Being kind to yourself is one of those things that really is easier said than done. You can have the best self-esteem, and still neglect to show yourself some love and appreciation on a daily basis. Being kind to your body, mind, and spirit is about more than just being satisfied with your looks, it’s about acknowledging that you may not be perfect, but you’re still you, and that’s all you could ever really ask for. So what are some ways you can remind yourself every day of the boss that you truly are?
The concept of “me time” has been around for years, and for a good reason. Taking even just a day to be with yourself and do whatever you want is empowering. In today’s digital working world especially, it’s never been easier to get constantly overwhelmed with work, social obligations, political unrest, world epidemics, etc., so take a break from all of it and shut your brain off for the day.
One of the best ways to force yourself to spend time with yourself is to call in sick from work. If you’ve ever called out of work or school and claimed to be sick when you actually wanted the day for any other reason, you know that the slight thrill of it can make any activity on that day feel extra special. So take a much deserved sick day and do whatever it is you want to do. Go to the beach, start that book you bought over a year ago, finish that Netflix series and bake that Food Network cookie recipe that’s been sitting in your printer for a month. Today is for you and you only.
If you’ve seen the magic that is Parks and Recreation, or are somewhat of an expert on modern meme culture, then you definitely are familiar with the “treat yo’ self” concept that was birthed from the show. For those of you who don’t know, two of the shows main characters, Tom and Donna, dedicate one day a year in which they go out and completely treat themselves without worrying about any financial repercussions, as the whole point of the day is to treat yourself to whatever you want and not stand in your own way.
The idea behind having a “treat yo’ self” day is to remind yourself that sometimes, it’s okay to be a little reckless with your spending, and not to take life so seriously all the time. More often than not we become our own worst enemies and can stand in our own way of progressing. This could apply to progressing in our career, wanting to move, or even just buying an expensive jacket that would look great in our closets. So take a day and remind yourself that you only live once, so might as well enjoy it and buy that overpriced coffee table.
Solitude is a great way to remind yourself who you are and reflect upon ways in which you can incorporate more positivity into your everyday life. It may sound simple, but going for a walk and being with nature gives you every element you need to just take a breath and reflect. Put your phone on silent and listen to the world around you instead of a playlist. Ground yourself by walking through your neighborhood and notice how many more things you observe when all distractions are removed.
Positive affirmations are a great way of reminding yourself everyday that you are a good person and doing your absolute best. Looking in the mirror and complimenting yourself sounds like something an evil queen in an old Disney movie would do, however, it can really help. So often when we look in the mirror our initial reaction is to judge the many microscopic “imperfections” that only we would really see. So instead, ignore those thoughts of negativity and only verbalize positive thoughts about what you see. Make sure you’re actually saying these affirmations out loud as well, if you’re just thinking positively about yourself, you’re leaving room for the negative thoughts to creep in and linger. By saying them out loud, you’re not only putting effort into speaking positively about yourself, but you’re forcing yourself to listen as well.
Finally, make a list of ten things that you genuinely love and respect about yourself. Don’t hold back and get specific, it can even be something as small as loving the way that you cook pancakes, while that may not seem like much, if it’s something you’ve always admired about yourself, then it counts. The goal of this is not to remind yourself of a bunch of general things that make you a “good person,” but instead remind yourself of the things that make you love you. Being kind to yourself and treating the mind, body, and soul with love and admiration will lead to an overall happier and healthier life.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.