In my last post, I shared a few ways that you can practice a little bit of self-love for Valentine's Day, and make the most of the holiday, even if you're single. But obviously, expressions of love should not be limited to just one day out of the year, especially self-love. Yet, for myself and many others, self-love is the easiest to allow to fall to the wayside. Especially for those of us who are our own harshest critic, and struggle with negative self-talk. The practice of self-love can also quickly easily fall to the wayside and is often the first to go when life gets busy, whether with school, work, and/or family obligations. Perhaps, you may be the friend that everyone turns to for advice or emotional support, but you rarely take the time to check in on yourself. Or perhaps you're always hustling to try to meet your own expectations for yourself; I know I can relate to that. I also know that when I don't meet my own expectations, self-love gets thrown out the window.
I'll be honest, there was a time when I didn't think self-love was all that important. I had no issue caring for other people. I had always called bullshit when I'd hear someone say that you can't truly love others unless you love yourself, or that you can't care for other people if you're not taking care of yourself. I still call bullshit on that, to a certain degree. I'm not about to say that you can't love others without loving yourself, or that it's impossible to care for other people, even when you're mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. But what I will say is that when you do practice self-love and look after your own well-being, caring for others actually becomes less of an effort. So with that, I'd definitely say that practicing self-love is necessary, and you should never feel bad about practicing it. Especially knowing it can help you care for others more efficiently, and even be more productive.
Oh, and by the way, you don't necessarily need a lot of free time to practice self-love. Nor do you necessarily need a lot of money. Or any money for the matter.
1 - Get your sweat on!
I get it, sometimes the last thing you want to do is exercise. There are a lot of days where I don't want to work out for one reason or another, but more often than not, I know it's exactly what I need. You don't need to have a gym membership to get moving. There are thousands, if not millions, of workout videos on YouTube that you can easily do from home. You also don't necessarily have to get super sweaty or do something super hard. Although, I must say that fast-paced hardcore workouts are great for releasing tension! But even a slow and gentle yoga session can do the trick. Or you could just choose to crank up the tunes and just dance like no one is watching. And even if they are, who cares?
2 - Go for a walk when the weather permits.
I spend the vast majority of my day sitting at my desk, even when it's a gorgeous day outside. And although I do try to exercise for at least 20 minutes per day, 6 days a week, I know I need to get out of my chair more. I also know that I could benefit from a little extra sunshine, and a little less screen light. I also find walks to be very relaxing and a great way to meditate and sort my thoughts. I also come up with some of my best creative ideas while I'm out walking. So needless to say, I love going for walks when the weather is pleasant. Even if it's just for a brief walk around the block. Plus, it's a great form of exercise if you don't feel like rolling out your mat or getting too sweaty.
3 - Spend some time outside, in general.
Like I said, I spend a lot of time at my desk, and I'm indoors for most of the day. So taking the time to just get some fresh air and fully enjoy the natural daylight works wonders for me in boosting my mood. Even if it's only for 10 extra minutes a day, and all I do is sit and listen to the birds or watch the clouds, it certainly makes a difference.
4 - Stretch your muscles!
If you sit a lot like I do, your legs and hips can get very tight, as well as your back and shoulders. Strenuous physical activities can also cause your muscles to become rather tense, which is why you should always take the time to stretch properly after a workout, as well as take the time to warm-up properly before a workout. But even if you're not doing anything strenuous, you should still take a moment to care for your muscles and take the time to stretch. I personally like to take about 15 minutes to do a few relaxing stretches right before bed, whether I worked out that day or not. This means on workout days, I'd be stretching twice. Once after my workout, and once before bed. If you need a guide, there are plenty of stretch videos on YouTube, as well as pose charts on Pinterest you can follow.
5 - Be mindful of your posture.
When you're working at a desk, and you're getting really into your work, it's only natural to allow proper posture to get away from you. If you were even thinking about how you're sitting, to start with. Let's be real, the last thing I'm thinking about half the time is my posture. Even when I'm standing, I tend to slouch a bit. Perhaps it's just second nature for me to be hunched over from slouching so much at my desk and looking down at my phone, as I never even realize that I'm doing it until I'm reminded that posture is a thing. I don't even realize just how tight my back and shoulders are until it's brought to my attention somehow, as I've gotten so used to the sensation of those areas being tense that I don't even notice it. Either that or I'll assume they're tight from a workout until I'm reminded of the importance of proper posture. That being said, if you're reading this, take a moment right now to roll back your shoulders and sit up tall, or stand up tall if you're standing, and see how you feel.
I personally have been loving the PostureMinder extension for Chrome to remind me to sit up when I'm working at my desk. You can also use this extension to set reminders to take a break and get out of your chair. Speaking of which...
6 - Get off of your butt for a few minutes!
Seriously, just get off of your butt for a few minutes every hour and walk around a little bit. You don't have to do anything strenuous. Get a glass of water, get that dirty dish to the sink, grab a healthy snack, get a quick stretch in, go potty. Just get out of your chair or off the couch for a few minutes.
7 - Have a glass of water.
Allowing myself to become dehydrated is just one of the many bad habits I have that can make me feel like poo. The difference between how I feel when I'm dehydrated and when I'm sufficiently hydrated is actually rather drastic! Seriously, why do I ever allow myself to become dehydrated? When I'm hydrated, I'm more energetic, less likely to get headaches, and I just feel better in general. I've even found that staying hydrated during that time of the month helps to alleviate the severity of menstrual symptoms. So seriously, try to make it a priority to stay hydrated, and take a moment to grab a glass of water. Especially if you're feeling a little tired or under the weather, or if you've just finished a workout. Or if you realize you just haven't really had much water today.
8 - Keep your habits in check.
Make sure that all of the basics are covered, don't allow good habits to fall to the wayside and bad ones to come back up. Make sure you're getting enough but not too much sleep. Make sure you're eating enough, but you're also being mindful of what you're eating. Keep up with your routine, even when you don't feel like it. Avoid isolating yourself from any social interaction for too long. Watch how you're speaking to yourself if you have a tendency to talk to yourself negatively. Whatever your bad habits might be, or what good habits you want to form or maintain, just keep an eye on them and be mindful of what you're doing. Do what you need to do to maintain good habits and avoid sliding back into bad habits. Perhaps adding a habit tracker to your bullet journal could be helpful. Or maybe setting alarms and reminders for when it's time to exercise or when it's time to get ready for bed. Just make sure you're covering the basics in terms of self-care.
9 - Make sure your space is clean and tidy.
Cleaning may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but I actually find some chores relaxing! Although, I do admit that sometimes cleaning can be a little stressful as well if I go too long without cleaning my space and allow the mess to build up. Keeping up with household chores and having a realistic cleaning schedule helps to take the stress out of cleaning. But regardless of the size of the task, the end result of a clean space is always worth it. I know that I certainly feel better when my room is clean and organized, versus when it's a mess. Besides, it feels better not to have that little voice in my head nagging me to clean the toilet. Or even to make the bed or pick that sock up and put it in the laundry basket.
10 - Do that thing you need to do. Stop procrastinating on it.
If you've been putting anything off, and it's nagging at you, just do it. I know you don't want to do it, and you fancy to sit on the couch and watch Netflix instead. But are you actually relaxing when you've got this thing hanging over your head?
Okay, I totally realize that so far, many of the items on this list are not the most fun. But sometimes self-love is doing what's best for you, even if you don't want to or you don't feel like it at the moment. Sometimes it's also about making small changes or tiny actions that can make a huge difference. That being said, I promise you that there are some fun and relaxing things on this list, so let's keep going!
11 - Allow yourself to take a little break.
You don't need to overwork or overwhelm yourself! If you're feeling overwhelmed, or you just feel like you need to take a quick break and step away for a little while, then do so. There is nothing wrong with taking a few minutes to rest and collect your thoughts for a moment. You don't want to burn yourself out, as burning yourself out will leave you feeling less productive in the end than if you had just allowed yourself a little bit of downtime.
12 - Allow yourself to take a little cat-nap if you're feeling a little low on energy.
Although I personally choose to avoid napping late in the day and taking too long of a nap, if I'm starting to feel a little sluggish mid-morning or mid-afternoon, I do like to take a moment to lay down and rest my eyes for about 10-15 minutes. I may also choose to close my eyes right at my desk for a few minutes, so I can relax for a moment without getting too comfortable and falling asleep.
13 - Try to get in at least a few minutes of meditation.
I used to not be one for sitting and purposely doing "nothing" for any length of time. Honestly, I'm still not. But I have found that when I take even just a few minutes to sit through a guided meditation and try not to think about a lot, I do benefit from it. Personally, I find that the best time to meditate is in the morning before my mind really gets rolling, and I'm not quite ready to start running around yet anyway. I also fancy mediation around bedtime as well, to help slow my mind down before attempting to sleep. If I feel I need a little bit of meditation mid-day, or I'm not feeling up to sitting in Sukhasana for very long, there are other ways that I like to meditate and try to relax my mind as well.
14 - Take a few deep breaths, wherever you may be.
For the longest time, I underestimated the impact that taking a moment to take a few deep breaths and focus on my breathing could have. After all, we're literally breathing 24/7 without even thinking about it. How could breathing change how I'm feeling mentally or physically when I'm already breathing, just because I'm thinking about it now? But let me tell you, once I gave a fair chance to the idea of stopping for a moment to just breathe, I was actually amazed at how calming it was to take even just a few deep conscious breaths. I can't promise you that it will help you feel 100% better every time, but the shit actually works a lot of the time.
Oh, and by the way, if you're having trouble falling asleep, I have found that trying to focus on my breath while I'm lying in bed at night actually helps me fall asleep.
15 - Try to carve out some me-time every day.
As an introvert, having my alone time is practically a requirement for me. But not only do I need my alone time, but I need to take the time to do something just for me, not for work or for anyone else. Occasionally, we all need to take a moment to do something "selfish" that we enjoy. Even if it's something small, and just for a short amount of time.
16 - Take a bath or an extra-long shower.
One of my favorite parts of the day is when I finally get to take my shower as I'm getting ready for bed. I also particularly enjoy taking a long relaxing bath when I can, even though I haven't for a while now. For me, a long hot shower or a relaxing bubble bath is the epitome of me-time. I can't bring any electronics in there, so it forces me to take a break from my screen and be off social media. Plus, no one can disturb me while I'm in there. Especially as I choose to take my shower once everyone else has gone to bed. And I only take baths when I'm home alone, so I don't have to worry about being disturbed. I don't want to have to cut my bathtime short because someone has to tinkle, as we only have one bathroom in the house. I also like to silence my phone while I'm in there, so I won't hear notifications and feel tempted to rush out of the bathroom to go look at them. Anyway, my point is, baths and long-hot showers are just amazing. So take the time to enjoy one when you feel you need a little bit of self-love.
17 - Go to a spa or have a home spa day.
So, I have a confession to make; I've never actually been to a spa. Outside of having my hair done at a salon a couple of times, I've never received any type of professional beauty treatments or pampering. Although I imagine it's amazingly relaxing, I've just never gone. But I have had home spa days and pampered myself from home. I absolutely love taking the time to give myself a manicure, pedicure, do my own hair and makeup, and all of the above. I also enjoy soaking in a relaxing bath and applying mud masks from home. Like I said at the beginning of this post, you don't have to spend a lot of money to practice self-care. You don't even need the most expensive and luxurious products to enjoy a home spa day.
18 - Do something your inner child would enjoy.
There is nothing wrong with being a little bit childish and getting in touch with your inner child. Seriously, allow yourself to have some fun and feel like a kid again.
19 - Indulge in a harmless "guilty" pleasure!
We all have that one thing (or maybe multiple things) that we don't like to admit that we enjoy as much as we do. Whether it's a movie, TV show, song, artist, book, meal, or whatever else, if you like it, enjoy it! As long as you're not hurting anyone, who cares?
20 - Do something that brings you joy.
It's really no secret that I love playing The Sims, so for me, playing The Sims is a form of self-care as it allows me to get creative and just have fun in a limitless amount of ways. Video games are a great form of self-care, in general, you can play any game you enjoy as a form of self-love. It doesn't have to be The Sims. You can even play GTA as a form of self-care and blow off some steam! Honestly, you can do anything you enjoy as a form of self-love during your me-time. Whether you're into gaming, knitting, drawing, writing, yoga, pilates, basketball, or whatever else, as long as it fills you with joy, do it.
21 - Invest in an adult coloring book.
Coloring most certainly is not just for children! There are some marvelous coloring books out there for teens and adults with a lot of tiny details to color in. Right now, I have two coloring books that I've been loving, one is filled with inspiring quotes, the other is cat mandalas. I also have a little calendar full of small coloring pages. I will say that coloring is a little bit time-consuming, but it is a fabulous use of the downtime that I'd spend staring off into space otherwise, and gives me something to focus on and help me take my mind off everything else for a little while.
22 - Get creative!
I absolutely love being able to use my creativity in a variety of different ways. Whether I'm writing, drawing, making digital art, taking photos, coding, or building in The Sims, I find creating to be relaxing. Albeit challenging at times, but it certainly takes my mind off of things for a while and gives me a sense of accomplishment once I've finished a creative project. Although I also love the process of creating as well, not just the end result! I also like to use my creativity as a healthy way to face and release my emotions, so that they don't remain bottled up. There are many ways that you can use your creativity, and many ways to create. Perhaps you could use your creativity to start your own brand. Or you could create just because you enjoy it, and it relaxes you. You don't even have to share your work if you don't want to! Don't feel like your work has to be absolutely perfect, just enjoy being creative.
23 - Write it out in your journal.
Not only is journaling a great way to get creative, especially if you're into bullet journaling, but it's a marvelous way to process what you are feeling, positive or negative. And one of the best things about journaling is, you can keep it 100% private, and you can fully express how you're feeling with no filter. Seriously, don't be afraid to write out your raw, unfiltered thoughts.
24 - Practice gratitude regularly!
Let me be real with you for a second. When I'm in a rut, and things don't seem to be going right, when I find myself playing the comparison game, or when I'm in a crappy mood, it's easy to focus almost exclusively on what's going wrong. Or on the things that I don't have. And I'm not just talking about money or material things, or even a certain level of success. I often find myself getting caught up with more personal things that I can't change with hard work, and that are mostly or entirely out of my control. There are also days where I'm just grumpy, and all I can think of is what pissed me off that day, or a week ago. Hello PMS! Anyway, my point is, sometimes it's so easy to focus on the negative, that you forget the positives, and what you have going for you. So I recommend trying to practice gratitude daily. Whether you're in a fantastic mood or a bad mood, try to think of at least one thing you're grateful for and write it down. It can be anything, big or small. It can even be something superficial. As long as it makes you happy, and it gives you joy, be grateful for it.
25 - Make a list of things you love about yourself.
I am my own harshest critic and my own biggest bully at times. For me, negative self-talk comes alarmingly naturally. I don't always even realize when I'm doing it, or when my own criticism of myself isn't constructive. I'm sure many people can relate to this. It's easy for me to critique myself, and although I will always keep constructive criticism of myself in my life, I need to allow for compliments as well. So on that note, even if it's hard at first, sit down and think about all of the things you love about yourself, and make a list. Once again, just like with gratitude, it doesn't matter if it's big or small, or whether it's superficial or deep; if it's something that gives you confidence, own it!
26 - Take a moment to remember what you've accomplished. Including the little things.
There are many successful people that I look up to, admire, and strive to be like in terms of success, not gonna lie. I also tend to set the bar pretty high for myself, and as soon as I meet one goal, I'm looking to the next. A lot of the time, I start looking to the next goal as I start coming close to my goal. And while you should always look to progress and improve, you should also take a moment to celebrate your achievements along the way. Even the tiny victories deserve a little bit of celebration. So take a moment to remember each accomplishment you've made along the way, and be proud of how far you've come. Even if your achievement is that you've finally started on something, you're one step further than where you were before you started. There may also be days where your biggest triumph is getting out of bed or taking a shower, and on a bad mental health day, that is definitely something to celebrate.
27 - Try downward comparison, instead of upward comparison.
I'm sure that most of us have felt ourselves feeling a little envious of how amazing someone else's life may seem at one point or another. Even knowing that, for the most part, what people share on social media is only the highlight reel of their life. Same with what people share in person, sometimes even more so with what they share in person. Despite knowing that most of what you see on social media or hear someone talk about in person is only the highlights of their life, and you don't know what really goes on behind the scenes, it's still easy to think that they have it made. You rarely hear someone talk about how many times they may have fallen down when they first started yoga, and still wobble at times. Nor do you always hear how long it took someone to save up for that trip to Paris, or how many times someone was rejected at every phase of the hiring process before landing their dream job. But understandably, sometimes it's hard to see beyond what you see at the surface when you don't know the full story.
But consider this, it's possible someone may be looking at you, and what you have going for you, and wishing they could have that. Whether it's a skill that you have, something you're successful in, or even something you may overlook, such as your health, take a moment once again to be grateful for what you have, because not everyone has that. I've written a little on this topic in my post on not allowing comparison to steal your joy, but I actually feel that this is a topic I may discuss more in the future.
28 - Look for the positives, or a silver lining, whenever you can.
Even though it's definitely hard sometimes, especially when you're going through something particularly challenging, or you have especially strong feelings about something, it's worth it to at least try to find something positive about the situation. Or look for some sort of a silver lining if you can. Sometimes the positive might be the lesson you've learned from it or that you've found out how strong you were through the situation. Or perhaps there is something you actually enjoy or don't mind from the circumstance or the thing you dislike. For example, as much as I abhor Winter, there are a few things I actually like about it. I have also been able to find the good that came from being an outcast back in middle school, among many other things that definitely weren't fun or pleasant at the time.
29 - Find a healthy way to release your emotions.
It's better to let those negative emotions out than to bottle them up. Believe me when I say that trying to bottle them up or ignore them only makes them worse. So it's best to just let it all out in a healthy way. I often choose to let my emotions out through an unfiltered rant, which may include swearing. I usually opt to do this in my journal, although I'll also rant out loud to myself or maybe to a trustworthy ear. Sometimes I also need to just cry it out. Or wreak a little havoc in The Sims; remember that video games aren't real life. Workouts with a lot of punching or kicking movements are also great. So is listening to a playlist that fits your current mood. Seriously, just let your emotions out. As long as you aren't hurting yourself or others, it's okay to express what you're feeling. It's nearly impossible to move on unless you allow yourself to feel the feels.
30 - Find some positive affirmations and mantras that work for you. Or come up with your own!
I absolutely love positive affirmations, mantras, and motivational quotes. If you need ideas for positive affirmations or mantras, Pinterest and WeHeartIt are loaded with them. All you need to do is find the ones that work for you, or you could even come up with your own. Don't forget to write them down or save them to a place where you'll be able to find them easily whenever you need a little pick-me-up. It's also not a bad idea to have at least one to repeat to yourself daily.
31 - Get dolled up, just because you can.
Personally, the better I look, the better I feel. Whether I'm fully dressed up, in some super cute athleisure, or even in cute pajamas, I feel better than when I'm in an outfit that's just "meh" to me. I also have to say that I feel better when I put at least a little bit of effort into my hair. I don't wear makeup when I'm working out or when I'm in my PJs, but I also feel better when I take a little extra time with my makeup before going out. Not because I "need" makeup, but because makeup is fun, and I like to create fun looks when I have the time.
32 - Treat your sense of smell to something that smells amazing to you.
On the same note of feeling better when I look good, I also feel better when I smell good. I actually wear a little bit of body spray every single day, even when I'm working out. I also love good smelling lotions and body washes. I also enjoy making my room smell good and being surrounded by a pleasant aroma all day long. I absolutely love the pillow mists from Bath And Body Works, and anything else I can use to make my room smell nice and fresh.
33 - Get yourself some flowers to freshen up your space.
February 14th isn't the only day of the year that you can buy yourself flowers. It doesn't even have to be your birthday, a holiday, or any special occasion. You can buy yourself flowers just because you think they're pretty. I personally choose to buy silk flowers because they literally last forever as long as you take care of them. Although they aren't the real thing, they are still beautiful. Real flowers, however, can really freshen up your space and can smell amazing. If you have your own flower garden at home, you could always pick some flowers for free during the right time of the year!
34 - Buy yourself that item you've wanted for a while.
If you want something, and you can afford it, buy it. Especially if you can't stop thinking about it, and it's relatively inexpensive. I've been dreaming of getting a pack of Zebra Mildliners for a while now. As well as trying out my first set of Tombow Bual Brush pens. So perhaps I should just buy them the next time I see them at Walmart or Target, or the next time I go to Micheal's.
35 - Indulge in your favorite YOLO meal.
As much as I like to try to eat at least somewhat healthy, and I love healthy food, I still love objectively unhealthy meals as well. I love cookies, cake, ice cream, and all sorts of sweet treats. I have to let myself have them once in a while. To me, moderation is key, not elimination. If you can't have a specific ingredient for whatever reason, whether for health or moral reasons, you may be able to find a substitute. That way, you don't have to give up your favorite dish completely.
Self-love is about showing yourself some love, as the word implies. So yes, while that definitely includes treating yourself, it also includes taking steps to better yourself and to improve your life.
36 - Try something new.
Every once in awhile, I find that I get bored with doing the same things over and over again, or I just want to switch things up a little bit. I'm all for trying new things from time to time, whether it's trying a new dish, a new workout, a new hobby, a new video game, or anything you haven't tried before. If you want to try something new, try it. You never know what you may fall in love with! If you don't like it, you don't have to try it again.
37 - Learn something new or study up on something that interests you.
If you have a random curiosity, or you want to learn more about something, study up on it. Perhaps you want to learn about the history of something, the science of something, the psychology of something, how something works, you name it. Maybe you want to learn a new language or a new skill. If it interests you, learn more about it.
38 - Challenge your mind with something that you enjoy.
39 - Take a step outside of your comfort zone!
Stepping outside of your comfort zone is scary, but it's how you grow. It doesn't necessarily have to be a big step at first. Sometimes by taking the smallest step outside your comfort zone, you may surprise yourself. There have been so many times that I've taken the tiniest step outside my comfort zone and realized I had nothing to be afraid of. Or that something was simpler than I had made it out to be in my mind.
40 - Make a plan to turn one of your dreams into a reality.
If you have a dream that you can't stop thinking of, why not make a plan to turn it into a reality and make it a goal?
41 - Create a vision board.
Not only can vision boarding be a fun way to get creative, but it can also help you visualize your goals better.
42 - Find something fun off of Pinterest, and actually try it, don't just Pin it.
I absolutely love Pinterest! I could scroll for hours pinning crafts, recipes, and other things that I want to try. But more often than not, they stay pinned in my boards untried. You know, just for future reference. Obviously, I had some sort of interest in them, but I never took the steps to actually attempt them. So once in a while, go through your boards, and pick something out to try. And remember, when you do try something you found on Pinterest, have fun with it. Don't stress about trying to make it perfect. A lot of time and practice goes into making those cakes look perfect.
43 - Try a 30-day challenge.
If you're looking to form a habit, committing to a 30-day challenge could help you to kickstart it. It's been said that it takes about 21 days to form a habit, although it definitely varies from person to person. Still, that being said, a 30-day challenge would give you a good head start. 30-day challenges can also be a lot of fun and can force you to get creative or try new things. There are also 30-day challenges that help you make little improvements to your life, one step a day for 30 days.
44 - Try a new healthy recipe.
Healthy food doesn't have to be boring! Healthy eating doesn't have to mean eating salad for every meal. Although I personally love salad, and to me, it's a treat. My family was never big on healthy food, so sometimes I had to ask for my vegetables. Everyone who has ever tried to feed their broccoli to their dog is probably screaming right now. But as I was saying, healthy food doesn't have to be boring. Salad doesn't even have to be dull if you find the right recipe! Pinterest is a fabulous place for finding healthy recipes.
45 - Make small, random acts of kindness.
By helping others, or even just by making someone else's day a little better, you can find yourself feeling happier. Helping other people just feels good, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a huge gesture. Whether you choose to become a volunteer for a cause that you care about, help a neighbor with the groceries, or even just hold the door for a stranger, not only will someone else benefit from the gesture, but you will too. Sometimes, something as simple as just offering a genuine compliment or a simple hello can brighten someone's day as well.
46 - Get in touch with your spirituality.
First thing's first, you don't have to be religious to get in touch with your spirituality, so this one is up to you to interpret. For you, this could mean reading scripture, attending a religious service, or saying a prayer. This could also mean practicing meditation, getting in touch with nature, or being of service to others. Perhaps this could also mean getting in touch with your higher self.
47 - Learn when to say no, including to yourself.
As a people pleaser, I have a hard time saying no sometimes. Even to things that I don't want to do, and don't actually have to do. I especially have a hard time saying no to things that I want to do but don't really have the time for, or that just aren't a priority; this is where I have to learn to say no to myself. There have been so many times where I've found myself overwhelmed by tasks and projects that I ended up stressing out and procrastinating on everything. Then I'm stressing out more because I know I'm not actually putting my best effort in when I'm rushing to get everything I've procrastinated on done. Then I find myself getting aggravated with the tasks that I don't even want to do. Especially when I didn't actually have to do them, but agreed to do them. It's just a stressful mess. So it's better not to pile things into my to-do list that I'm not passionate about, and that I know aren't going to be a priority. Whether it's something that someone else wants me to do but isn't forcing me to do. Or something I'm considering adding to my own to-do list.
48 - Go to bed early.
I am a night-owl by nature, and I usually go to bed around midnight, which I realize in insanely late to a lot of people. Especially considering I'm working to become more of a morning person, as I believe I might be both a night owl and a morning person. But that being said, I'd never object to going to bed at 11:00, or even 10:00, if I was feeling tired enough to go to bed early. If you're feeling sleepy, and it's within an hour or two of your bedtime, and there is no reason you have to stay up, allow yourself to go to bed a little earlier than you usually would.
49 - Wake up early.
As I said before, although I am a night owl, and I go to bed rather late, I also believe I may be a morning person as well. I think I may be one of those people that actually functions better on 6 to 7 hours of sleep than 8 to 9 hours, because the earlier I wake up, the better I feel. So for me, waking up a little bit early would be a form of self-love. Even if I don't always want to get out of bed, once I'm out of bed, I usually feel great when I wake up earlier. It also gives me more time to either get more done in the morning or relax for a little while longer before I have to do anything. Plus, if you wake up early enough, you just might catch the sunrise.
50 - Use social media in a way that brings you joy!
Social media is full of negativity. I don't think I need to elaborate much on the negative side of social media, but I can say that it has had both a negative and a positive effect on my life. Even though social media is full of negativity and sometimes downright nastiness, there is also a lot of positivity on social media as well. If you use it the right way, you can actually use modern technology and social media for self-care. Technology is not a bad thing. Social media is not a bad thing. It's how you use it that determines whether it's a good or a bad thing for you.
51 - Clear your social media feeds of the crap.
If you really want to make the most of the time you spend on social media, it's not a bad idea to do a little digital spring cleaning and clear your feed of the crap. Unfriend and unfollow people or pages that upset you, or that frequently post content that you don't want to see. If you don't want to unfollow or unfriend someone, Twitter and Instagram give you the option to mute accounts without the account owner knowing. Facebook offers the possibility to "snooze" someone for 30 days, which is basically the same thing, or to unfollow their posts but keep them on your friends list.
You can also opt to mute messages from specific contacts. But if someone is really bothering you, blocking is the best option.
52 - Clear the crap from your life!
If something is stressing you out, or it's just not benefitting you in any way, and you don't really need it, nix it. Don't feel guilty about getting rid of clutter from your home or removing toxic people from your life. Let go of anything that isn't positively serving you, or is bringing you more harm than good, whether it's an item, a person, a situation, a habit, or whatever else. If it's not bringing positivity into your life, and you don't actually need it, let it go.
53 - Put away the electronics for a couple of hours.
I will be the first to admit that I spend way too much time in front of a screen. I'm pretty much on my computer from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to bed at night, with very few breaks in between. There are days where I come close to 12 hours of screen time; I'd actually say 12 hours per day is about average for me. I can easily exceed 12 hours on days when I'm gaming, or I'm feeling extra creative and don't want to stop working on something. As a side note, I'm counting all the hours I spend on my electronic devices, which includes when I'm using it to work or create, not just recreational scrolling. So needless to say, I know that I could definitely use a break from my phone and computer every now and then. I think we could all benefit from closing our laptops and putting our phones away for a few hours. You're not going to miss much by taking a few hours to unplug. You're not going to miss anything important that you can't catch up on in a few hours. If you miss anything at all, that is.
54 - Spend some quality time with the people that you care about.
Although I am an introvert, I still need to spend quality time with people that I care about on a fairly regular basis. Allowing myself to become secluded for too long is actually a mood-killing habit for me, as surprising as that may seem for an introvert. A shy introvert with social anxiety at that. Usually, a good conversation via text or a phone call will suffice for me. But as much as I hate to admit it sometimes, because it is outside my comfort zone, nothing beats spending quality time with someone you care about and trust in-person when possible.
55 - Spend some quality time with your pet(s).
If you're not up for dealing with other humans, and you have a pet, spend time with them. Snuggle with them, hug them, play with them; I'm sure they'd appreciate the extra attention. Although some pets, like a lot of cats and even some dogs, may prefer to be given affection on their own terms. So when your pet comes to you ready for some love, take that opportunity. If your pet is always in the mood for attention, call them over and give them a hug, or get out their favorite toy and have some fun!
56 - Take the time to truly enjoy your meal without trying to multitask.
It's extraordinarily uncommon that I ever sit down and eat, and focus solely on eating. If I'm not working on something while I'm eating, I'm either watching something on YouTube, or I'm watching TV. Typically, the only time I actually focus on my food is when I'm at a dinner party, and I need to make sure I'm eating slowly so that I don't overeat and get a tummy ache. And that happens maybe three times a year at most. So I'm thinking that I want to try eating outside when the weather gets nicer, so I'm away from my computer and the TV. Although, this doesn't mean that I can't just close my laptop, put my phone down, turn off the TV, and enjoy my lunch indoors either.
57 - Watch a movie, show, or video without distractions.
When I'm watching a movie or show, I almost always leave my phone in the other room now. You can miss some of the best moments of a show when you're looking down to text or tweet, so try watching your favorite movies and shows without your phone, or any other distractions, from time to time.
58 - Create playlists full of your favorite songs for every mood!
Sometimes all it takes to boost your mood is a playlist full of your favorite songs. Music can also be a great way to let your emotions out, and help you put what you're feeling into words. Whether it's a positive emotion or a negative emotion, there's a song for it; there are many songs for it.
59 - Escape to your happy place!
Personally, I have two happy places. One is the mall that I go to, and my three favorite stores there. The other is in my bedroom, in front of my computer, playing The Sims. Your happy place can be any place that brings you joy. Perhaps you're feeling your best when you're at the craft store or at your favorite restaurant. Or maybe you prefer to be in nature. Wherever your happy place may be, try to spend a little bit of time there whenever possible.
60 - Laugh!
They do say that laughter is the best medicine, and there have been some studies to back that up. So watch some stand-up comedy, watch some funny videos on YouTube, scroll through memes, joke around with friends and family, because if nothing else, a little bit of laughter is good for the soul.
At the end of the day, self-love is about doing what's best for you. And don't overlook the little things.
61 - Enjoy your favorite hot beverage.
Every morning, I start my day with a hot cup of tea. Typically I'll either drink black tea with honey or green tea, but there are many types of tea out there that I'd love to try. Sometimes I switch things up, and I have hot chocolate in the morning instead, but I love having a cup of hot chocolate mid-day during the colder months. Especially if I have to spend any amount of time outside in the cold. Or if I'm just feeling a little bit chilly during the day. The best part is, with hot drinks, you have to savor them. Unless you want to burn your mouth, that is. But seriously, grab a hot beverage and just enjoy the moment.
62 - Light a good smelling candle or diffuse essential oils.
For me, something as simple as a pleasant aroma can really boost my mood or help me relax. Personally, I'm not that big on burning candles, but I love scent warmers because you don't have to keep as close of an eye on them, and you don't have to worry about falling asleep with them on. You also don't have to worry as much about children or pets knocking them over. I also love essential oil diffusers for this very reason. It's all a matter of preference.
63 - Read something that brings you joy!
If you enjoy reading, then read something that brings you joy. Reading gives you something to focus your mind on, and even allows you to escape for a little while. Typically, when I'm stressed out or sad, I prefer to read something lighthearted, but this is just a matter of preference. I also have to say that I prefer being able to read the physical copy of a book whenever I can. Something about holding an actual book just brings me so much joy. I also miss the days when I'd read magazines as well, back when I read teen magazines in middle school. Perhaps I should look for a magazine or a book with a lot of images to purchase? I legitimately miss collecting them!
64 - Watch or listen to ASMR.
I am not ashamed to admit that I watch and listen to ASMR. As a matter of fact, I've considered making an ASMR channel, but I don't have a microphone. I have a pretty good camera, just no microphone. Anyway, I absolutely love ASMR, and I listen to it at all times of the day, and I have to say that it's pretty relaxing. Even if I don't always get the tingles. I know that ASMR isn't for everyone, but I enjoy it. It may seem a little bit weird at first, but the right sounds and the right visuals are relaxing.
65 - Give yourself a complete rest day.
Sometimes you just need a break from everything, and you need a day to just relax. I know that for some people, taking a complete and total rest day, or taking a full day to yourself, may not be possible. But if you can even get a few hours to yourself, take it. Do whatever you want with this time. Don't feel like you have to do anything productive. Just relax and take a rest, you deserve it.
One last time, I'd like to reiterate that self-love is not selfish! Taking the time to take care of yourself is crucial to your own well-being, and when you're doing well, you're able to do more for others. They do say that you can't pour from an empty cup, after all.