The journey toward getting to know and love yourself is a beautiful one. It’s also one that takes time. You don’t wake up one day and say, “well, the work is done. I don’t need to keep learning to love and take care of myself.”
You do, however, get beautiful moments of appreciation for the kind acts you’ve done for yourself.
The other day, I was coming home late after a 13-hour workday, and I was exhausted but so hungry. I didn’t have the time or energy to cook a full meal, but I had just gone to the store the day before. When I go grocery shopping, I have a bad habit of buying either too much food that I won’t be able to eat or buying food that requires a lot of preparation. This time, though, I actually bought easy to prepare meals as well as my usual, more time-consuming meals. I was so proud of myself when I opened the fridge and found so many quick, nutritious options. I literally said, out loud, “wow, past Kayla really took care of future Kayla.”
Of course, buying the appropriate groceries is a small victory and a small act of kindness for yourself, but in that moment, it was the best self-care I could have performed. I wasn’t forced to buy fast food or eat something I had to scrounge together that didn’t really provide any nutrition.
Lately, I’ve been having more of these moments where I can see how I’ve been showing up for and being kind to myself. Before I went out of town last week, I took the time to clean my apartment, do all the dishes, clean out my fridge, take out the trash, and wash my bedsheets. I gave my future self the gift of coming home to a clean, organized space.
Self-care isn’t always just about doing something for yourself in the moment. It’s such a beautiful thing to be in a place where you can do something for yourself in the future. I don’t love cleaning, and I don’t love grocery shopping, but I wouldn’t be showing up for myself if I had left either of those tasks for future Kayla.
Of course, you can not and will not always be able to predict your future needs, but you know yourself better than anyone else. Take the time to show up for yourself in a way that no one else can.
Stay healthy, stay kind to yourself.