When was the last time you did something only for you? While we juggle career demands, home responsibilities, and family commitments, it’s important for our health and well-being to find time not only to take care of ourselves, but also to celebrate, honor, and love ourselves for who we are.
Celebrating oneself is not a vain or self-absorbed act. It is an essential element of self care. It is also important for the care you give your loved ones because you can’t look after anyone else if you don’t first take care of yourself. The truth is that we teach others how to treat us. If we neglect our own needs, we send the message that it’s okay for others to neglect our needs.
We set the standards of how we want to be treated by how we treat ourselves. This is important because if we don’t celebrate ourselves or teach others how to celebrate us, we will eventually feel taken for granted and unappreciated. So, how do you celebrate yourself? Here are a few ways to start.
Take a break. Go for a walk, go have an ice cream sundae, read a book, buy a new pair of shoes, or take a bubble bath. Whatever you feel you need, take time and do it. Reflect on your achievements. You may want to make a list of your accomplishments. Then the next time you feel like a failure, take out the list and read it out loud to yourself.
Acknowledge what you have done—not only the big things like publishing a book or buying a house, but also the little things like mowing the yard, washing dishes, and doing the laundry. These little things keep your life in order and are important. If you don’t think so, skip these tasks for a week and see how disorderly your life becomes.
You can also celebrate mental wins. If you have been working on your composure and self-control, and have found success, celebrate that! Have you started exercising regularly? There’s another celebration! Once you begin acknowledging your achievements, you’ll realize you have a lot to celebrate.
Another way to honor yourself is to give to your “grown-up” self what your “child-self” needed—and didn’t get. Maybe you always wanted to take art lessons but were not allowed. Give that gift to yourself now. Maybe you wanted to wear a particular style of clothing, but were not allowed. Give yourself freedom to be who you are.
Begin making yourself a priority with concerted efforts to be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Once you begin celebrating who you are and what you’ve done, you’ll be unstoppable.