I think pondering what to write about for this post and got to thinking about my Mum back in England. She is always helping and looking after other people and putting herself last. She recently had a prolapsed disc in her neck which was incredibly painful. Luckily it was diagnosed reasonably quickly but she was told in no uncertain terms to REST. Not one of her strong points as she hates sitting down and doing nothing, but she was so worried about getting the pain back that she has taken the stern warning seriously for once. She decided to write a list of all the things she was NOT to do and at the very top of her list was: "I must not get irritable with my husband!" Thankfully, he is responding well and bringing her breakfast in bed, cooking dinner and generally looking after her, even though he has limited cooking skills. Her day-to-day kindness and caring of others was also rewarded when a recently widowed neighbour, who Mum had been checking on regularly, rang and offered to cook lunch without knowing Mum was incapacitated and desperate, as there is only so much fried eggs and yorkshire pudding anyone can stomach!
Unlike my Mum, who is very rarely puts herself at the top of any list, I have changed my outlook completely over the last few years. I now consider being kind to myself as being high priority. I practice 'radical self-care' as much as I can. I used to think it was selfish to put oneself first, but now I know better. How can I be help anyone else if I am not able to help myself first? There is nothing kind about being a martyr, which is what I used to be a lot of the time. The bad energy which I used to give out was of no use to anyone. Now, I only help others if I actually want to, not because I feel I ought to, or because I think I know the best way of doing something (which most of the time I didn't, of course). That way, the energy I give to whatever I am doing is positive and not negative. I also know I am of no good to others when I have no reserves.
What do you do to be kind to yourself?