Thought Catalog
July 14, 2016

15 Small (But Important) Things You Owe Yourself

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Lyubomir Ignatov
Lyubomir Ignatov

1. Taking a break if you’re constantly feeling exhausted. So, after a full night of sleep, you’re still waking up totally drained? You need what my mom always referred to as “a mental health day.” If you can, call in sick from work. Just for one day. Take a bubble bath or read a book, whatever the thing is that relaxes you. Allow yourself ONE day out of the year to play hooky.

2. Putting yourself first sometimes. Being generous with your time and heart is a beautiful thing, and absolutely something to be proud of. Practicing acts of selfless love is something everyone should do more of. But you shouldn’t neglect your own needs. You’re important too.

3. Not living your life on autopilot. Have you ever been driving, arrived at your destination, and suddenly thought, “Woah, I’m here already? How did I even get here?” When something is routine enough, we begin doing it without much thought. We’re robotic doing the same thing, not even thinking about it. But this is always a good moment to check in with yourself. Be present. Take a second to relax and feel what you’re doing and where you are.

4. Being your own number one fan. If that little voice in your head is tearing you down more than building you up, you need to fix that ASAP. Nothing in life is certain EXCEPT how you decide to feel about yourself. If you’re not sure how to start, write down everything you’re proud of, the things you love about yourself. Repeat them when you’re feeling low. And remember how goddamn awesome you are. Seriously.

5. Being able to laugh at yourself. Life is so much easier to survive with a sense of humor. Don’t take yourself SO seriously all the time.

6. Not wasting time in one-sided relationships. This could be romantic or platonic. When only one person puts in time and energy, it isn’t a real relationship. And it will only hurt you the longer it lasts.

7. Eating a healthy breakfast. Just do it. It’s important.

8. Crying it out. Personally, I think there’s nothing better than a good cry. And I get not everyone will agree with that. But if you constantly bottle up your emotions, you’re liable to explode one day. Instead, honor your emotions when they come. If you need to cry, cry. Nothing wrong with that!

9. Trying new things, even if you end up looking dumb. If you can put aside your fear of looking foolish, your life will improve DRASTICALLY. Take that improv class you’ve been thinking about, or go sing your heart out at karaoke. You will always find yourself more embarrassing than others do.

10. Learning a new perspective. Don’t be so quick to dismiss someone who thinks differently from you. Try listening.

11. Meditating in the morning. Meditation looks different for everyone. And I think it can be whatever you decide to make it. Maybe you go through an entire guided meditation, or you just take a few moments to check in with yourself and be still. Starting your day this way sets you off on a good foot.

12. Only spending time with people who make you feel good. Think about the people in your life. Who do you look forward to seeing? Who do you dread? Be purposeful with who you share energy with. Life’s too short for toxicity.

13. Giving yourself a chance to make mistakes. And being gentle with yourself when you do. Everyone screws up. We’re human. Move forward and take what you learned with you.

14. Owning up to your mistakes. It’s one thing to make one, and another to admit to it. It will humble you to acknowledge when you were wrong.

15. Loving yourself as you are – not as a “work in progress.” This is something I think we’ve all been guilty of. Maybe we want to lose weight or get that job promotion – whatever the next step is that we think makes us more worthy. Having goals is great. But deciding to ONLY love yourself when you achieve them is not. You deserve to love yourself on every part of your journey. TC mark

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