We pretty much know how to make ourselves feel a bit better (cake, anyone?). A quick hit of endorphins, a distracting pause. But what makes us feel better about ourselves?
Think about it for a moment and write yourself a short list. It is different for everyone. Would it be making a good food choice that you might not have made? Is it completing that project that you have been procrastinating over? Think how goooood it would feel to get that done. Is it the 15 minutes with a mindfulness app that you know you should do (but never get around to)? Moving your body in a positive way? Even finally tackling that awkward email that has been hanging around in your inbox smelling like yesterday’s fish dinner, and causing a nagging sense of unease. What would make you feel better about yourself if you did it today?
Because you know what the magic is? It puts another layer in the foundation of your self esteem. Eases a bit of that grinding feeling in the pit of your stomach. Puts you back in touch with that lost sense of “can do”.
Here’s what I did. I wrote a list of things that would make me feel better about myself if I did them that day. These were not goals. I am quite frankly exhausted by goals — they seem like a never ending procession of lines to cross to get to some unknown destination. My list was simply things that I knew would make me feel better about myself if I did them. The list included some restorative movement work, 20 minutes of mindfulness practice, 2 lessons on my Spanish language app, and two good hours working on my book chapter. To my surprise they all got done before lunchtime. And the reason that they got done was that I was doing it for myself, not to myself.
So what, dear people, would make you feel better about yourself today?