20 AWESOME THINGS TO DO TO START LOVING YOURSELF MORE
I believe that a happy life can be achieved by learning 4 basic steps: LOVING YOURSELF, THINKING POSITIVELY, VISUALIZING AND GOAL SETTING.
This week is all about SELF LOVE. And man, this is an important one! It's actually the base of the basics, you know what I mean? Without self love there can't be no positive thinking, and therefore no happy life… But it's not enough to just hug yourself and actually tell you that you love yourself. Loving yourself means taking time for yourself, listening to those inner voices that tell you what you need, and also means surrounding yourself with people and things that spark joy!
I am sure you are thinking right now: „Where should I start?“. At least that's what my clients use to ask...and so I am here today to give you a checklist with 20 things you can do starting TODAY to care for yourself and show you how much you love, appreciate and respect yourself.
How about we get right to it?
Ok, just remember to download your FREE checklist first! It's pretty and it's an amazing visual reminder of taking care of yourself! Start loving yourself more TODAY!
1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep has been totally underrated for many many many centuries. And now that we actually KNOW how important sleep is, we still don't take it seriously enough.
To take care of yourself, you need to learn more about sleep. In my opinion, there's a few steps to take.
First of all determine if you feel sufficiently rested. If you don't then the thing I would do next is download one of those cool FREE apps that record your sleep cycles. I use an app called „Sleep Cycle“ and I LOVE it!
And together with recording your sleep you should start reading about how much rest a human being needs.
I am not saying that your life will change miraculously by sleeping more or better. But I am definitely saying that by taking REST seriously you will provide your body with the proper energy to live a happier and more positive life!
2. DRINK ENOUGH WATER
This is an especially tough one for me! I DO know how important drinking enough water is, but I almost always forget to drink enough. And I wasn't smart enough to force myself to drink more until I got a hint from my doc saying my kidneys weren't functioning properly.
Man, that was a wake up call! And although I still would forget to drink regularly, I have a productivity app that reminds me to. I know it's a bit ridiculous, but I don't care. I just care about my health enough to not let that bother me… Just in case you are just like me, the app I use is called Productive. ;)
3. EAT VEGAN WHOLE FOODS FROM TIME TO TIME
I totally love a good BBQ. Especially if it's an Argentinian „Asado“ (you should go google that!). But I also know that too much animal products are just not good for us. And the same goes for white sugar and produced foods full of preservatives and other additives.
Last year I was having body aches regularly. If it wasn't my back it was my head. Some part of my body was always aching. And so I made a commitment to myself. I decided to start eating more consciously. And so I started trying different eating habits.
But every time I tried a new diet for a few weeks, I couldn't stick to it because it seemed too strict to me. As I said, I love meat, and I also love sugar.
Then I realized this didn't have to be a black or white situation. I wanted eating to be something I enjoyed. And I wanted it to be something good for my body. So I took everything I had learned about food and mixed it in a way that would fit my needs.
Now my diet looks like this: I eat vegan whole foods and sugar free. BUT I have two exceptions: I still drink my coffee with milk and I eat tuna with my salads.
And if we have a family reunion or we eat outwards, I allow myself to eat everything I crave for.
I am not trying to convince you to go full-time vegan. I just want you to try some new things and eat more consciously! Your body will thank you, that's for sure.
Oh, right now, half a year after finding my eating „style“, I am healthier than I have ever been! Just sayin'.
4. STOP COMPLAINING
Yes, I know, it's tempting. Sometimes we need an outlet for our frustration. Or we THINK that telling someone what a bad day we just experienced is going to make us feel better.
Well in both cases, you should pull yourself back, take a deep breath and think again. Because talking about the negative stuff is only going to get you more negativity. And even worse, you might infect the other person with your negativity.
Instead, try and make a habit of saying sentences like: „Man, I have just had a rough day, but I really don't want to talk about all that negativity. Instead, let's talk about something GOOD.“
You will not only rewire your brain to not think about the bad stuff, you will also train it to watch out for good things to think about. And even better, you might take that other person with you and make his/her day better...win:win!
5. WATCH LESS TV/NETFLIX
Ok, I think a confession is in order. I love watching series over the internet. I hardly watch TV, but if it comes to Supernatural, TBBT or Grimm, I can't hold myself back.
And as I work from home, there's no one there to stop me. But I have learned to cut back on staring at those other stories, because I just love mine too much. I am taking away the focus from MY life to theirs...I'm sorry, but how dumb was I?
And you know what? Now that we're talking about it: I want to challenge you! Let's NOT watch any series (Netflix or tv) for a week starting TODAY. I'll let you know how it went, if you let me know in the comments how it worked out for you. Pinky promise?
6. LISTEN TO YOUR FAVORITE SONGS
Make a list in Youtube or Spotify or whatever music playing system you prefer (both are FREE of charge) and start putting your favorite songs in there to listen to them regularly!
You can't even imagine how powerful music can be for our brain! It can change a mood from night to day in NO time! You might not come up with many songs right away, but trust me, once your playlist is up, you will start looking out for songs to put in there.
Fortunately, almost all of us are equipped with mobile devices, so every time you hear a song you loved on the radio: BAM, immediately hop on over to your playlist and include this song! Every time you are in a bar or restaurant and hear something you loved: BAM up on the playlist. I even had to make a waiter look up the name and artist of a certain song they had playing once, because I just loved it so much it had to go on my playlist.
Extra tip: Think about a time in your life where you were really happy. Then write down the year that was. Then google the summer hits of that year. Put those songs up and you will have the soundtrack of your life! And every time you listen to it it will take you back to those happy times. #happytimejump
By the way, if you want to know more about what music does to our brain, I wrote an article about that AND I included a playlist of 20 motivating and inspiring songs. You'll love it!
7. LAUGH MORE OFTEN
How many times did you hear that we should laugh more often? Easier said than done, right? Don't worry, I will give you 3 surefire ways to achieve this.
First one: watch a comedian. I love Louis CK, Chris Rock, Aziz Ansari or Jim Gaffigan. They always make me laugh! Every time!
Second one: find someone who watched that same show and talk about it. It's like magic. If you find someone who understands how funny that comedian is, you will start pulling jokes from that show regularly, which will make you laugh every time you see that person. Doubles the laughter!
Third: Invite your friends over and play charade. Or taboo. Or anything where you can make fun of or a fool of yourself!
8. PLAN TIME FOR CREATIVITY
There is something about working with your mind and hands just for recreational purposes that makes the happiness flow instantly. Doesn't matter if it's growing a garden, painting, redecorating, going to a pottery class, or whatever strikes your interest.
Recreation is a way to rest your mind. To be in the moment. And you should, no you owe yourself planning some time each week for that purpose.
Not only the outlook on that time will make you happier each week, every time you walk by the outcome of that creativity (like a painting hanging in your hallway, or your garden blooming in spring, or a room you redecorated) you will notice you're smiling!
9. TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOME
Talking about redecorating...let's talk about your home. You spend most of the time in this place. It's where you get to rest, where you live, where you should recharge your batteries.
So why are we so un-caring about it? This place should inspire you with every step you take in it! You should be smiling every time you step into every single room. And in my opinion there is 3 steps to get there.
First: Declutter!! I think it's totally safe to say that most of us would be living just as comfortable (or EVEN MORE) if we got rid of 50% of what we own. No I am not kidding. You have been collecting things for years, maybe decades. But when was the last time you let go of something? Get rid of stuff that does not make you smile or that you need on a daily basis.
Second: Clean! This used to be another task for me. Just another thing on my to-do list. Until I changed my perception. I was not swiping, washing or vacuuming. I was TAKING CARE of my home. I do it because I want my home to be as beautiful and inspiring as I can. And it doesn't require much time. Just a few minutes a day.
You need help? www.cleanmama.net hast tons of free cleaning schedules and tips & tricks to get you started. Makes it all more fun!
Third: Decorate your home. You know all those pictures you see of beautiful houses and apartments on the internet? Why would you think those interior designers are the only ones that are able to have those houses/places? You can, too! You just need a little inspiration, guidance and focus. Just explore what you would like to have (for example on Pinterest), then write down what you need to decorate your home like that, and then just get to work. Most of the changes are low budget. You just need to roll up your sleeves and actually do it!
10. LOVE YOUR JOB
For most of us, this is the second place we spend the most time in.
Again: Why would we settle with something we don't like? I know change can be frightening. But it shouldn't stop you from doing stuff. Another reason could be old thinking structures like „I am not good enough for another job“ or „I am never going to get something else“ or „I don't deserve a better job“. These structures are hard to crack and they require a lot of inner work. But they are totally worth it.
11. TRAIN YOUR BRAIN TO THINK POSITIVE
This brings me almost directly to the next point. Learn to wire your brain to think positively. Positive thoughts are very powerful. They can help you shape your happy future. You don't need to monitor every single one of your thoughts (with 50.000 thoughts a day that would be too time consuming...ha).
You just need to find your most blocking negative thoughts, like for example „I don't deserve it.“, and then learn to turn it around into a positive thought. My favorite books for this purpose are these: Chicken Soup For The Soul by Jack Canfield and The Power Of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.
12. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
This is a very good help in thinking positive. Surround yourself as often as you can with positive people. Why? Because positivity is contagious. Positive people automatically will make you feel more positive. They will help you to form uplifting thoughts. They might show you the way out of a negative situation. Or they might just inspire you to be more courageous or confident or affirmative or caring or loving or fill in the blank with every positive feeling that comes to your mind.
13. WRITE DOWN WHAT RELATIONSHIPS MEAN TO YOU
While we are talking about positive people we should go on to talk about your relationships.
How many people did come to your mind when we talked about surrounding yourself with positive ones? If there weren't at least 3 names popping up right away, you should consider rethinking who you are surrounding yourself with.
What you can do is just write down the names of the ones you spend the most time with (I mean voluntarily, not at work) and then write down what you like most about each individually. Why is it you spend time with them? Do you even like spending time with them? Or is it just a matter of habit?
Write down, re-think, re-evaluate, and re-adjust if necessary…this doesn't mean you should just stop seeing them if they don't give you very much right now It just means you might want to re-direct this relationship to a more positive space.
14. LISTEN TO YOUR INNER CHILD
You know as children we always spend time only with those we really like. Kids are inspiringly honest to themselves. If someone is not good for them, they just walk away! Because they take themselves more importantly than anything else. And that little voice inside of us that tells us what is good for us RIGHT NOW does not ever shut up. We just can't hear it sometimes because of all the other day-to-day noise going on in our mind (like wanting to please others or wanting to fit in to society).
So not only should you be more choosy on who you spend time with, but just MORE OFTEN you should quiet your mind and listen to that voice again! If you have difficulties recognizing it, just do this: go outside after heavy rains and jump into the first puddle that crosses your way. That feeling of joy you feel after that, that feeling that makes you chuckle right away, THAT is your inner child!
And if you want to know more of what to copy from a child, you can read this article I wrote about it called 8 things to copy from a toddler.
One thing I did a LOT as a kid is daydream! I was always making up scenarios in my mind. Every child does it! Unfortunately we lose the interest in that habit (which is no wonder considering how many times we are told to stop being a dreamer when we grow up).
Well I want you to remember how happy daydreaming made you when you were little. How cool was it to be a superhero, or a princess or a fireman or anything you wanted to be? Now as a grown up you can use this genius art to have a mini vacation in your mind every time you need it. You need no money, you don't need to go someplace special or wait for a certain time.
You can do it anytime, everywhere, with nothing but yourself and your imagination. Dream yourself to other places, meet whoever you want, you can even time travel. The possibilities are endless.
I have a workbook called "Daydream your dream day" that has a few very useful exercises to get your daydreaming started! You can find it in my resource library...
16. MAKE A VISION BOARD
Talking about dreaming. What about your visualizing skills? Do you know how powerful visualizing is? It's the second most powerful tool for creating your happy future. Because to build the best version of something, you first need to identify what that version looks like for you!
A Vision Board is perfect to find that out and to keep on track with it. So you can take the 12 most important areas of a happy life (I would recommend the ones I use for my one year coaching schedule, which you can download from my resource library), and then you collect everything you can find that embodies the best version of that area: quotes, words, photos, pics from magazines, whatever comes to your mind.
Then you hang everything in one spot of your home.
A spot where you look at it regularly! It can do wonders to have such a reminder to look at every single day!
Remember: what you think, you become said Buddha once. So in that case, the more you think about those things on your Vision Board, the more likely they become your future!
You want to know more about visualization? Read THIS article I wrote a few weeks back!
17. MAKE YOURSELF SOME GOALS
There's a branch in psychology that studies what human beings need to survive and to live satisfied. One of the things on that so called „Pyramid of Human Needs“ is self actualization.
What this means is that to live a happy and satisfied life, a human being feels the need to live up to their full potential. He needs to explore what he is capable of. And for that he needs to make the decision to further development. The best way to do that is to make yourself some goals.
What do you want to learn? Where do you want to get? What do you want to reach?
So...I want you to take the 12 life areas we talked about (the ones you find in my resource library) and make at least ONE goal for each one of those areas. It doesn't have to be a big goal. But commit yourself to develop that area in at least one tiny little thing.
For example there's one area about healthy nutrition, well then decide to learn at least one new recipe a week. Or for the area of love/partnership you could set the goal to get a babysitter and go out with your husband at least once a month. Tiny baby steps.
18. CHALLENGE YOURSELF
Hands up who thinks that finishing a challenge successfully makes us feel happy? (In my head there's a room full of people rising their hands right now… :) Yes, I knew it!
Conquering a challenge makes our feel-good hormones go nuts. That is why I want to challenge you to challenge yourself (does that make any sense to you? Haha).
So you are going to take one of the areas we talked about and are going to make one big goal for that area.
For example, instead of learning to cook one new recipe a week, you are going to try and eat vegan for one whole month. Remember, this is only an example. Take some goal you have been putting off for way too long and finally GET IT ON YOUR vision board! Schedule it on your paper or online calendar. You can do this!
And I promise you, you will feel the feel-good hormones pretty soon!
19. LISTEN TO YOUR INNER HERO
The point about the challenge gets me right to this one. When I just told you to schedule that goal you have been putting off, I am sure there were the usual negative thoughts running through your mind immediately:
„I won't succeed anyway.“,
„I can't do it.“,
„Now is not the right time.“,
„It's too hard.“
I could go on and on with this list. And that is why NOW is the time to wake your inner hero!
Other than your inner child, which is always there, just not always loud enough, this fella need to be woken up! Because if you have been boring him away with all that negativity in your mind, he most certainly went to sleep. I can just promise you this: that hero is there somewhere inside you!
You just need to find a connection to him. Or her. Mine is Wonder Woman by the way. You might have seen her over at my Instagram account. :)
20. DO NOTHING
Alright, after all the things I have been talking about, this point might surprise you, but believe me, it's not contradictory at all. I love the hustling, the planning, the visualizing, the goal setting, the achieving, I love all of it.
But it is just as crucial to be happy, and a big part of loving yourself, to just BE. To not be wondering, hoping, challenging, wishing or doing anything but BEING! Rest. Pause. Stop. Just every once in a while! I promise you will come out happier on the other side.
So, what do you think? I wanted to give you a few steps you can do right now to begin to love yourself. And even if you only remember 5 steps tomorrow, I will have accomplished this mission! And even if you don't remember a single one of the steps, I got your back. I made you a cute checklist! WOOHOO! I know you love them just the way I do! So don't forget to get yours...
Have an incredibly good day!