Self-care is not a selfish or frivolous thing. It is time we stopped looking at this practice as a luxury. If we are to be our best and most useful selves, caring for our souls is a necessity. A happy and healthy person can accomplish twice as much as one who is fighting burnout.
Here are 20 small ways to care for yourself today:
1. Forgive yourself for small mistakes. Treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness that you would a close friend.
2. Ask someone you look up to to be a personal mentor. You will make their day.
3. Leave 15 minutes in your day as white space. Allow yourself to slow down and be silent. This is especially nurturing if you have active children or a demanding job.
4. Listen to at least three songs you love each day.
5. When you feel your self-esteem start to slip, write a love letter to yourself.
6. Journal every night. Even a short entry counts. Draw cartoons, write poetry, or keep a gratitude list. Mix it up. Make it your own.
7. Resist pressure to spend your free time in a way that pleases others. If you are an introvert, don’t apologize for needing solitude. Nurture your soul in a way that feels right to you.
8. Give yourself permission to experience your emotions. Feel your feelings, even (and especially) if they are painful.
9. Do something creative each day. It doesn’t matter how small. All creativity feeds the soul.
10. Give yourself three compliments each morning. Start off the day by working toward a positive self-image.
11. Don’t attempt to do everything yourself. Tell people what you need from them. You’ll be surprised at how willing they are to help.
12. Learn to receive a compliment in a way that makes you feel empowered, rather than awkward. This is surprisingly hard.
13. Cultivate gratitude. Take note of small joys in your life as you go about your day.
14. Learn to say no.
15. Take deep breaths when you are angry, stressed, or afraid.
16. Eat something delicious each day without guilt. You have my permission.
17. Listen to the way you speak to yourself. You’ll be surprised at the messages you may have internalized. Make an effort to engage in positive self-talk.
18. Take note of one thing you love about your body each day.
19. Set boundaries. Encourage others to do the same. Respect them without criticism.
20. Learn to meditate. It’s surprisingly easy!
“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others,” observed Christopher Germer. Treat yourself with kindness today. You deserve it, and your loved ones deserve to experience the best version of you.