I recently had dinner with my amazing Life Group. During our rousing table talk, I asked this question, “Do you find it difficult to be kind to yourself?”
We are Moms, Grandmas (well, one friend is!), daughters, sisters, co-workers, volunteers, neighbors, and other roles. We all agreed that we often struggle putting our needs in front of others. As women, we tend to extend kindness in various forms to our families, friends, and even strangers, but don’t take the time to serve ourselves.
Several years ago, a good friend challenged me to meditate, pray, and journal over this verse: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39
I was in a season where I felt guilty putting my needs before others. But, if I didn’t invest in myself, how could I invest in others? There are certainly times we are called to serve others sacrificially; God will provide all the love, energy, and patience we need for those times. I have learned that I must intentionally carve out daily/weekly time for renewal, refreshment, and fun!
I often visualize my life as a water pitcher with holes in it. I need to “fill up” because water leaks out through the holes as I love and serve others. The way to “fill up” varies from person to person. We all have ways in which we are kind to ourselves.
Here are a few suggestions from my Life Group on how to be kind to yourself:
- Be kind with your self-talk. Do you have a hard time receiving compliments? Do you think or say things about yourself you would never say to/about others? Instead of focusing on those extra 5 pounds, look at your beautiful smile. God created you as a unique, amazing, beautiful woman- receive and believe that!
- One woman said exercise is her huge splurge! Don’t feel guilty about spending time living a healthy lifestyle. Some of you may have small children- look for a gym with a nursery. Or swap childcare with a friend so both of you can workout a couple times per week. And remember, exercise doesn’t have to be expensive- go take a walk today!
- Figure out what makes you feel pampered. For some women, it may be playing tennis, for others it’s attending a Bible study. And there are those who pamper themselves with a nap, pedicure, walk- it doesn’t matter as long as you are doing something for YOU!
- Go easy on yourself….give yourself the same grace you give to others. Did you make a mistake? Do you need to apologize to someone? Do your best to correct the situation and then move forward. After you seek forgiveness from God and others, learn to forgive yourself!
- Remember to pray for yourself. I’m sure you have a list of people you pray for, but don’t forget to spend time with God focused on you. I remember years ago a friend said she felt guilty sharing personal prayer concerns when others had more serious issues. Don’t feel guilty sharing your praises and hurts with God- spend time talking and listening to Him. You are important to God.
I would love for you to share ways you are kind to yourself in the comment section below. What random acts of kindness will you do for yourself today?