For some of us, gift giving is as natural as breathing. Something in a store catches our eye and makes us fondly think of another person. So-and-so would love this! You purchase the gift, wrap it thoughtfully, and give it to that person. Perhaps for a special occasion, perhaps not. However, we cannot wrap the other gifts that we give. They are gifts of time, energy, or thoughtfulness. Even without all the trimmings and bows, these gifts are critical to cultivating deeper relationships with the people in your life. You also need to extend this practice of giving gifts to yourself.
Think about the gifts you give to other people. Next, think about whether you give these same sorts of gifts to yourself. If so, excellent! If not, why not? What gifts have you given yourself lately? Why did you choose to give yourself that gift? Are they physical gifts? Or are they gifts of time, energy, or thoughtfulness? What is the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever given yourself? How did you know that you needed to give yourself that gift?
You do not have to answer all of these questions, but they may serve as guidance in responding to this week’s prompt.
Although each of us tend to be our own worst critics, you deserve to love yourself as you would love your friend. This means having an open heart and giving gifts to yourself. If you haven’t treated yourself to a gift lately, this week is the perfect opportunity. This challenge is about the ability to recognize how you are in a particular moment, to determine what you may need to give yourself, and to treat yourself as you would treat a dear friend.
Are you overwhelmed with tight muscles from stressful events? Schedule some you time and treat yourself to a relaxing experience, perhaps a massage. Low on funds? Give yourself the gift of cancelling your to-dos this week. Bottom line: stay in if you need to stay in and give yourself the gift of forgiveness for not living up to your aspirations. Self-love and self-compassion aren’t selfish traits; they are essential to improving your happiness and thus the happiness of those you care about. So, give yourself a guilt-free gift this week!