Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish.
When it comes to being happy and healthy, there’s only one person who can achieve those goals: you. No one else can tell you what to do or make decisions for you. There will probably be people in your life who will try, or you may find yourself sabotaging your efforts to take care of yourself, but you have to push past those obstacles.
You only get one life, and it goes fast. Do what you can to make the best of every day and be nice to yourself, you deserve it. Below are 13 ways to be kinder to yourself today and every day:
1. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Not every day is going to be a good day, but something good is going to happen every day — you just have to look for it. Every night before bed, sit down and make a list of the good things that happened throughout the day. Did something make you laugh? Write it down. Did you finally accomplish a task you’ve been meaning to? Write it down. Maybe you finally finished that television show you’ve been watching or that book you’ve been reading. Write those down, too.
Your accomplishments don’t have to be huge — although you should celebrate them if they are! They can be small, but they have to positive.
2. Don’t Let Stress Weigh You Down
Every day will have a new set of challenges for you to face, whether from family, work or life. Sometimes, you don’t get to pick and choose which stresses you are going to ignore and which ones you are going to face head-on. However, you don’t have to take on more tasks than you can handle. There are benefits to saying no. Learn how to say no to family, friends and your boss so that you’re not causing yourself any undue stress.
When it comes to work, this can be the biggest stressor of your life — and it might not be the easiest place for you to say no, especially if you’re trying to get that promotion or a raise. Still, taking care of yourself should be first and foremost on your list. There are ways to reduce stress at work, so take the time to practice these techniques when you can.
3. Don’t Take on Other People’s Problems
Most people are empathetic to the problems and emotions of others, especially when it comes to friends and family. There’s no doubt you want to be there for your loved ones through tough times and help them overcome their obstacles and issues.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t try to fight their battles for them. You can be a good listener, a shoulder to cry on and even offer advice, but don’t try to fix the problem yourself. This takes some of the pressure off of you.
4. Be Kind to Others
Being kind to others is one of the easiest ways to make yourself feel better and to brighten someone else’s day. This can be as simple as always saying please and thank you, smiling or saying good morning. You might even consider volunteering in your community.
No matter what you do, being kind to others will give you a sense of self-worth and value.
5. Eat Healthy
Eating healthy will ensure you’re getting the energy and nutrition you need to take on your day. It also helps your body function in tip-top condition.
There are even foods that boost your mood, including chocolate, so you’ll be doing something nice for your body and mind.
Like eating healthy, exercise allows you to face any challenges the day might bring with enthusiasm and strength. Exercising also boosts endorphins in your brain, which can help ward off depression or anxiety.
Hopping on the treadmill, going for a long bike ride or hitting the pool are all great ways to reduce tension. So, jump in and participate in the physical activity you enjoy and help yourself alleviate some stress.
7. Get Away From Social Media
If you want to be kinder to yourself, then stop comparing yourself to others. You do it, even if you aren’t aware of it, and it happens when you are hanging out on social media.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, you are comparing your life to the lives of your friends and family, which can lead to unhappiness. Don’t let that happen. It’s easy to get away from social media for even a short amount of time every day.
8. Be Creative
Producing something will give you a sense of accomplishment. Even if you’re only baking brownies or fixing dinner for your family, take pride in the fact that you made it.
If your creative aspirations are higher, and you dream of writing a book or enjoy painting, do it. Taking pride in something you produced is a great way to be kind to yourself.
Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, take the time to sit down with a good book and learn something new. You may discover ways to improve your life.
It has also been proven that reading fiction makes you more empathetic and more aware of your feelings and the feelings of others. This awareness can help you have more meaningful relationships.
10. Create a Space Just for You
Having your own space gives you a haven when the world becomes unbearable, so you can reduce stress and anxiety.
However, it’s also nice to have your own area that is uniquely you — decorated in your style with things that bring your joy — even if you aren’t stressed.
11. Talk to Loved Ones
You don’t need a reason to call friends or family, so pick up the phone and see what they’re up to. No one understands you like your best friend or your family, so call if you need some support or encouragement.
Even if don’t need those things, call to see how things are going with them. It might brighten their day, which in turn will brighten yours.
12. Take a Moment for Yourself
Even if it’s just a minute to take a deep breath and gather your thoughts, this can help you regroup and become mindful.
Being fully present in the moment can help you better focus on that project you’re trying to get done or the conversation you’re in the middle of. But you can’t be mindful if you’re constantly racing from one thing to another, checking your email and text messages in between. Slow down and focus. It’ll be like a mini vacation for your brain.
Nothing keeps you stuck in a rut more than being unable to forgive, whether it is yourself or someone else. You are human, as is everyone else, and you’re going to make mistakes, as is everyone else.
Holding on to anger and resentment hurts you. Forgiveness allows you to show yourself and others kindness and gives you the ability to move on with your life, so you can find happiness.