How to be kinder to yourself

Story time: A few months ago, I had spent the night at this boy’s house who I was pretty into (this was before my dating hiatus that I recently wrote about).

I had woken up early … Tiptoed downstairs to let my dog outside … And then instead of bolting out the door (which is my usual move), I decided to make him/us a cup of tea (that’s how I knew I liked him). If I don’t run out the door the moment my eyes lift in the morning, if I don’t kick you out of my house as soon as the alarm goes off, and/or if I make you a cup of my favorite tea, it means I’m a smitten kitten.

I drink tea every single morning. It’s my most special ritual and sets me up for daily success, or at minimum, daily survival. For my tea fans out there, it’s the Tazo Awake English Breakfast tea (highly recommend) and this said boy had bought me this tea the first time I went over to his house for dinner because he remembered me saying I liked it. Guys reading — please take notes. Little acts like this score so many points.

Anyway, as I waited for the hot water to boil … I carefully and quietly heated up the perfect amount of milk in each mug … I let the teabags steep until the color was just right … Reheated the tea so the temperature was steaming hot … And carefully carried our cups of tea back upstairs.

Rewind/fast-forward to when I make tea when I’m alone: I barely let the hot water finish boiling before filling up a mug … I toss in a tea bag … Pour in some cold milk … And then immediately gulp it down before running out the door.

I think we all do this in some capacity. When we care about someone, we go above and beyond for them. We take our time. We put in the effort. We pay attention to details. We’re so much more thoughtful. So much more elaborate. But when it comes to ourselves … We give minimal fucks. It’s all about efficiency.

Reflect on this for a second. When you make dinner for someone you like, you probably pick up the nicer bottle of wine … Spend hours looking at recipes … Buy overpriced, organic vegetables … Maybe pull out the prettier plates. But when you make dinner for yourself, you likely grab the cheap wine (perhaps with a twist off top so you don’t even have to take the extra 17 seconds to pop the cork) … And if you’re like me, survive off egg whites and spinach (or whatever the equivalent is for you).

My point with all this is maybe you should try heating up the milk for YOU to enjoy. Steep the teabags. Get the color just right. Buy the nice wine. And the organic vegetables. Use fancy dishes. Take your time. Go above and beyond. Treat yourself the way you treat someone you really care about. Light some candles. Impress yourself. Make it an experience. Do tiny, thoughtful things just for you and see how that makes you feel. Chances are, it’ll make you feel pretty damn special.

In sum, stop drinking lukewarm tea. You deserve better than that.

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