If you are already great at being kind to yourself, putting yourself first, and focusing on yourself above others, then read no further. However if, like me, you are much more inclined to accept other people’s foibles over your own, support others in their journey and negate yours, or consider caring for others ahead of yourself, then read on!

I’m not certain if it’s a female trait, that supposed nurturing gene that’s baked into our DNA, my mother’s upbringing and role modeling of caring for others, or my own personality, but my entire life I’ve been more focused on the care of others rather than for myself. Couple that with a perfectionist streak, and I realize it’s much easier for me to accept and support other people’s imperfections than it is my own. My husband will ask sometimes, “What would you say to others if they were in your same situation?” And sometimes he’s more pointed, “I’m certain you’d be much more forgiving of others than you are of yourself.”

So what’s a person to do? After much thinking and talking to others, I started trying a little secret I’ll share with you. It only takes five minutes  and can be the most pampering, gratifying act you do for yourself each and every day!

Acknowledge and be kind to yourself. #ClearPathForward #women #midlife #Kindness Click To Tweet

Here’s the secret – I spend five minutes thinking of all the great actions I accomplished, people I helped, and what made the day special because I was on this earth. It’s the little actions that enable me to focus on myself, and make me grateful for and kind to me. As an example, here are a few I listed for today:

  • Petted and rubbed Miss Inde’s ears and had her purring from satisfaction.
  • Demonstrated my writing skills and gifts by completing my blog post in record time. Also, created a message that supports and cares for other women (and men).
  • Cooked a nourishing dinner for me and my husband, which my body really enjoyed and appreciated.
  • Walked for 30 minutes, grateful for my strong legs that carried me on the path, and allowed me to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Met with Amerigas serviceman, greeted him with a smile, inquired about his family, and felt grateful knowing that I made his day just a bit brighter.

Some of you may be thinking, isn’t this like a gratitude listing? Well, yes, it certainly can be. The difference is that you are emphasizing what is special about you, what you did, and how important you are. If you also want to incorporate this as part of a gratitude practice, then absolutely do so.

The important part is to acknowledge and be kind to yourself. Focus on what you contribute, and recognize that this earth is a better place because you’re on it. When you do, it starts to seep into other areas of your life. When you take five minutes to be kind to yourself, you may begin to realize that taking time for yourself, instead of always caring for others, is more important than anything you can be doing for others. As the airline attendant says, “Put on your own oxygen mask before you put it on for others.”

Action: What would it take to insert five minutes into your day and be kind to yourself?

Kathy Hart, EdD’s driving passion is human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women in midlife with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to reclaim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at kathy@clearvisionconsult.com. The choice is yours!

Services that Kathy offers:

  • 1:1 coaching to support the journey into your midlife transition
  • Trusted advisor for leaders navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
  • Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
  • Small group work and team development to boost the group’s performance