I was thinking recently about the fact that when you get right down to it, all you have is yourself.  “You” hold your talents, your learned skills, your heart, your capacity to love.  Everything else is kind of someone else’s stuff. You are the one who makes the decisions about what actions to take.  You are the only one who can take those actions (or non-action, if that’s what you choose.)  So, doesn’t it make sense to take good care of you?  Seeing that’s really all you have?

In Cheryl Richardson’s weekly “Life Makeover” newsletter,  she suggests tiny treats and asks us how our life might change if we were to give ourselves one tiny treat a day.  (See her website for more.) Agent Cooper believes in this as well.  Every day, he says, don’t plan it, just give yourself a treat.  Whether that’s a good hot cup of joe or a few minutes to read your favorite magazine.

There are so many things you can do. Small, easy to do things that cost little or nothing.  For one thing you can try to be less hard on yourself.  I don’t know about you, but I’m often going on with myself about how I did or where I stand.  I was cleaning yesterday and trying to stay in forward motion to get done faster.  But when I left the duster on the other side of the room and had to go back for it, I found myself chattering on about being so distracted.  Instead I decided to accept it every time I had to retrace my steps.  And you know, it turned out, I did it faster. So I might not be in a position to buy myself an expensive gift right now, or go on that  2 week island getaway, but just by going a little easier on myself, I can remind myself of my worth. 

I’ve decided, as well, that I’m going to try to take two afternoons off each week.  When I say off, I mean it.  Working from home, the lines get blurred and it becomes easy to slip into a little work.  When I take time off, I have to focus on doing just what I feel like doing.

I am of the belief that most of us have little practice at doing this. We never give ourselves the chance.  It’s just a matter of a little time to give yourself a wonderful gift.

When I get to that appointed time off, I sit still for a few minutes and breathe deeply.  Then, as I rest into myself, my thoughts, I look for what I feel like I want to do.  If no answer comes, I might just sit there a little longer and see if anything arises.  If not, maybe I’ll take a nap or watch a funny movie. Perhaps I’ll go spend some time outside, just strolling around, doing nothing. I suppose, if I have an urge to clean the kitchen, I’ll do that.  But I want to stop first and ask myself: Will this be a fun thing to do?  Is this really what my heart is calling out to do?  And try to find what makes me feel excited about doing.  You’d be surprised how many things there are to do when you’re doing “nothing.” I wonder how many people do this even on a vacation.  There’s always some place to go, something to do.  I think, even if it’s only a few minutes, once a week, we all need to allow ourselves time to do nothing.

If you take a moment to think of it, it’s not hard to come up with a couple of things that feel good to do. Sitting with your pet.  Eating a favorite treat.  Getting a massage.  Just taking a drive.  Small, tiny treats that can warm you up and let you know you’re appreciated for all that you are, can really improve your mood and lighten your day.

Get good at this and see how easy it is to give tiny treats to others . . .