Life should be filled with joyful moments. On top of that, as living, breathing human beings we all deserve to be acknowledged, appreciated and celebrated. Life gets busy for most of us as we juggle responsibilities and spend much of our time nurturing others. It is important that we each find the time to celebrate who we are, to honor ourselves for our efforts and triumphs, and to praise our resilience even during the hardest of times.
Here are 12 ways to celebrate you!
1. Take a break
Take a stay-cation or a vacation that includes lots of the activities that you love to do. If you love reading in an Adirondack chair in a beautiful location, find a way to do it. If you love eating delicious foods, indulge in going out to dinner at one of your favorite restaurants. Take some time out to avoid feeling burned out.
2. Write a gratitude letter—to yourself
Many of us have taken the time out to express our gratitude to others, but very few of us have really invested the energy in focusing on what we are grateful for in ourselves. Write a list or a letter highlighting all of the things about you that you’re grateful for. For example: the ability to juggle work and family, or that you have found a way to live within your means. Or maybe you are grateful that you’ve been eating and living in a healthier way since January.
Whatever it is, write it down! Later, if you are having a day where you are feeling particularly down on yourself, refer to that list to put some positivity back into your mind and mood.
3. Unleash your inner child
Reward yourself with a rare moment of instant gratification. Has there always been an activity you have been dying to try? Indoor skydiving? Paintball? A ballet class? Try it!
4. Have a “celebrate us” gathering
Get a group of friends together to celebrate each other and your friendship. Bring your own favorite dish to share at a potluck or go to a restaurant that has meals you all love. Toast to the importance of close, wonderful relationships.
5. Give yourself the gift of extra time
Wake up a bit earlier or go to bed a bit later so you can have some extra time in the day just for you. Drink a cup of coffee by yourself, read a magazine or cuddle up on the couch and watch your favorite TV show.
6. Give yourself a social media shout out
Hop on Facebook or Twitter and write a post that simply says something like, "I'm feeling great today, I hope you are, too," or "I'm having a great day today, I hope you are, too!" Your social media circle will love that you are feeling happy, and they will appreciate that you're wishing good feelings on them as well.
7. Start a joyful ritual
Once a week (or month), set aside time to take a hot bubble bath, read your favorite books, or end your day with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
8. Put some happy in your workspace
Find a gorgeous photo of a place you dream of going to and make it your wallpaper on your computer or smartphone. Start working on a plan to go there.
9. Listen up
Make yourself a "mixtape." Design a playlist for your iPod, phone or computer that is filled with songs that you love and that make you happy. Listen often.
10. Buy something beautiful
Buy yourself some flowers and put them in a prominent place in your home or office where you can enjoy them. Maybe this can even become a weekly or monthly ritual.
11. Document yourself
Get a new picture of you taken by a friend with a great camera or even a professional photographer. It could be colorful, or arty and black and white. Smile—you’ll be glad later that you documented this moment in your life.
12. Be kind to yourself
Do to yourself as you might do for others. Make a concerted effort to be as attentive and giving to yourself as you would be to a boss, a customer, a child, a friend or a mate. Make your wants and needs a priority and focus.
Stacy Kaiser is a successful Southern California-based licensed psychotherapist and author of How to Be a Grown Up. A top relationship expert and media personality, Stacy contributes frequently to Live Happy.