Actress Lucille Ball once said, “I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.” Too often, we’re overly critical and don’t treat ourselves with the kindness our minds and bodies require. Get back to nurturing yourself with some easy and critical steps toward inner happiness. Follow these 20 ways to be nicer to yourself.
Go to bed earlier.
Getting ample amounts of sleep each night is key to your overall well-being, so turn off The Real Housewives a little earlier than normal to clock in those recommended eight hours. Your body and mind will thank you.
Treat yourself to a gift.
Sure, money’s tight for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reward yourself with something from your wish list. Set a reasonable budget, and embrace the art of retail therapy.
Committing to an exercise program can seem intimidating or too time-consuming, but its benefits are limitless. Start off small by taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work, or wake up 20 minutes earlier to fit in time for a walk or exercise DVD.
Nourish your body.
Along with exercising, healthy eating is a necessary component of feeling good. Stock up on produce at the grocery store, and focus on nourishing your body rather than deprivation. That means that if your body is telling you that you need chocolate, allow yourself an indulgence without guilt.
Feeling down about your job or relationship troubles? Did you just make a mistake that you’re beating yourself up over? Join the club, because that’s part of being human. For proof, read the autobiographies and quotes of people you admire. Everyone struggles. Forgive yourself, and keep learning as you go.
Start a journal.
Journaling is one of the best ways to show yourself that you care. Write down anything that comes to mind so as not to censor yourself, and then take the time to actually listen to what you’ve said.
Not about the things that matter, of course! But schedule some quiet time for yourself throughout the week. Unplug and unwind in order to recharge your batteries.
You know that thing that you do whenever you’re procrastinating? Whether it’s tirelessly scouring Pinterest or reading celebrity gossip, allow yourself to do it. And enjoy yourself unapologetically.
Making a budget and putting money aside may sound more like torture than kindness, but it’s a great way to plan ahead to reward your future self, even if it’s just a few dollars here and there. Make saving money fun by setting goals (and dream big, of course).
Negative thinking does no one any good, so stop those thoughts in their tracks. Expect good outcomes, revel in daily successes and see the good in people.
Make a “to-not-do” list.
Instead of focusing on all the things you have to do, make a list of things it’s time to give up, such as body-bashing, worry, unhealthy diets and comparing yourself to others.
“No” is such a small word, but it seems to get stuck in a lot of throats. Two things to “know” when it comes to shaking your head are that it’s a perfectly acceptable answer, and it doesn’t require an explanation.
Make a home-cooked meal.
Cooking can prove to be a very relaxing and therapeutic experience. Whip up an easy, favorite dish that you’ll enjoy. Bonus points if someone else can do the dishes.
Have a spa day.
If you have the cash, schedule a trip to the salon for a trim or a spa treatment. If money’s tight, buy a drugstore face mask, or make your own sugar scrub. Pamper yourself accordingly.
Free up your schedule.
If work, family and community responsibilities have you overwhelmed, clear your schedule of anything and everything you can. Time is your most vital asset, so protect it well.
Learn a new skill.
Do you long to learn how to knit a scarf or paint with watercolors? With the availability of tutorials and videos online, learning is easy and free, and the stress-relieving benefits are impressive.
Pointing out the positives in other people can have a positive effect on your own confidence, so dish out meaningful, honest compliments as often as you can. The energy is contagious.
Smiling uses fewer facial muscles than frowning, but it’s a far more powerful act. Watch your favorite comedy, or get together with friends who give you the giggles.
Write a letter to yourself.
Whether the letter is to your former self, future self or current person in the mirror, write to say what you admire about you. Everyone can use a reminder now and then.
Help someone else.
The best way to feel better about yourself is to help someone else. Whether it’s through volunteerism efforts or just speaking up for someone in need, do your part to make the world a better place. Your overall outlook will benefit because of it.
Taking proper care of yourself with positive actions and thoughts is a necessary part of practicing self-care. By sharing less criticism and more compassion, you can grow exponentially into a better (and kinder) you.