Hey, look, I get it. Every now and then, I need it to. The world can be a tough and unforgiving place. It can bring the strongest person to their knees and make them wish they never got up again. It’s fast-paced and doesn’t stop when someone falls behind. Instead, it simply leaves them there. It’s tough to stay motivated and tougher to become motivated.
You and I both know that life can become overwhelming at the frantic pace it operates at. You may even feel like you don’t even know what it means to take be kind to yourself anymore. Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.
Just last week I found myself in that exact spot. Instead of beating myself down, I created a list of things that I’ve done in the past to pick myself up. If you’re up for it, I want to share that list with you.
Here are 19 ways to be kind to yourself today.
Schedule- in specific time for me time.
Open the calendar on your phone and push aside all activities on a day of your choice. Take whatever day you have chosen and do the things that you want to do and not have to do. There is a difference. Life is too short to fill the calendar with meetings, sales calls, and events. Try filling it with things you enjoy too.
Call in sick
If you’ve done the above and searched your calendar but can’t find a day, call in sick. Be sure not to tell anyone but you’re employer that you’re doing it though. Choosing to tell other defeats the purpose because they will want your attention. Please take this day for yourself and do exactly what it is that you want to do.
Keep it within your means but treat yourself to something that brings you tremendous joy. You work hard for your money and as much as all the experts advise against it, go and spend some of it. Buy whatever makes you feel good. If it’s a comic book, go and buy one. If it’s a pedicure, take those shoes off and sit down. It doesn’t matter what it is, just go and buy it.
Believe in yourself
When things are as challenging as they are, sometimes the best course of action is to simply believe in yourself. Remember what you have done to get where you are and know that the same belief will get you to where you want to go. Once you start to believe again, step outside and scream it as loud as you can so the world can hear your conviction.
Give yourself that much needed pep talk. You know the one. The one that starts with “I am great and I can do whatever I want” and ends with “And I know in my heart all of this to be true.” Not only will it change your trajectory but it will also drastically improve a bad mood.
Seek out those who look to empower you and will speak positively about you. Jim Rohn is often quoted as saying “You’re The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With.” When life is overwhelming, surround yourself with those who you look up to and let them pick you up. And pick you up they will. All I ask is that you be there on the day that someone needs you to pick them up.
Go for a walk
If it seems simple, it’s because it is. Go for a walk. Get out into nature and see the world. While you’re out there, smell the smells, listen to the sounds, and feel the wind as it passes by. Some of the most enjoyable things in life are often free and readily available. This is one of them. Oh, and if you’re really looking to treat yourself, do this in the rain. You’ll be stunned by how much it will change you.
Spend sometime listening to music
Music is the universal language and the looking glass into our souls. Technology allows you to play the exact song you’re looking for at the exact moment you’re looking for it. Use this to your advantage. Remember, only you know what that song is so go ahead and load it up. From there, prepare to be taken away to a place that only you know.
If music isn’t your thing, no problem. Unplug from the world and curl up with your favorite book. You know the one. The one that you’ve read more than 5 times and each time that you pick it up, it’s impossible to put down. That one. Pick it up again and get ready to immerse yourself in a place unlike your own.
Donate to a charity
Nothing releases a feel-good chemical concoction quite like doing something for someone else. Donating will instantly supply you with a dose of serotonin that will not only change your mood, but also give you that warm fuzzy feeling for days.
Take a nap
Is there any wonder that the highest performers take naps during the day? And I’m not talking CEO’s. I’m talking about children and babies. These little people are learning so much on a day-to-day level that their body commands that they take a nap.
If you don’t quite believe how much the nap helps, just look at how different they view the world right before and right after a nap. A word of caution comes with the nap, however. Be sure that when you awake, you don’t feel guilty. It’s well deserved.
Look in the mirror and compliment who you see
You know just as well as I do that a compliment goes a long way. Instead of continuously sending them out into the world, send one into the mirror and watch the reflection light up with glee.
Help out a stranger
Imagine how different the world would be if we all treated those that we don’t know as well as those we do know. Go out and be the example that the world needs. Be kind to a stranger. Remarkably, you’ll be surprised to find that the person that you were kind to will often pay it forward to another.
Read a journal entry from 2 years ago
When was the last time you read your journal? Is it just as often as you look at the pictures on your phone? Like the pictures that allow access to old memories, the journal is a great tool of reflection. So go ahead and take a look through an old journal. Not only will it be fun to read about yourself from the past but it will also serve as a point of reference for how far you’ve come. Don’t have a journal? Start one today!
Have a cheat day where nothing you do matters
In the fitness world eating poorly once a week is known as a cheat day. There is nothing wrong with incorporating this day into your weekly schedule. Stop doing the things that matter (work, cooking, cleaning, etc) and focus on the things that don’t matter (seeing the latest movie, reading a magazine, spending a day in your pajama’s, etc).
Obviously not for the feint of heart but for those thrill seekers, skydiving may be just the treat yourself remedy you need. The anxiety of the take off coupled with the bliss of soaring through the skies cannot be replicated anywhere. However long it takes you to float back down to the Earth is subsequently the perfect amount of time to think about life.
Book that vacation you’ve been putting off
Nothing says “treat yourself” quite like finally booking that much needed vacation. It really doesn’t matter where you’re going just as long as you decide to go somewhere and actually book it. Knowing that a vacation is just around the corner will keep you thinking about all the other ways that you can treat yourself once you get there.
Phone someone and tell them how much they mean to you.
Treating yourself doesn’t always mean doing something that directly benefits you. It can mean calling up a friend and telling them exactly what they mean to you. Imagine how it would make you feel if, out of the blue, someone who you hadn’t talked to recently called you up to tell you how great you are. Now imagine what it would do for them. Go do it.
Count 10 ways that your life is amazing
That’s it. Simple. Just 10 ways. No more. No less. I can’t promise that all of these will work for you. What I can promise, however, is that some of them will. So, take some time to do each of them and figure out which ones will work for you. After you have that information, every time you find a new way to be kind to yourself, add it to your list. Eventually you’ll have a list a mile long.