My new doctor gave me some advice not long ago. Well, going on two months, I guess.
But it hasn’t been far from my mind ever since, and I've been sharing it pretty widely.
Everything's OK; this was just an annual physical. But at the end of our fairly brief session, she rattled off the kinds of things I anticipated:
"Watch your weight."
"Take your vitamins."
Then, the kicker: "Don't forget to be kind to yourself."
Her phrasing really caught me short. I didn't expect it. I almost started laughing, in fact. When was the last time anyone told you to remember to be kind to yourself?
(Come to think of it, I guess I told you to, briefly, in the August 12 newsletter. I’d been to the doctor the day before, and this was already on my mind.)
Anyway, we talked about it a bit. She said she gives this advice to almost everyone, especially now. It's the one thing most of us are forgetting to do.
Look, it's amazing how quickly the “new abnormal,” as some people call it, has become fairly normal. Global pandemic? Old news. Economic collapse? We're months into it.
Incredibly contentious political season in which some people are being paid millions to increase everyone's existential angst?
Welcome to 2020.
Some of us are doing very well. Others, barely holding on. Lots more, in the middle.
I've heard from so many readers lately, having good days and bad—beating themselves up over their economic prospects, or how they've fallen off the fitness train, or how they've been shorter with their kids than they want to be.
Being kind to yourself is about making allowances and accepting yourself, while still pushing yourself toward the things you value and want to achieve.
It's also about love—tough love, even. Encouragement, truth, aspirations.
Holding yourself to goals, but also giving yourself room to breathe—to admit that you're only human, and you're part of a human race that's facing unprecedented times.
I think it's almost like an opposite application of the Golden Rule.
That’s about doing for others as you'd want them to do for you. This advice is about being willing to do for yourself what you'd like to think you'd do for others—when they need it.
Now, perhaps you don’t need anyone else to remind you to treat yourself with kindness. I'm happy for you, truly.
But I'll bet you’ll run into some other people who need to hear it. And now you’ll have some good, helpful words to share with them:
“Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.”
And while I’m at it, have a great weekend.
7 other things worth your time
The FBI arrested six alleged militia members, charging them with a conspiracy to kidnap the Democratic governor of Michigan. According to authorities, the plan was serious and deadly, if perhaps a bit inept. The entire affidavit can be seen here. (ABC News, Detroit Free Press)
A new study says 40 percent of Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving “virtually.” I could imagine that—but how many people are able to think ahead to Thanksgiving already? (Study Finds)
President Trump did an interview with Fox Business in which he called for the arrest of both former President Obama former Vice President Biden. (Honestly, it’s synthesize the fact that (a) I live in America, and (b) I just wrote the previous sentence, matter-of-factly.) “Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes,” he said, “the greatest political crime in history of our country — then we’re going to get little satisfaction … and that includes Obama, and that includes Biden.” (Mediaite)
Separately, Trump said he’ll withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan before Christmas. (Military Times)
For the sixth time this year, Louisiana residents are getting ready for a hurricane to make landfall: Hurricane Delta is expected to hit the coast Friday evening. (AP)
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation to expand the size of the state supreme court, going from five judges to seven. (AZ Central)
Can I predict the future or what? I wrote yesterday about the first “Zoom debate,” in 1960, and almost at the exact time I hit “publish,” the commission on debates announced the second presidential debate would be virtual, due to Covid. But the day was young; within a few hours President Trump said he wouldn’t attend a virtual debate. As of Thursday evening, Trump plans a rally and Biden plans a town hall, instead. (Understandably, CNN)
I wrote about these great seven words for Inc. a bit back. If you liked this post, and you’re not yet a subscriber, what are you waiting for? Please sign up for the daily Understandably.com email newsletter, with thousands and thousands of 5-star ratings from happy readers. You can also just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And now, you can also get it by text at (718) 866-1753.
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