One of the most brilliant, yet simple pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to give myself a gift everyday. It came from a counselor I was seeing in Atlanta. I was in the midst of writing my emotionally charged master’s thesis and dealing with a personal family matter that had resurfaced after many years of peace. The daily gift made a huge difference in my path towards healing and forgiving myself. It is an exercise in self-compassion—one I think we forget (I know I do). The gift is not a material thing, although sometimes it can be, but just something small to remind yourself that you care about you, and you deserve the love you might usually reserve for a good friend or a loved one.
I have a tendency to be very hard on myself, and if I don’t feel I’ve done my best or given my all that day, I beat myself up over it. I feel I don’t deserve to do the things that bring me joy. And then I remember the daily gift. I know for others, they don't feel like they have time in their day for self care. But just that one small gift can make a big difference. It can be waking up a little earlier to have time to yourself, enjoying a cup of tea with honey, going for a walk outside (when it's warm…or not, if your into that). Maybe it's as simple as taking a long hot shower, or starting the book you've been wanting to read, or taking yourself to dinner, coloring a picture (loving Enchanted Forest), having dessert, seeing a movie, group texting your friends from high school, watching your favorite show, and on and on.
The daily gift is personal to you. Give yourself a small gift of kindness today.