Isn't that great?
Today's self-care practice--do something small that you love. Consider small changes in your day and routines that can make you feel good. Try one of these or dream up your own:
Music: Listen to some music that fills your heart with joy. Make a playlist of things that make you really happy. And actually listen to it! Put on music while you cook, while you drive, or while you're doing something that needs a little lift.
Beauty: Put a flower next to your bed or on the table. Hang a beautiful photo near your desk. Wear something that you love rather than saving it for a special time. Add beauty to your day where ever you feel inspired.
Movement: Enjoy stretching your body when you wake up, like a cat. It may feel too hard to start a yoga practice, but just do one pose that you enjoy. Dance while you cook or clean.
Connection. Is there someone you really enjoy but don't have much time with? Maybe reach out and go for a walk, meet for coffee, or just talk on the phone with someone you like. Slow down and connect with people in your own family, taking the time to listen deeply to them, to savor the experiences that you share rather than rush past them or being distracted from them.
Inspiration. Give yourself an inspirational experience. I love my Zen calendar and look forward to reading a new quote each morning! Whether you enjoy a daily reading from a book like Mark Nepo's The Book of Awakening or getting an app that shares daily inspirational quotes (Gandhi Inspirational Quotes or Zen Quotes android apps or Buddha Quotes or The Now-Mindfulness and Gratitude iphone apps), build in some reminders.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.