Life is a bumpy journey of ups and downs, hills and valleys, and roller coaster rides –pick your cliché. One of the keys to survival is the evolution of learning how to love yourself.
Although it may sometimes feel as though we are puppets at the mercy of others in our lives, the truth is that only we hold the key to our happiness. Treating ourselves can genuinely improve our self-motivation, joy, and mental health.
So, the question becomes, what will you do to treat yourself better? Not sure where to start? Here are 50 places to start:
1- Permit Yourself to Make Mistakes
There is a Japanese proverb that states “fall down seven times, stand back up.” One way to treat yourself better is to permit yourself to make mistakes. You will fall down a few times after making these mistakes, but dust yourself off and get back up. Learn from your mistakes. They truly are a fantastic way to learn and grow as a person.
2 – Journal Like Crazy
Write down your innermost thoughts and reflect! Do not be afraid to capture what makes you angry, what makes you sad and what makes you happy. The term journaling probably takes you back to grade school or middle school when your teacher told you to capture your thoughts for the week. However, journaling has multiple benefits including:
- Stress reduction
- Decreases feelings of depression
- Anxiety management
Journaling can assist you prioritizing your feelings, tracking day-to-day symptoms, negative thoughts and behaviors. Your journal can support your efforts to track those triggers behind your negative beliefs and practices while also identifying what translates to a positive experience.
Journal can also serve as a method to help you identify personal goals and set up an action plan for achieving your goals.
Tips for journaling include (University of Rochester Medical Center):
- Try to journal each day. Journaling each day will help you to form a healthy habit even if just for a few minutes.
- Keep your entries simple. You might consider purchasing a journal or documenting your thoughts in a safe computer file
- Write what feels right at the moment. Your journal is yours, and there is no specific template you must follow.
- Do what you want with your journal. You can choose to share your journal or keep it private since it will house your private thoughts.
3 – Love Yourself
Love yourself has 1,001 meanings. In this context, it merely means to appreciate who you are as an individual. Recognize that you are the only version of you in this world and it is okay to be you. You do not have to be anyone else.
4 – Only Compete with Yourself
Do not worry about keeping up with the Joneses,’ Williams,’ Smiths’ or Richards.’ Just stay in competition with yourself to be the best possible you. That statement may seem easier said than done, but you are the only one who knows his or her exact set of beliefs, values, and goals. You define the metric of what success looks like in three, five or ten years.
Rather than falling into the trap of competing with other people, you have a real chance to set your own goals for yourself and celebrate each success along the way, setting new goals as you take a step forward.
5 – Do Not Look for Approval to Be Who You Are
Do not seek the approval of others to be yourself. Accept who you are and push forward with your agenda.
6 – Follow Your Gut
Follow your gut. Yes, knowing when to trust your gut can feel uneasy at times, but your intuition will keep you out of trouble if you allow it to do so. Your intuition is not likely to steer you wrong. Consider it to be the top tier of your decision-making tree. When everything else seems too reasonable to be true, open the channels to your intuition and use the moment as another building block for establishing trust with yourself.
7 – Indulge in Your Favorite Hobby
Hobbies can be therapeutic whether you love playing in the dirt and caring for your garden or acting as the self-proclaimed family genealogist. Hobbies are a wonderful way to give yourself a bit of joy!
8 – Give Yourself Permission to Say ‘No’
Do not feel like you have to say ‘yes’ to everything. Sure, the desire to be polite may feel like the right thing to do, but for your sanity and physical health, it may be in your best interest to say ‘no.’ Saying no will not make you a negative person, but instead it will help you fulfill your quest to be a happy person.
9 – Be Kind
Saying ‘no’ does not mean you cannot still be a kind person. Look for ways to be kind to yourself and others. It might surprise how easy it is to treat others with kindness.
10 – Meditate
Everyone deserves 10 minutes of quiet and calm and self-centeredness. Find a quiet place and meditate. Meditate. Meditate. Meditation offers a combination of multiple benefits including the following:
- Enhances focus
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Relaxes your muscles
- Slows aging and memory loss
- Improves breathing
- Boosts positive feelings
- Decreases pain
- Enhances immunity
Meditate. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you for it.
11 – Be Your Own Best Friend
We all talk to ourselves at one time or another. Why not do it as your own best friend? Wouldn’t a good friend look after your best interests? He or she would never let you walk into the middle of a busy intersection without trying to pull you back. As your own best friend, don’t forget to show yourself a little love.
12 – Have Some Self-Compassion
This list of ways to appreciate who you are encompassing of the three pillars of self-compassion which include common humanity, mindfulness, and self-kindness.
- Common Humanity – When we have a common humanity, we have an acceptance that our feelings of inadequacy and disappointment are
- Mindfulness – Meditation is a great way to help you examine your thoughts and drivers behind the reasons you do what it is you do. Mindfulness occurs when we give focus to experiences or situations as they happen at the moment and can objectively examine our thoughts and feelings without giving judgment.
- Self-Kindness – Self-kindness allows us to forgive ourselves and be our own biggest cheerleader or entourage of reassurance and kind words.
13 – Make Plans to Do Nothing
Sometimes the easiest way to treat ourselves better is to make plans to do absolutely nothing. Set aside 10 minutes or –if you can, a full day to do absolutely nothing that requires you to give more than you care to of yourself!
14 – Write Down Your Goals then Go For It!
Jot down three goals you have for the year and start making plans now on ways to achieve them.
15 – Pay Yourself a Compliment
Look in the mirror and deliver a healthy round of compliments. No one else may get the chance to do it, so why not spend thirty seconds a day paying yourself a few praises. You deserve it!
16 – Like Yourself
Learn to love and like yourself. Each day find a new reason to like yourself for being you. Also, consider doing these six things:
- Abandon regret
- Reboot your self-esteem
- Confront your weaknesses but don’t let them define you
- Celebrate your accomplishments
- Look for ways to be the better person
- Own who you are (good and bad)
17 – Go to the Doctor
Stay on top of your annual visits to the doctor. Get your yearly physicals, immunizations, and preventative screenings that apply to your gender and age group.
18 – Take Care of Your Teeth
Just as you take care of your body, you have to take care of your teeth. Those pearly whites can have a direct impact on your entire health. You should plan to make at least one trip to the dentist each year or every six months for a cleaning.
19 – Ditch the Toxic People in Your Life
Get rid of the negative influencers in your life. They are undoubtedly holding you back. It is a big step, but there are a few tips that you can deploy to navigate the situation successfully.
- Establish Your Boundaries – You have to draw the line somewhere. Know what you will and cannot tolerate. Recognize the actions or behaviors that affect you.
- Do Not Wait for These People to Change – If these toxic individuals in your life do not show any signs that they can or will change, do not stick around to see if it will happen.
- Recognize When Someone is Project their Failures on You – Not everyone handles their shortcomings very well. Your success can feel like a punch in the gut for them. Do not allow others inability to celebrate your victory be the catalyst for bringing you down.
- Beware of the Controllers – Keep an eye out for those who seek to control or manipulate you.
20 – Bring on the Positive
After you ditch the negative, naysayers, surround yourself with positive people who share your vision, beliefs, and values. Look for those who want to give and receive unconditional love and respect.
21 – Allow Yourself to Dream Big
Your dreams do not have to be small because they make other people uncomfortable. Allow yourself to dream big without judgment or reservations.
22 – Take Naps
Sleep is a must-have activity for our bodies to function. It is a necessary rejuvenation and replenishment of our internal clock. According to the Sleep Foundation, short naps (20-30 minutes) provide significant benefits for improved alertness, mood, and overall performance without leaving you feeling foggy.
23 – Binge Watch a Series You Have Never Seen
Get your favorite healthy snacks and drinks ready. Treat yourself to a binge-watching event of a series on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
24 – Go to a Movie
Get off the couch and get out of the house and treat yourself to a movie. Sitting alone in the movie theater can deliver a sense of freedom.
25 – Indulge in a Bit of Culture
Whether your roots are steeped in European, Native American, African, Asian, South Pacific or Middle Eastern culture take a little time to get out and learn more about your culture. This exploration may take you on a fancy vacation or just a few blocks to the museum or a journey to a small-town festival.
26 – Become a Local Tourist
Do you know all there is to know about your local area? Get out check out the things that make your city or surrounding area unique.
27 – Donate Your Old Clothes
Your closet and drawers are probably full of old clothes and shoes you are no longer wearing. Get rid of the old stuff you no longer wear or fit and go shopping.
28 – Retail Therapy
Joke about it if you must, but retail therapy is absolutely a rewarding way to treat yourself. According to U.S. News, retail therapy may not help cure aggressive thoughts swimming around in your head, but it may help to boost your mood.
From fashion to electronics, shopping is a fantastic fix when done in moderation. If your budget is a concern, you can always take steps to be strategic about your shopping experience.
29 – Treat Yourself to a Tasty Meal or Treat
Go out to your favorite restaurant and indulge in your favorite dish or order a decadent dessert. On a budget, keep it simple with a tasty chocolate bar or prepare a favorite meal at home.
30 – Learn Something New
Take a little time to learn something new. Change things up by opening yourself up to a new world. Stimulate your mind by reading a different book, learn a new language or take a cooking class.
31 – Do Not Limit Your Thinking
Look for new ways to broaden your mind and avoid falling into the trap of right or wrong thoughts. There five mental habits in our lives that Psychology Today identifies as having a direct impact on our intellectual functioning.
- Brooding – We have an unfortunate habit of repeating upsetting events in our minds over and over again, and these events can have a direct impact on our intellectual approach to problem-solving.
- Unresolved Guilt – Generally speaking, when we feel guilty about an action or behavior on our part, we apologize those affected by our decisions; but what happens when a moment slips away from us? Failure to address guilty feelings about past events can have damaging effects on the way we attempt to navigate an issue.
- Ineffective Complaining – Think about the last time you felt frustrated about an event that transpired at home or work. You probably called a good friend to vent your frustrations. According to Psychology Today, when we spin our wheels repeating stories like this one to someone who cannot provide resolution, our frustration grows, and as a result, our ability to think dissipates effectively.
- Overanalyzing Rejection – Rejection creates a natural set of emotional responses within each of us. Another unfortunate side effect is that it can cause us to question ourselves and our thinking.
- Worrying – Do you find yourself worrying about what others might say or think? Worrying can wreak havoc on our mental wellbeing and capacity to think freely. The only way around it is to think through all possible scenarios and outcomes so that you can see yourself to the other side.
32 – Enjoy the Good Weather
Take a break and go outside on the sunny, pleasant days. Most of us spend the better part of our lives locked behind closed doors working for eight to ten hours or more per day. Try eating lunch outside on the mild days or going for a short walk. Rainy days can bring us down, but the serotonin flowing through our body prefers the sunny days.
33 – Build Your Playlist
Music is good therapy, and an uplifting playlist can do wonders for the psyche. Music promotes positive health. It helps our body to release endorphins, helping to not only improve our mood but boost creativity.
Get your list of top 20 songs and prepare to play it in loop mode.
34 – Go to Bed Early
One of the best ways to treat yourself is an early night to bed. While your mind may be racing our shoulders heavy, you have the option to make a list and put it off for a later time. Everything can wait until tomorrow.
35 – Get a Better Job
Do not settle for an unhappy work environment or career. Ideally, our work environment should be a place of creativity and professional growth. However, work environments can also prove to be dysfunctional or even downright toxic. Treat yourself better by moving into a new career and accepting a new challenge.
36 – Be Spontaneous
Planning or just doing what it is you always do can weigh you down. Why not be spontaneous and do something that is entirely out of the ordinary?
37 – Take a Vacation
Take a vacation to a dream destination or a weekend getaway substitute. A getaway can be an extraordinary treat, granting us the opportunity to see and do new things.
38 – Find Ways to Laugh
The old cliché says that laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes we all need a happy giggle. Find a friend who makes you laugh or go to a movie. Lucky enough to live near a comedy club? Catch a show. Also, learn to laugh at yourself.
39 – Get a Massage
Massages are relaxing and can provide relief from the pains of stress and tension. Research shows that a 60-minute massage can lower cortisol levels by upwards of 30 percent. This side effect, in turn, can help to increase serotonin, a mood-enhancing chemical in our body (mayoclinic.org).
40 – Create a Bit of Bedroom Magic
Not that kind of magic! Invest in a bit of new bedding! New sheets, drapes, comforters, and pillows can do a lot to lift your mood, and it’s a lovely way to treat yourself. Don’t forget to spray a dash of lavender in the air to make the ambiance complete.
41 – Make Time for the Things You Love
Treat yourself by making time for the things you love. We all have those things that make us feel good about ourselves whether it’s going for a hike, driving in the countryside or playing words with friends for seven hours straight. Take time to do those things you enjoy most.
42 – Volunteer Your Time
Volunteer your time to help others. One of the best ways to treat yourself is to give to others. Find a volunteer opportunity in your community, nationally, or internationally to support. The personal reward you receive may surprise you.
43 – Don’t Skip a Meal
We have a terrible habit of putting everything and everyone ahead of ourselves which can lead to missing meals. Make time to eat healthy meals or keep a healthy snack nearby so that you do not harm your body by missing out on nourishment.
44 – Splurge!
Do not be afraid to splurge on the good stuff from time to time. Many of us live under the umbrella of a budget most days of the week. Do not hesitate to upgrade or buy the good stuff as a treat for yourself.
45 – You are Worth It
Make yourself #1 in some of your decisions. While family, friends or career may take a front seat in our decision-making process, remember that it’s okay to put yourself in the front of some decisions.
46 – Find Your Path to Forgiveness
Find your path to forgiveness by forgiving yourself and others. Forgiveness is not acceptance, but it is the path to granting yourself the right to move forward with your life.
47 – Know Your Strengths
It is our natural tendency to focus on our weaknesses but treat yourself well each day by focusing on your strengths.
48 – Stand Up for Your Beliefs
Do not allow others to silence you every time your opinion differs from others. While the thought of taking such a bold move might seem intimidating a room full of people, you will have to take a stand and give yourself a voice.
Slow down to share your thoughts. You may have to do this a few times to help people understand who it is you wish for others to treat you, but do not cower. Find your inner, assertive self and prepare to become your most prominent advocate and do not feel like you have to apologize.
49 – Send a Motivational Message
Send a motivational text to a friend or family member to brighten their day. Simply motivating others will help to make you feel good.
50 – Take Up Coloring
Adult coloring books can be incredibly relaxing and therapeutic. They can clear your mind of unnecessary clutter while also helping you to sort out a few decisions mentally.
These are just 50 ways to treat yourself better. Self-care is an absolute must. It is easy for our day-to-day lives to leave us feeling stressed, overworked and underappreciated. These 50 actions can help us reclaim control of our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.