This period of “staying home” has stretched from weeks to months, and many of us find ourselves in a world we barely recognize. The people we love are afraid or discouraged or angry or frustrated because their plans have been put “on hold” while we all try to navigate life in a quickly shifting world. That world has changed in ways most of us could not have imagined and we know that the future — next month, next season, next year –- will be very different from anything we have known.
We find ourselves talking to friends or family members who feel “trapped” at home, whether they live alone or with others, working from a space that was once devoted to eating meals, or sleeping, or watching a favorite movie. Our kitchens and bedrooms and dens have become our offices and our classrooms. We prepare food, we settle family squabbles (in person or via video conferences), we do laundry, we join video meetings/parties/graduations, and mostly we pour out compassion as we encourage loved ones who appear to be struggling. Self-care and self-compassion are not even on the “back burner.” They are off the menu entirely.
And so, I write today to remind you that…
… YOU deserve your compassion, your patience, and your kindness.
… YOU deserve a heaping portion of the love you are pouring out to others.
… YOU deserve to be a priority now.
… YOU deserve time for self-care.
How? “How” you may be whispering (or screaming) as you read this. “How can I possibly do this?” The truth is, I do not know, because self-compassion and self-care look different for each of us. Over the past few months many of us have forgotten what these words mean, but we need to remember. We need to remember that caring for others at the expense of caring for ourselves is a short-term strategy that almost always ends badly for us and for those we love.
I urge all of us to take even a few moments today to decide what we need and how we can lovingly care for ourselves today. One thing. Let’s choose one thing and do that. And then another. And then another.
Let’s remember today and always that not only is self-care important to us – it sets a great example for others and reminds them that we all deserve our own love and compassion.
Photo Credit: © Vetre Antanaviciute-meskauskiene | Dreamstime.com