“You have to be kind to yourself,” Grandma once told me. “Because you matter, too.”

treating myself well

I used to have a tendency to over-extend my body and my mind, always trying to please others only to be disappointed when my needs weren't met. I think it's part of the nature of women, or perhaps a desired feminine trait that's trained into us from a very early age. We believe that we should take care of everyone else.

But who takes care of us?

Somewhere along the way – really, in recent days – I realized that I wasn't treating myself like a priority. I didn't look good because I didn't feel good because I wasn't being good to myself. As much as I hate to admit it, the real catalyst for that realization was my complete and utter inability to properly serve the needs of my family.

It became painfully clear that if I'm not kind to myself, I can't truly be kind to anyone around me.

feel your best

So I started putting my needs before the bottom of the list. Living life on my terms was unfamiliar, at first, but invigorating. I started seeing the value in the world, and the reasons to really take part in it. I gave myself permission to stop being afraid of judgment and perceived inadequacy.

green vegetables in a restaurant

I began treating my body better, eating things that nourished me instead of just providing temporary fuel for a task list I had to tend to.

after my first marathon

I remembered that I can make decisions based on my own comfort. I can walk and run and say “no” to things that don't work for me.

asking for help

I started asking for help when I needed it, allowing myself to step away in order to be fully present in each moment that I committed to.

treat myself

And now I see the world with clearer perspective and a greater appreciation for every single thing that I have. Little indulgences feel like special, well-deserved parts of my life – not a momentary respite or guilty pleasure.

Who came up with that phrase, anyway? There should be no guilt in pleasure.

Not your job to like me

When you're kind to yourself, you feel your best and you can take on anything that the world hands you….because suddenly, there's no confusion about how you deserve to be treated.

When you're kind to yourself, life develops a sense of order…because nobody else has to remind you that you matter, too.