Taking Time To Be a Friend to Yourself

Being a friend to yourself is good self-care. It costs no money and you don’t have to get on a plane. There are times to pay the money and take the holiday, go to the spa, or take out a gym membership. But what if funds and even time are short?

I’m seriously practicing with this notion. For instance, last evening I had commitments that lasted until 10:30. However, I knew it was the night of the beautiful, June Strawberry Moon and there were clear skies. It would have been easy to tumble into bed, but I didn’t want to miss it. So, I chose to take a walk down to the canal, and coincidentally, my friend arrived home just at that time and joined me. Honestly, it was delightful. A warm summery night where the air felt like silk and the sky was clear. The walk was refreshing and fun and the moon took up half the sky. (a slight exaggeration) Coming back along Bank St, shortly after eleven, was a rare experience and not only was I not tired I was refreshed and had a great night’s sleep.

This is the thing. I really wanted to see that supermoon and it would have been easy to let it go. There will always be another moon, a common refrain. But will there? Beyond our mortality, it was a friendly thing to do for my own heart, on a special night in June. Just for myself and just for the beauty of it. And now I get to tell you.

This morning I had an appointment at 9:00 in a different part of Ottawa where I had not been before. I chose to leave earlier than usual because it is peony season and I guessed there might be some beauties in that neighbourhood. As it turned out  I got to spend 15 minutes admiring peonys and taking photos. Here is one of my favourites. I like the three different stages of the flower. And my appointment went exceedingly well too. No rushing.

On the weekend My granddaughter Sophie, the puppy Sasha and I visited Rockcliffe Park, a fifteen-minute drive from home. This is a park I kept saying I would like to visit but never did. As we drove along we reminisced about other childhood outings we had taken in that neighborhood and I felt that little flood of warmth from the good memories. And we agreed to return, this summer, perhaps with a picnic lunch. It was a simple joy on a Saturday afternoon.

It is so easy not to do things. Especially when we have lots on our plate.

When we are dealing with a serious illness, and other difficult matters, our own or a family member’s, so much of our life is out of our direct control. In fact, we may never have imagined that we would face such a challenging set of circumstances.  It is way too easy to ignore our own well-being.

These are the times when we are even more in need of each other, as well as beauty, laughter, a few good words, imagination, curiosity and possibilities. And we can learn to be a friend to ourselves and say, yes, every day to something quite ordinary but special to us. It is a mistake to wait for things to improve or be less hectic. That doesn’t happen. We make time, and we take time every single day to do one thing that revives our spirits. This includes seeing our friends. Our circumstances may be such that we ask another friend to free us up an hour or two, in order to do so.

What goes around, comes around. We are here to help and be helped. It is easier, at first, to be the helper but it is a wondrous gift to learn to ask for help when we need it. Step back a little and ask what you could do to be a friend to yourself. I see it now as a practice. I am not always good at it but this month I am more conscious.

Let’s face it. When we take a little care of ourselves through the good times we are better equipped to do so through the challenging ones. So, no matter what, it’s best to get started. A guide to befriending yourself is to treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend. It is as simple and as difficult as that.

Notes:

1:) No, that moon photo is not mine. Capturing the moon is challenging and this one is thanks to Soly Moses and Pexels, a free source of photographs. I hope you get to see it too.

2:) Consider starting something now for your future self. Maybe it is a daily walk, growing a plant, meditating, flossing your teeth, or changing your sheets before you head off on a trip. How nice it will feel to return to a freshly made bed. So many ways to be a friend to yourself.

3:) We are coming up to the longest day of the year – next Tuesday. I wonder what you do, if anything, to celebrate this interesting day.

4:) Thank you for stopping by. Warmest wishes to you all, Trudy

 

11 replies
  1. Pat
    Pat says:

    I started this with point well taken Trudy, my screen disappeared so don’t know if the first message went out or not. We tend to forget about self so often; I needed this message tonight and again thank you.
    Missed you this morning. With love, Pat

    Reply
    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you Pat. We all need reminders. It is easy to get lost in the circumstances we find ourselves in. Just as your original post vanished, and you started again, each day we have a chance to start again too. Not just to attend to obligations but to create a window where you do something friendly for your soul.good luck. Wam regards, trudy

      Reply
  2. Janice
    Janice says:

    I can never be reminded too often of the importance of not putting off, for example, seeing the June moon and also to be a best friend to myself. Happy summer solstice Trudy. love Jan

    Reply
    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thanks dear Janice. If you are as good to yourself as you are to your friends you are in good hands. Big hugs,Trudy

      Reply
  3. Wendy KURCHAK
    Wendy KURCHAK says:

    Hi Trudy
    TOO many times have I not done something I really wanted to do, for example going to a concert for which I had actually bought tickets. I’ve often wondered why I do this, but I’ve never come up with an answer. My self talk is usually something along the lines, ” Oh, I can’t be bothered.” So many rich experiences and memories gone…maybe I need or could try a paradigm shift similar to the chemo shift…”I get to choose to go to X; not everyone has this opportunity. ”
    I’ll let you know how it goes.
    Thanks for talking about this issue because I really have denied myself many special moments.
    Wendy K

    Reply
    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      You are not alone Wendy. And there isn’t a straight forward answer. I had free tickets for a concert in Calgary that I didn’t feel up to using and had no intention of going. A friend persisted and I finally gave in at the last possible moment. That concert with Chris Botti is still an unforgettable memory!!!I swear it boosted my sagging immune system and lifted my spirits for days. sometimes we need to push back on our inertia. On the other hand we do need to say no too. But maybe to the vacuuming and not the concert. Haha. Good luck with your research. Let me know how it goes. Big hugs, Trudy

      Reply
  4. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Thank you so much for this, Trudy. I SO often forget this, though I never forget to be a good friend to others. What a great perspective shift. I am starting today a list of things I would do for a friend that I have been postponing doing for myself because I’m (too busy, too far away, ‘I’ll do it someday’, etc)

    Reply
    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Hi dear Margaret:
      Thank you Margaret. I hope you did several friendly things for yourself, and may it continue. Keep that list going. Warmest wishes,
      Trudy

      Reply
  5. Karen Cain
    Karen Cain says:

    Thank you, dear Trudy, for sending the right message at exactly the right time. Thanks too, to the people that replied, I appreciate your sharing. A friend of mine, wrote in sharpie, on the inside of my forearm, ‘hello friend, I love you’ so I could read this message to my soul, as many times as I needed to remind myself, to be a good friend to my soul. Excellent self care. As a caregiver, self care usually falls off the long list. This remind me, in a loving way.

    Reply

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