The idea of doing something kind for yourself is summed up simply by the directions you are given on an airplane to put on your own air mask before helping those next to you.
Because to be able to do anything well you need to first take care of yourself.
It’s very important that this be something extra you do for yourself because of this prompt. It defeats the purpose to have your action be something you do regularly or already have scheduled.
Additionally, you will get more from the exercise if you plan your act mindfully, paying extra attention to doing something you might not normally allow yourself to do. What things do you do that fill you with joy, that literally inspire you (fill you with spirit)? It’s perfectly acceptable to use this prompt as an excuse to indulge in something you love.
That is, indulge yourself within reason. Please don’t use this exercise as an excuse to do something that you know is not healthy for you to do.
Doing something kind for yourself is easy for some people and hard for others. It can be confusing. For instance, what about the idea of self-indulgence? Indeed, in our culture, we seem to have made synonymous the prioritizing of ourselves with self-indulgence, selfishness, and even arrogance.
I think in our hearts we know the difference.
Paying attention to your internal processes and aligning with your own inner knowledge isn’t indulgent, although I acknowledge that it sometimes may look that way to others. The key is being honest with yourself.
You may find a good way to be kind to yourself is in a metaphorical way rather than a literal way. For this purpose, a kind action can be a shift in your awareness or attitude.
Note! You don’t have to stop with just one act of kindness to yourself. It’s very useful to make it a habit! Again, I’m not advocating selfishness. I’m advocating what could be called self-FULL-ness.
Coming full circle, when you learn to take care of yourself, when your air mask is properly attached, you are better able to be there for others.