Be Kind to Yourself

Here’s to a brand-new year (raise a glass of bubbly or a cup of coffee)! Remember when you were a kid, and a parent or a teacher placed a clean, blank sheet of white paper in front of you, gave you a box of crayons, and said “create anything you want on the paper!” Let this new year be like that! Create! Enjoy! I had a teacher in elementary school who gave me some lined paper and a pencil and said “write anything you want!” Wow. Cool. No assignment, no grade, just pour out my thoughts. Maybe that was my first blog.

What if we did something just because it delights us to do it. As adults, we must consider if something serves some great purpose or checks something off of the calendar, or the “to do” list. I know people who are “merciful” by nature; they are always looking for ways to serve other people and rarely make any time for themselves. So, this new year, what if we just do something out of the norm, out of the routine, simply because it lifts our spirits or makes us feel alive? Do something just for you. You don’t have to tell; you don’t even have to share. Be wild; be crazy. Smile. Laugh. Have fun.

My friend has grandchildren who make her life bright (unfortunately, I do not). She does non-adult things with them and loves every manic minute. It’s okay to have cake frosting all over the kitchen. It’s okay to have water-fights in the bath tub with rubber duckies. I envy her carefree time with the little ones. She fully enters into their world, and they love grandma for it! How can we reinterpret such behavior in adulthood?

Do something special that someone once did for you. Leave a bouquet of flowers on someone’s doorstep; ring the door bell, and then hide so they do not know who did it!

Find something beautiful and put it on your desk, or on the kitchen window ledge, so you can see it every day.  A small sea-shell is a vivid reminder of a happy, playful vacation. Frame those works of art by a child and relive his/her joy of sharing them with you.

Bury a treasure so you can find it another day. Hide some chocolate chip cookies in the freezer to find later. Open an old photo album and laugh at all the old treasures you find.

Get a new haircut, and/or a new style. Just go for it!  And over-tip your stylist just this once, because he/she helps you to feel like a new person!

Surprise yourself.  Maybe you are unsure about your abilities to do something. Forget your fears. Take the challenge. Do it just once; it may be easier than you think. I am challenged to take a more difficult ski slope than I usually do. I am shocked when I make it down alive…!

Stand under the stars. Look up. Contemplate the clouds. Watch a sunrise; enjoy a sunset. Take time to just look, and really listen.  A woman stood on a hill behind her house as the sun set. She watched the sky turn pink and gold. Without warning, a star appeared here, then another over there. As the ending of the day faded, the beginning of the night burst forth with stars.  No one was around, so she lifted her hands the started singing, praying and rejoicing.

Talk to the birds. Set up bird feeder and watch them come and go and enjoy the food. Maybe do this when no one else is listening….Watch the birds, and listen for their voices.

Stop in the middle of your day and do something you enjoy doing that is not part of your normal routine. Call a friend, for no reason. Read a new book. Buy a new potted plant or repot an old one in a shiny new pot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Bake something, just for fun. Turn off the TV, and turn on classical music; listen with your eyes closed.

Time seems to be moving faster and faster as the years go by. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.


Author: Judy

Christian educator, writer, specializing in the New Testament

One thought on “Be Kind to Yourself”

  1. Hi Dr Judy, I have a request which might seem strange but I’m sure it would help. My wife Margie loves your writings. She is having major surgery tomorrow (Tuesday). Would you possibly be able to give her a call in a few days to cheer her and provide some spiritual support! We hope to have her home in plenty of time for her birthday on Jan 23.(isn’t that ironic?). Her # is (850)543-2765. I know she’d appreciate it, I certainly would! Thanks,Den

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