Perhaps you’re inspired and motivated. That’s awesome! Just be aware that getting burnt out is a possibility. We may be exhausted by the kind of intense emotions that surface during the process. We have to allow ourselves permission to REST when we need it.

Feeling empowered by your willingness to change your life may bring thoughts like, “I’m going to exercise five times a week, go to bed every day at 10PM, meditate every morning, and I’ll start the Whole30 diet tomorrow!” Careful. It’s easy for us to set ourselves up for failure. Let this healing process be an exercise in cultivating gentleness that will last a lifetime, not getting results as soon as possible!

For most of us, it’s easier to show up and be supportive with others than with ourselves. Think of how we’d gently support a friend. If he was trying to get more movement in his life, we might offer to go on a hike. If that friend wanted to take the next week off, we probably wouldn’t judge or chastise him. Now give that same loving encouragement to yourself. It’s all about progress not perfection.

Being gentle with ourselves changes the way we feel about ourselves. We send ourselves the message that we don’t have to be perfect and that we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. We acknowledge our work instead of resenting what we’re not doing right. Every act of self-care, no matter how small, adds a drop to our bucket. Over time, our bucket will fill, and we’ll have a good supply of self-love and gentleness that we may need when life becomes stressful.

Try going easy on the kids sometimes, too. Children have bad days and good, just like us. A kind word can go a long way!