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The Daily Present: Words of Wisdom from Twin Peaks for Self Care Day

"Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a cat nap in your office chair or two cups of good, hot, black coffee.” – Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks

This quote from an episode of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks has become a bit of a mantra for me in recent years, so I wanted to share it with you for this year’s Self Care Day and break down a little bit of why it might be helpful to employ Special Agent Dale Cooper’s advice and give yourself a little present each day.

First of all, it’s important to remember that the present doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. What I believe Cooper is talking about here isn’t something that should take a lot of effort. What he’s doing is asking his friend, Sheriff Harry S. Truman, to reframe the little things in his life and practice a method of conscious gratitude for small, daily, positive activities. Someone brought pizza to work. You bought yourself one of those totally awesome chocolate bars that people sell for charity. You spent an hour watching your favourite show on Netflix. You could brush it off and go, “Yeah, that was fine” and get on with your day, or you can take a moment to be mindful of the positive experience as it’s happening, and then another moment to be grateful after it’s over. There are lots of presents in your life, enough to find a new one each and every day if you look hard enough. They can be big and small. Maybe you bought a Playstation today or maybe you bought a gumball for 25 cents (are gumball machines still a thing?). Either way, try to see these little things as presents to yourself. 

Be careful though not to get too hung up on getting something big and amazing every day. This shouldn’t be forced and it shouldn’t deplete your bank account. There are lots of ways you can do this. As Coop says, “Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen.” When the moment presents itself to take a second and do something nice for yourself, grab it. Trust me, there will be at least one moment every day to “just let it happen.” It doesn’t mean you should be self-centred. Giving to others is great and it’ll make you feel good too, but give a little something to yourself, because you’re special and, just like L’oreal Paris says, you’re worth it.

There are many ways to cultivate gratitude and this is just one of them. So have a nice hot cup of coffee. Or don’t, if you think coffee is gross. Sometimes a little indulgence is healthy and can even help you practice gratitude, mindfulness and positivity. Plus, it makes every day Christmas and that’s just awesome!