Treat Yourself Well

You Are Your Own Best Friend

How are you doing these days? What are you doing for yourself lately? When was the last time you took a long hot bath? When did you read a novel just for fun? Speaking of fun, how long has it been since you’ve had any?

February is not my favorite time of year. It’s cold out, the days are short, and without the sun shining my mood can be gray.

I know that when February and March come around I need to be extra attentive to myself.

I teach my clients that we have to first make ourselves happy and then take care of others. This sounds like a selfish way of thinking, but in reality it is the healthiest. Did you know on an airplane they tell you in the event of an accident to put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then your child? This is a great metaphor for life:

You can’t save anyone else until you save yourself.

It’s true. You are a much better friend, parent, spouse when you take care of your own needs first.

You probably disagree with this philosophy because we’ve been taught just the opposite. But think about it… We teach by example. How is your child supposed to understand happiness if you’re not? How is she supposed to understand healthy eating and exercise if you don’t? How is she supposed to stand up for herself in school when you don’t stand up for yourself in life?

Valentine’s Day is over, but it’s time for you to have a love affair with your life. What kinds of things make YOU happy? Whatever they are, it’s time to do them.

Please don’t say you don’t have time. Every person on this earth has at least 30 minutes a day that they can indulge in something that is just for them. Don’t remember what you enjoy? Here’s some ideas:

Take a walk in the woods, a long bath, listen to music, sit outside in the sun, read a fiction book, go ice skating, do yoga, ride your bike, see a movie, paint your nails, knit, do a puzzle, draw, paint, make pottery, color, meditate, pray, take a long nap, get together with friends, ride a horse, ski, hike, sing, go to a concert, get a massage, bake something delicious, write a short story or poem, decorate a room in your house, go to a sporting event, play golf, play tennis, swim, play an instrument, take photographs.(Maybe what makes you happy is not on this list. That’s fine, sit down and write your own list. Don’t judge or censor what you write, just brainstorm.)

You feel your best when you are treating yourself well. Get to know who you are again and what you like. Ironically, when you are happy, the feeling is contagious and the people around you begin to feel better too.

–Hilary of Hilary’s Mindful Living

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