Showing the “self” some love (in the smallest of gestures)

In the early Brooklyn morning, I slide out of bed careful not to wake my partner.

Donning a hooded sweatshirt I walk down the hall to the living room and stand by the street side window absorbing the day in wait. I take my seat. My eyes gently shut. I notice the gentle wane and wax of my belly. I experience a deep level of content witnessing my own stillness in these moments.

I wake up exhausted most days.

Late nights and early mornings mix as well as ice cream and eggplant. I get up early anyways because I cherish these moments of solitude and know it’s the only time I’ll find them. This morning routine is a small ritual but it’s about love nonetheless. The movies portray love as this grand, momentous gesture that towers over evil, conquers all and saves us from ourselves.

I hear people say, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” I think love is the small stuff, so I’m pretty sure it’s worth sweating over.

I can’t heal my wounds, or anyone else’s, with one momentous act. I can, and do, express my love in the rituals I gift myself each morning. When I first think about love I picture spaghetti sipping kisses in Lady and the Tramp. But love doesn’t need other people (or dogs) to be real. In my years as a perpetual people-pleaser, I missed out on a lot of love because I was closed off from receiving it at all.

I excite my taste buds some mornings by spending a few extra minutes assembling a tasty breakfast sandwich for my morning commute. Sometimes I take time at the end of the week to Google something that I’m curious about.

Self-love asks us to attend to our physical, intellectual, spiritual, creative and emotional needs.

Most weeks I don’t address to all of these aspects but I try, even if I can only focus on one for a few minutes.

For me, this month is about bringing in more love. I’m making a conscious effort to invite more love into my life with new small acts and gestures, routines and rituals. They won’t all last but I bet some will. This is a gesture I know I can gift myself.

I invite you too, to explore ways you can practice small self-love gestures this month:

  • If you’re waiting in line or anywhere else, close your eyes and take five deep and very slow breaths—enjoy these moments of just being you.
  • On your way out the door take the minute to sit down to tie your shoes nice and snug, smile and appreciate your feet for all the places they take you.
  • When you get home, before walking in the house, take a five minute gentle stroll down the street, breathe, look at the sky, let your thoughts go quiet, focus on your senses.
Written by Jonah Okun
Jonah served as our Operations Director for two years. He holds a degree in Comparative Digital Communications and Happiness Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His intrigue in promoting well-being through new digital platforms pairs perfectly with the organizations goal of making online support for caregivers a reality. Prior to his time at The Caregiver Space, he spent seven years as a professional chef, baker and restaurant manager.

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1 Comment

  1. Poeple who haven’t carted for someone say that.
    Caring for another you lose yourself.


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