It’s been a hard year all around. Being kind to yourself is a unique and affordable gift to give and receive as this year welcomes the next.
Sometimes you just need to be caring toward yourself. This includes permitting yourself to say an honest “no” or “later” more often, to not be at your perfect weight or height, to even take breaks from anything that smacks of self-improvement, overwhelm, or overdrive.
It’s permission to ask for help even from equally overwhelmed others, to spend time with people who love to laugh or cry with you, to indulge in reading and watching what you never seem to have time for, to spend more time gazing in awe at the stars with a seasonal beverage.
It’s OK to carve out time to do caring things for yourself, permitting yourself to just not have everything perfect.
If you are visited by the unkind voice of guilt in its pathetic or persuasive tones, you can gently remind yourself that you are better for others when you are kind to yourself. It’s realizing you can contribute much good to others even without winning awards for the perfect parent, partner, friend, sibling, child, or colleague.
You certainly do not have to be perfect in giving yourself permission. You can do just a little each day. Skipping days and forgetting is OK. So is remembering.
This is the opposite of needing or waiting for others to give yourself these permissions, permissions only you can give yourself. It’s grounded in the realization that you take better care of others when you take better care of yourself.
This is based on excerpts from Jack’s upcoming book, “A Radical Kindness: The Way of Self-compassion” (2021 NuanceWorks)