Maybe you’re always the one spending so much time making sure everyone around you is comfortable, happy, and well taken care of. The problem is it’s easy to forget that you could use some of that kindness, too—and who better to give it than yourself? So, instead of packing your schedule too heavily, cutting yourself down, and constantly comparing yourself to others, here are 30 ways to start being a little nicer to yourself every day. And for ways to master the art of self love, This Is Why You Need a “Happy Place”—and Where to Find It.
Ditch the Scale
Having a scale in the bathroom might seem like a good idea, so you can check up on your weight-loss progress whenever you want. The issue is past studies have shown it’s not all good that comes from monitoring your weight—especially since the result can quickly change your entire mood, making you go from feeling great about yourself to not feeling good enough. Once you ditch it, you’ll realize you’re much more than a number and will be much happier because of it.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible not to compare yourself to others on the daily—something you can thank social media for. The best thing you can do is remember everyone is different and just because someone’s life looks perfect doesn’t mean it is. The only person you should really be comparing yourself to is yourself, as you’re trying to be better every day.
Quit Going to That Workout Class You Hate
So many people drag themselves off to workout classes they can’t stand just because it helps them burn some calories. If you’re one of them, don’t force yourself to spend time doing something you don’t want to and instead find a way of exercising that makes you feel good physically and mentally. If you’re not feeling it in boot camp or spin, there’s something that will actually get you excited to sweat.
Surround Yourself with People Who Lift You Up
When you’re constantly surrounding yourself with people who bring you down and make you feel bad about yourself, you shouldn’t be spending time with them. Enough said. One simple way to be nicer to yourself is easy: Only stay friends with the individuals who make you feel like your best self when you’re around them, not your worst.
Stop the Negative Self-Talk
You can only say so many mean things to yourself before you actually start believing them. Stop talking yourself down and instead be your biggest motivator, giving yourself all the pep talks you need throughout the day, even if that means sneaking off to the bathroom at work to do so. Sometimes you have to be your own biggest cheerleader, and that starts with ditching the negative self-talk.
Why should you depend on compliments from anyone else to make you feel like a million bucks when you can so easily compliment yourself? Whether it’s about your work ethic, parenting skills, or those muscles that are starting to pop after all your hard work in the gym, make sure to give yourself some props for a job well done. Not just once, either—do it multiple times a day, every day.
Cook Homemade Meals
Instead of ordering takeout every night, be kinder to your body by filling up with nourishing, wholesome foods—not a bunch of sugar, salt, and oil. You don’t have to get fancy, either. Even on the nights you’re super tired after getting home from work, you can whip up quick and easy meals like stir-fries or hearty pasta dishes.
Stop Scrolling Through Instagram
All forms of social media can affect your mental health, but Instagram might just be the worst of the worst. When you’re relaxing, it’s easy to spend an hour scrolling through people’s picture-perfect photos. Then once you’re done, it’s only going to make you feel like you’re not up to par with the people you’re following. Instead, put your phone away and enjoy your life—not the superficial lives people are trying to portray online.
Make a List—and Check It Twice
One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is regularly remind yourself just how amazing you really are—especially on those days you’re feeling down. Every morning, make a list of the things you love about yourself and what you’re thankful for. Then whenever you need a little motivation during the day, take another look at it.
People settle on many different things in life. They get stuck at jobs they don’t like and in relationships they’re not happy in, but they never do anything about it. If you’re not completely happy with part of your life, take the steps you need to change it so you can live out your days totally regret-free, even if that means making a little progress toward that goal every single day.
Add More Vegetable Into Your Diet
You might not be a huge fan of veggies—even as an adult!—but making sure to sneak them into every meal is one of the easiest ways to be kinder to yourself. When your meals are full of all those vitamins and nutrients, you’ll not only feel happier and more energized, but you’ll also be helping your body fight off disease, keep your immune system strong, and stay healthy for years to come.
Take a Mental Health Day—or Night
Everyone could use a break once in a while. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a mental health day off work—or even just a night off from your usual activities—so you can do what you need to do to start feeling like yourself again. Whether that’s trying to check some extra things off your to-do list or getting some extra sleep, your mind and body will thank you.
Say “No” a Little More Often
After saying “yes” one too many times, you quickly realize you took on a little too much, leaving you zero time for yourself. That’s why it’s so important to learn the power of saying “no.” Whether it’s to your friends when they want to get together for dinner, to lunch with a co-worker, or to taking on more assignments when you’re already bogged down, be nice to yourself and speak up when you’re feeling overwhelmed so you can finally get your head above water.
Go to Bed a Little Earlier
Everyone could use a little extra snooze time. When you don’t get enough sleep, your energy levels will feel extra low, it will be hard to concentrate at work, and you might even start coming down with a cold. To make sure you’re feeling your best all the time, the National Sleep Foundation recommends getting at least seven hours a night, so be nice to yourself and hit the sheets early. And if you need help hitting the hay, here are 11 Doctor-Approved Secrets for Falling Asleep Faster—Tonight.
Take a Bubble Bath
After a stressful day, it’s hard to find something more soothing than sinking into a warm bubble bath. Plus, it’s good for your mental health: When you’re overly stressed, the Mayo Clinic says it won’t just cause you emotional strain from feeling irritable, sad, and overwhelmed. It can also lead to physical symptoms like headaches, chest pain, and fatigue. Make sure you allow yourself to wind down when you need it to keep your well-being in check.
Have a Care-Free Dance Session
It feels so good to let loose, totally judgement-free. So why not kick off your mornings with a daily care-free dance session? Blast your favorite energizing song and unleash those silly moves you only feel comfortable doing in the comfort of your own home. You’ll immediately feel happy, energized, and ready to take on what’s ahead.
Accept There Are Some Things You Can’t Control
As hard as it is to accept, some things you simply don’t have any control over. Yep, the realization stinks, but it is what it is. Instead of beating yourself up over things you can’t change, stay positive and focus on what you can. Once you shift the way you think, you can finally stop worrying about the things that don’t matter and will feel a hundred times better because of it.
Watch a Funny Show
Spending too much time in front of the TV isn’t good for anyone, but when it comes to showing yourself some kindness, sometimes a night of binge-watching is much-needed. The next time you do, turn on something funny. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found it’ll release endorphins that will lead to a major mood boost—and who doesn’t want that?
Stop Focusing on Your Pants Size
As you get older, your body starts to shift (thanks a lot, metabolism!). Because of those changes, you might not be able to rock the same clothes you did in college, but that’s totally okay, and you shouldn’t base your happiness off of your pants size or any clothing size for that matter. Instead, focus on how you feel in those clothes, not the number that just so happens to be on them.
Do Some Journaling
Journaling was probably fun for you as a kid, and it’s just as beneficial as an adult. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, taking the time to jot down your thoughts and feelings—or simply how your day went—can help reduce stress, manage anxiety, and even cope with depression.
Order Off the Dessert Menu
There’s no fun in always turning down dessert every time you want to treat yourself. Instead, order something you’ve been craving and enjoy every single bite of it. In the past, studies have shown depriving yourself of certain foods only makes you want them more, leading to giving in and eating them anyway. Be kind to yourself and give yourself what you want so you’ll be happy, satisfied, and feeling great about your choices.
Stop Trying to Fit In
When you’re in school, everyone’s number-one goal is fitting in with the crowd. Why keep putting that pressure on yourself as an adult? Instead of constantly trying to be popular and well-liked, just simply be yourself. When you stop caring about what others think, you’ll attract similarly-minded people who like you for you—not who you’re trying to be.
Give Yourself a Scalp Massage
One of the most underrated tools in existence are those stainless steel head massagers that provide all the feel-good tingles on your scalp. While you’re hanging out at night, use one to help you relax and help reduce stress, as well as increase the blood circulation to your head for healthy hair. Sure, you might not be able to book a spa appointment every day, but these things will do.
Take Some Time to Be By Yourself
When’s the last time you were truly able to spend some alone time? And no—the kind that involves FaceTiming your friends and family all night doesn’t count. Cancel your plans, turn your phone on airplane mode, and sit back for some true R&R doing anything your heart desires. No fighting over the remote, picking up after anyone, or dealing with anyone else’s problems included.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
As kids, you’re not afraid to ask for help, whether it’s with tying your shoes or spelling your name. So why does asking for help as an adult always make you feel like a failure? It shouldn’t be a shameful thing to admit you can’t do something completely on your own, and when you learn to let go of the fear of asking, you’ll be a much stronger—and smarter!—person because of it.
Stop Counting Calories
There’s no reason to spend every day measuring out and adding up everything you put on your plate. Not only can all that counting drive you crazy, but it’s not even allowing you to fill your body up with some of the healthy, higher-calorie foods—like avocados, nuts, and potatoes—that will make you feel way better than any low-calorie, “diet-friendly” option.
Make Yourself a Latte
Instead of hitting up your regular coffee shop, take the time in the morning to make yourself a latte you love. Maybe that’s matcha, turmeric—you name it. When you’re not rushing off and can spend a few extra minutes making yourself a drink just how you like it, your day is bound to be a great one.
Do Something That Excites You
You should never go to bed at night without having done at least one thing for you—not just your significant other, your kids, or your boss. Find the thing that excites you and make sure you squeeze it into your schedule. When you take that time for yourself, you’ll be much happier in the end.
Know You Can’t Do It All
As nice as it would be to be Wonder Woman, that’s just not ever going to happen. There’s only one of those, and she’s a fictional character. If you can’t get through everything on your to-do list and please everyone every single day, don’t get down about it. You’re only human, after all.
Stretch It Out
Being kinder to yourself starts with being kinder to your body, and one way to make sure you’re feeling your best is doing some stretching. According to researchers at UC Davis, adding it into your daily routine can help calm your mind, improve your posture, increase energy and flexibility, prevent injuries, and release any tension in your body.
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