I’ve recently started a ritual for myself at night time. In order to avoid getting stuck in my thought “ruts” of thinking about everything I need to get done tomorrow or beating myself up for the mistakes I made today I take 2 minutes to write down something I was grateful for in the day just before I fall asleep. I write 3 sentences tops. It’s a great way to journal and record your history without the pressure of going in depth but also a great way to end your day on a positive note. But what I also make sure is that I include a sentence about something about just me for which I am grateful.
So how is being grateful self-care?
Gratitude is the act of appreciating what we have and actually finding it to be enough. We may not have much compared to others but gratitude says, this is enough for me.
Brene Brown’s work tells us that we live in a culture that believes in scarcity. Scarcity means that a lack of resources exist or there is simply not enough for our wellbeing. When we apply that to the overall attitude of our lives we start to feel that nothing is ever enough and thus feel constantly dissatisfied. But because nothing is ever enough we back ourselves into a corner when we keep searching for more. It becomes an pointless effort when we search for more to fulfill our happiness, satisfaction, or self-esteem. In her book, Daring Greatly, Brown states, “For me the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It’s enough. I’m enough. My kids are enough.” As mothers we may choose to ignore the our nurturing strengths like affection or providing emotional support that we provide our children and focus only on the fact that we couldn’t supply enough breastmilk, time, money, attention, etc. When we feel we have enough and are enough we start to feel satisfied, happy, and confident in ourselves.
Lots of times when we think of what we are grateful for it is the external world, our family and friends, our resources, something that happened to us, or something we received.. There seems to be a notion in gratitude thinking at times that relays that we were bestowed with something happening to us which can, at times, take away from the fact that we deserve it or earned it. I believe that we should also show gratitude for the internal world that is ourselves and that both concepts can truly co-exist. You can be grateful for work ethic and sense of dedication that resulted in a reward and also grateful that you were given the opportunity. I’d like to challenge you to write down things you are grateful about that are results of what is within you. And I’d like you to remind yourself that because of your gratitude, you are enough.
So sure, write down the things you were grateful for that happened today or the thing that your child did that amazed you. But leave one sentence in there just for you.
“I’m grateful that I have the patience to let my son explore things even when I feel the need to control.” ”
“I’m grateful that I have a caring spirit and reached out to a friend in need today.”
“I’m grateful that I have a good work ethic and provide an example to my children about hard work and achieving your goals.”
What you are saying in those sentences is “I am grateful for me.”
That is self-love. That is self-care.