This past month has been kind of scary. I slipped on the ice in late January. Although I didn’t hit my head–or even actually fall–the fast forward-back motion injured my already twice concussed brain. Since I haven’t really been feeling better, my partner made me an appointment with a physical therapist who specializes in concussions.
That was this Tuesday and it was terrifying. There are lots of things wrong with my spine, neck, brain and other things. It was too much for my concussed brain to take in, especially when she was doing tests that were extremely draining.
This all makes me so proud of how My Kindest Year has been going. I’ve continued to do a kind thing for at least one person a day. I’m still sending out letters of appreciation. I’ve been making food or gathering my favourite junk food to give to people. I’ve checked in with friends who aren’t doing well.
Being kind to myself has looked very different. Being re-injured and not healing has been frustrating. I want to work to earn money to contribute to my family. I want to cook and clean so my partner doesn’t have to do most of it. I really just want to be able to participate in life. The kind acts towards myself have included finding the positives in this situation, checking in with my body to see what’s going on and doing what is best for my brain even when I really, really would rather keep listening to audio books than take a nap.
I’ve also been keeping up with doing one huge nice thing for someone each month. In January, I organized a few people sending a good friend of mine a basket of self-care items for Valentine’s Day and in February I planned a surprise birthday party for my mother-in-law with my partner.
After an awesome brainstorming session with Jenna Anderson, I came up with a few more things I’d like to do and am already working on two! I may start doing more than one a month.
Life has been frustrating for me, but looking back on the past month and seeing that I’m still managing to stay on top of my goals while never sacrificing my health makes me so happy and proud. Being concussed feels a little less awful when I know I’m still accomplishing things with my life.
This year, I’ve been working on a project I’m calling My Kindest Year. Each day, I do one nice thing for another person and one nice thing for myself.
Doing nice things for myself has been the most difficult. I’ve been putting it off until the end of the day and then not doing anything particularly special. Which is okay, but I do want to go a little above and beyond some of the time.
Here’s a list of acts of love I can do towards myself:
- Go to bed extra early;
- Take a long, hot bath;
- Stop for a coffee on my walk home from counselling / biofeedback;
- Cook myself a nice dinner when I’m going to be eating alone;
- Ask others for help or to do something special for me;
- Knit myself gifts;
- Read for hours without feeling guilty about not being productive;
- Take breaks from work to cuddle the animals in my home;
- Bake my favourite pastries and desserts;
- Do my nails;
- Ignore emails / social media comments from trolls;
- Sit out on social events when I’m not feeling up to it;
- Buy myself nice vegan cheeses and beauty products for no occasion;
- Be totally okay going out without make-up;
- Give myself compliments; and
- Use the things I’m saving because “I’ll probably never be able to afford this again!”, like soy candles and dark chocolate and face masks.
Are you frequently nice to yourself? What do acts of love towards you look like?
This week in My Kindest Year went just great.
There were a couple days where I felt like I didn’t put much effort in, but then on other days I did a little extra.
For myself, I went to sleep at 9 p.m. one night. Another night, I took a long, hot bath and used a face mask. Another hot bath was with a mineral soak for joint pain which I’ve been saving, followed my using a spicy chai lotion I’ve also been saving. While I’m not officially figuring this into this project, I also worked much harder on not making myself feel guilty when I’m not being productive by reminding myself that I need breaks (especially as my wrists and fingers are in quite a bit of pain) and trying not to sweat the small things, like being late when it’s out of my control.
For others, I sent some tea to an Etsy buyer who made a large purchase this week and sent my younger brother a nice text. I wrote letters to two friends listing my favourite qualities about them (check out my article on Vent Over Tea about gratitude letters) and sent another card to yet another person whose cat recently passed. I feel great about all these acts of kindness. A couple only took a few seconds while others took a half hour, but they’re all giving people the feeling I wanted this project to give people; I want them to feel loved and cared about, and to get to have a moment of joy in experiencing something out of the ordinary.
On of my 2018 goals was to do one huge thing for a friend each month, so this week I’ll be focusing on that while continuing these daily acts of kindness.