One of my 2014 resolutions was to indulge in a massage every month as one way to manage my stress and anxiety and to take better care of myself overall, and it was one resolution that I definitely kept. In fact, it went so well that I made it one of my 2015 resolutions. This afternoon, I slid onto the heated massage table and instantly felt the stress of the day begin to melt away, as the massage therapist began by soothingly advising me to thank myself for taking the time to do something good for myself today. Even though I have heard her say this phrase over a dozen times previously, today was the first time that I actually took her words in and acted on them.
As I relaxed for the next hour, her gentle nudge to thank myself kept popping into my now calm mind. I strive to have good manners and to be gracious and kind to others, and I often say ‘thank you’ to the people I encounter throughout the day-my daughters for helping around the house, my mother for picking up my daughters from school, someone who holds the door open for me, a salesperson who offers their assistance to me, and so forth. That said, thanking myself for doing something positive for myself was somewhat of a foreign concept.
Rather than dismiss her suggestion, I mulled it over and decided that if I could write things that I am thankful for each day in my gratitude journal, then surely, I could find a few things to thank myself for today. Right?! At first, it was more difficult than I imagined, but then, slowly, the gratitude began to flow. In addition to thanking myself for the massage, I also thanked myself for:
- Getting up early to complete an interval workout. This decision made my body stronger and my mind clearer, and it gave me a burst of energy to begin a busy day.
- Choosing healthy foods to nourish my body. I have never met a sweet treat I didn’t like . . .or eat. That said, when I eat too many unhealthy foods, I end up feeling unhealthy. So, today, I chose fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to fuel my body, and I chose not to use food as a reward or coping mechanism. Good nutrition does a body good!
- Taking time to read a book. I have loved reading since I was a little girl, but over the years, I haven’t been as quick to pick up a book. I truly enjoy reading, so, I carved out some time this morning to read an inspirational book. It started this day off on a good note and gave me something positive to focus on during the day, especially when things were chaotic.
I came out of my massage appointment feeling much more relaxed and much more appreciative for what I did to take care of myself today. Thank you!
Just one thing each day . . .