Sometimes getting out of bed is the hardest thing. The thought of making it through the day ahead is daunting and exhausting even before the day actually starts. You might have depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, a simple cold, or a case of the mean reds. This is for you. This coming week, wake up every day and indulge in a little self-love (not that kind, although by all means please do, the endorphins might help!). The simplest affirmations can often remind you that you're a superstar who can get through anything.
1. Do Unto Yourself
You know that saying, right? Do unto others as you'd have done to you. Well, I want you to flip it around. It's true that we're harsher and more judgmental toward ourselves than we would ever be toward other people. Think of how you treat your family and friends. I bet you're generous, loving, and supportive. Starting tomorrow, when you wake up, think about that – and remind yourself that it's not just okay but actually essential to treat yourself just as kindly.
2. Meditate for a Moment
If meditation is already part of your daily routine, great! If it's not, it's time to get started. Meditating each day helps to center you. Stresses roll off your back more easily and nagging problems often seem to solve themselves. Do it in the morning, during lunch, or at night, but please do it. Even if you can't manage more than five minutes, you'll open yourself up to the day ahead.
3. Bask in Your Beauty
You're beautiful. Do you know that? You are exquisite, a walking, talking work of art. You are a miracle and a masterpiece. Look in the mirror. Smile at yourself. Do not focus on your perceived flaws. If you think you're too fat or thin, if you have cellulite or stretch marks, if you feel like your teeth are crooked or you hate your freckles, stop. Focus on your eyes and the way they sparkle. Focus on your smile and the way it lights up the room. Focus on how your inner beauty is the brightest thing under the sun.
4. Eliminate the Negative
Actually, you can eliminate anything that isn't healthy, helpful, or beneficial to you. Start your day by making a firm decision to cut something negative out of your life. Do it one day each week and you'll soon find that your life is free of harmful, superfluous BS. You can eliminate a toxic friend, your expensive Starbucks drink, your tendency to impulse buy, or even a job that you hate.
5. Count Your Blessings
I know, this seems like such a cliché, but counting your blessings is one of the most beneficial acts of self-love you'll ever perform. It's easy to get so wrapped up in your own problems and issues that you forget how blessed you are. I don't mean #blessed, either, I mean actually blessed. You have so many opportunities. Even if you don't have all the things you want right now, you have the chance to earn them. How awesome is that?
Forgive yourself. If you've hurt yourself, been too hard on yourself, or simply stopped focusing on yourself, it's okay. It's a new day. Forgive yourself for your past, your mistakes, and your regrets. Make the choice to forgive others as well, especially if you're holding onto old hurts and slights. The grudges you're holding can help create the black cloud that makes it so difficult to get through the day. The person you're mad at isn't affected, but you are.
7. Do Something Fun
At least one day a week, every week, make time for something fun. Swing at the park. Read a book. Take an hour long bath. Have a massage. Spend time with your best friends. Play with your dog. Giggle with your child. Tease your partner. Go on a date with yourself. Ride a roller coaster. Set aside time for laughter, always. The rest of the week will feel so much lighter.
When you love yourself, nothing can stand in your way. It gives you a glimmer, a jump start, a silver lining. Remember, too, that there are people who love you. There are hands you can hold to get through the day. Whether you're simply lacking in motivation, feeling down, or dealing with depression, you can make this week better – and next week will be even more amazing. Let a friend know you need him or her, or reach out to someone who could benefit from a little love.