You spend all your time being nice to others, but there’s one person you probably tend to forget about: yourself. Practicing self-care and self-love used to feel like a selfish act, but in today’s fast-paced, always-on world, it’s more than a luxury—it’s a necessity! Besides, showing yourself some kindness and compassion has the ability to lower your stress levels, boost your immune system, and help you feel better about yourself inside and out.
Whether it’s treating yourself to dessert or simply mastering a new type of yoga, everyone can up their level of self-care. Not sure where to start? Check out these 40 amazing self-care tips that you’ve likely never tried before!
Who says love letters have to be written to you from someone else? If you’re feeling down, sometimes something as simple as picking up a pen and writing down all the great things you have going for you can be a fool-proof way to boost your spirit. You can also hold onto it for the next time you need a pick-me-up.
If someone tells you they love your outfit or are impressed by your work on a project, don’t respond by denying it or putting yourself down. Instead, accept it and say “thank you.” It’s not as challenging as you think, and it will make you feel really great about yourself in the process.
Sometimes being nicer to yourself simply means taking a break and unwinding with some well-deserved alone time.
You don’t need to wait for a specific reason to treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant. Sometimes being nicer to yourself means doing something that will make you happy for no reason at all, like downing a bowl of spaghetti at your go-to Italian joint.
Need a mental break to de-stress? Look no further than the movie theater. One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is to buy a ticket to that movie you’ve been dying to catch and enjoy a big bowl of popcorn until the credits roll.
Would you tell your best friend how much you hate their thighs, or how you think they’re bad at their job? No way! So why are you constantly talking negatively about yourself? Stop those habits in their tracks and instead focus on the things you love about yourself, whether it’s physical or something about your character.
Being nice to yourself also means being nice to your home—and having a bunch of junk in your house is only weighing you down, according to Melissa Fino, a woman’s transformational life coach and CEO of the Love Your Life Community in San Diego, California.
You’re always addressing the needs of others, but how about yourself? Pennsylvania-based psychotherapist Michelle Croyle says asking yourself what you need is an exceptionally good way to not only be nicer to yourself, but to finally get what you deserve in life.
It’s easy to want to be a yes-man or -woman all the time. The only problem with that is, after saying yes to too many people, you’re left feeling totally drained with no time for yourself. “Saying no to something you don’t want to do but feel obligated to do is not only empowering but is also an act of self-care.
If you believe you can do something, don’t wait for another second to start making it happen. Invest in yourself by signing up for that class, starting that business, or writing that book. Whatever it is, give yourself the chance to achieve it!
Instead of filling your body with frozen meals and take-out, do yourself a favor and learn how to make a healthy meal by signing up for some cooking classes. They can help you learn the ins and outs of the kitchen so you not only feel confident when making a meal but also so you can give yourself what you need to feel your best.
Spoiler alert: Everyone fails. Sure, you’re going to feel bad when you do, but should you only think about the negatives? Absolutely not. Instead, learn from those failures—then, focus on your accomplishments. That positive mindset will help you grow, whether it’s in life or in your career.
It might be fun to stay up late watching movie after movie, but that’s not being kind to your body—not even a little bit. Getting enough sleep every night—which, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is seven to nine hours—will help you stay fueled and feel your best.
Meditation doesn’t just give you time to reflect and unwind—it’s also a really simple way to be nicer to yourself. According to the Chopra Center, mindful meditation can help you let go of hurt past feelings, help you be more kind, and help you be more compassionate, both toward yourself and others.
Yoga isn’t just a great way to reap the many physical benefits of exercise, which includes everything from reducing chronic pain to increasing flexibility, says the Cleveland Clinic. It’s fantastic for your emotional well-being, too. It can increase your self-compassion by reminding you that you deserve kindness, love, and happiness just as much as anyone else.
After sitting at a desk for most of the day, one of the best things you can do for yourself is step away from your computer and head outside into the sun for a nice walk. Getting a little vitamin D will result in enough feel-good vibes to get you through the rest of your day.
Having a scale in your bathroom can help you reach your goals, but a 2015 study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows that they can do some harm, too—particularly to your body satisfaction and self-esteem. If having a scale tends to make you feel worse about yourself, ditch it once and for all and stop basing your worth on an ever-changing number.
Similarly, it’s time to stop obsessing about calories and give your brain a break. By eating a wholesome diet that gives your body everything you need, you’ll be your best self physically and emotionally.
You might feel silly jumping on the daily affirmation bandwagon and starting your day with semi-corny phrases like “I’m awesome” and “I’m important.” The truth, though? According to 2014 research published in the journal Annual Review of Psychology, it actually does a lot of good for your mental health and builds your self-worth in the process.
Nearly everyone has regrets from their past, but why keep beating yourself up over something that’s impossible to change? Put an end to the what-ifs and start being a little nicer to yourself. Living in the moment is a much better place to put yourself in—trust us!
Keeping your feelings locked up inside is a recipe for unhappiness. Don’t be afraid to allow yourself to open up and be vulnerable about what matters to you. Part of treating yourself with kindness is making sure you’re able to speak your truth, even if it’s about something that seems silly or insignificant.
With such busy work and personal schedules, it can be hard to make time to do what truly lights you up and makes you happy. “Make a habit of treating yourself to some guilty pleasures
When you hit one of your goals, big or small, that’s cause for celebration. Whether it’s finally finishing a mile on the treadmill without stopping or getting positive feedback from your boss, every win is worthy of some praise, especially from yourself.
It might seem like the office will burn up in flames without you around to keep things in order, but don’t let that stop you from getting away: You deserve to take your vacation days, too. Instead of brushing those hours of freedom to the side, use up every last one of them by doing something you’ve always wanted to do.
If you wake up feeling kind of blah, use it as an excuse to spend the day doing things that will make you feel like your happy self again. After all, you have mental health days for a reason. Put them to good use, whether catching up on projects at home or (finally!) making it to your favorite workout class.
It’s easy to be super critical of yourself when you do something wrong. But instead of tearing yourself apart, build yourself up. As Kristin Neff, Ph.D., explains on Happify Daily, you can do that by first reframing the criticism and accepting what happened, then by figuring out a way to grow from it and have a better outcome the next time around.
Laughter really is the best medicine. Giving yourself the chance to giggle as often as possible has been scientifically proven to release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that boost your mood.
It might not feel like it some days, but your clothing size is just a number. That’s it—a measly little number. Instead of focusing on that minor detail, look for clothing you love and that puts your self-confidence at an all-time high.
Some days you need to veer away from the regular ol’ cup of Joe and get yourself the coffee drink you really want, even if it’s a little more expensive—and, yeah, maybe a little less healthy. It will surely put a pep in your step, and not just because of all that caffeine (though that’s definitely a factor).
Sorry to break it to you, but superheroes are fictional. Going overboard by trying to do it all will only leave you totally drained. Instead, make a list of all the things you need to get done and choose the most important. Those other items can wait for another day.
Treating yourself to a massage is pretty high up on the niceness scale. According to the Cleveland Clinic, they’re just as great for relieving everyday stress as they are for treating chronic pain. In other words, a massage is something you should never feel guilty about doing. In fact, it should be part of your monthly budget.
Sometimes when it doesn’t seem like you’re getting to the place you want to be fast enough, it’s easy to put yourself down or get angry. Rid yourself of that negativity by practicing patience instead. You’ll get there, we promise, and boosting yourself up instead of putting yourself down will only help further your progress.
Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a romantic relationship, anyone who’s causing you pain has no place in your life. After all, part of being nice to yourself is making sure you’re being treated the way you deserve to be treated.
Whether it’s forgiving someone else or yourself, practicing forgiveness will help you move on from things that might be hard to let go of. And once you do that, you’ll travel through life with an ease you didn’t even know existed thanks to all those heavy weights being lifted off your chest.
Life doesn’t always have to be so serious—allow yourself to have more fun in your life by letting go. Don’t be afraid to give yourself the chance to be more playful and relaxed.
It could be as small as getting a haircut you’ve been wanting for years or packing up your bags and moving to your dream city. Just choose something you’ve been too afraid to do, then do it. Being bold and brave is a great way to show yourself some kindness.
Sure, you’re not writing about your school crushes anymore, but journaling about your day and whatever is on your mind does a lot of good for your mental health.
That overwhelming feeling you have isn’t going to vanish anytime soon if you keep adding more and more to your plate without getting help from those around you. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to speak up. There are plenty of people in your life who would love to take some of those stresses off your plate, but that’s not going to happen until you ask.
If you typically say “no thanks” to the dessert menu at restaurants, change that up once in a while and treat yourself to something sweet.