“Have you been nurturing yourself?”
My dear friend Andrea asks me this question every now and then. She knows how I can get caught up in the busy-ness of everyday to the point that I’d skip lunch, go home late, fret over home concerns and put my own needs on the back burner until my schedule frees up. And you know how that story goes. What free schedule?
So I’ve been making sure I nurture myself no matter how busy the day gets. Nurturing myself can come in the form of catching up on a few chapters of a book before the work day begins, enjoying a good lunch away from my work desk or meeting up with friends.
I’m learning that when you love yourself, you find that it’s easier to love the world around you more.
How do you nurture yourself?
I nurture myself by hanging out with good friends more regularly. This is a breakthrough for me, as my life has mostly been revolving around work and family the past five years. If I did meet up with friends, it was very rare and guilt-ridden (“Is my son okay? Maybe I shouldn’t go out at all. Yes, I’ll stay home so nobody needs to babysit him.”) After LEAP, I realized how I was falling short of nurturing myself by not simply hanging out with my friends. I love how laughter with dear friends feeds my soul. The pictures above were from a mini-reunion of my LEAP batch. We had sangria and good eats at Tapeo. Yum!
I nurture myself by reconnecting with the child in me. My 5-year-old is a constant reminder of how childlike wonder is essential to loving yourself. I love it when we play pretend together, when we make stories out of Playdough characters. I love it when my son asks me to read to him, and I do so in different voices. Taking on those characters during storytelling helps keep that childlike joy, which lets me see the world through a gentler, happier lens.
I nurture myself by wearing shoes that make me happy. That needs no explanation!
I nurture myself by eating properly at work. It’s so easy to gravitate to junkfood at the workplace. I’ve been feeling the effects of a bad workday diet already, so I’m steering clear of chips and too much coffee. More importantly, I’m loving myself by making sure I eat! I tend to run through the day’s lunch and snack hours by not leaving my desk, hence not eating at all. Bad, I know. That’s changed now.
I nurture myself by rewarding myself. After a long and productive week, I walked to the nearby frozen yogurt store and got myself this snack. Mmmmmmm. Green tea frozen yogurt with fruits AND chocolate chips. That signaled the end of my work week. A happy ending. This will be repeated for the next weeks for sure.
I nurture myself by making time to read. Whether it’s a Kindle or a paper book, I try to read when I can. This was taken when I got to work extra early. I eased into the day by reading a few chapters from this book. It was a refreshing change from checking my e-mail right away.
I nurture myself by knowing what I’m worth and making sure other people do too. When you love yourself, you know what you’re worthy of. That means not letting people treat you like a doormat, take advantage of you, pull a fast one over you. It’s your choice if you let those acts continue. But when you know that you’re worth more than that, that’s when the fun begins. That’s when you learn how to pull your chin up, pull your shoulders back, and walk with purpose. That’s when you begin learning to love yourself more and making other people know it.
Now it’s your turn. Tell me. How do you nurture yourself? <3 Credit: Love Yourself and More Than Diamonds images from pocketfuel.