Along with the poem from the mystery author that I rediscovered and wrote about last week, I found an undated list of “Ways to be kind to myself”. I shared it on my personal Instagram account, so if you have access to that, you can view it there. Most every item on the list are things I’d still accept as good ways to show myself kindness, or as the phrase is often coined these days, self-care.
Rediscovering this list also reminded me that I am more consistent with giving myself to-do lists these days, and not nearly as great about valuing some of those “to-dos” as acts of personal kindness, or self-care. To-do lists will probably continue to serve their purpose in my weekly work flow, but I’d like to take the practice of a friend in hand, and begin writing myself a weekly list of ways to offer myself more personal kindness.
As mentioned, some items in the list may be things that I might usually put in the to-do category, and could be served by giving them some new context and perspective in my life, i.e. doing the dishes. “Doing the dishes” is an activity that as a “to-do” is full of obligation for me, but perhaps reframed as a personal kindness, or act of self-care, it can be viewed as maintenance - like giving myself a simple pedicure or a foot soak is maintenance, like drinking water is maintenance.
My kitchen feels more friendly and functioning when the dishes are maintained more regularly, and I feel more welcome to the pleasure of cooking meals in it during these times. Likewise, my feet feel more cared for and able to be a part of the body’s activities if I tend to their maintenance more regularly - I have danced so much over the years that taking care of my feet has become a life-long commitment. You have served me well, feet. You have served me well, kitchen. Let’s add you both to the inaugural weekly kindness list. Okay, yes, water, you too.
So, here goes.
Weekly Kindness List 3/5/19:
Clean dishes and kitchen, as needed. Ask for help from partner on this, as needed.
Give self simple pedicure.
Bundle up, put on a good audio book, and give the winter gardens some attention.
Bring more mindfulness to alcohol consumption. Maybe some days this means not drinking at all.
Take in more nourishing tea.
Eat breakfast. If I don’t want to eat breakfast, make time to fix self something for lunch.
Listen more actively to others. Cultivate further curiosity. Ask more questions.
Make dinner. Try cooking something new; it doesn’t need to be complicated, just different.
Make time for more walks. Wander and wonder.
Read more, write more, draw + create more, listen more. Watch less TV and movies.
When self kindnesses aren’t enough, see what needs to be scheduled into your day. Where are you missing structure? Make a list. Consult your calendar.