1. Make eye contact with people you’re interacting with. We tend to avoid it when we’re feeling particularly insecure, so forcing yourself to lock eyes with whoever you’re speaking to will often convince your brain that you’re feeling more comfortable with yourself than you actually are.
2. Don’t put other people down. Even though our egos convince us that bashing others will make us feel better about ourselves, it really won’t. All it’s doing is reminding us, in a disguised form, of something we’re really unhappy about within ourselves. You probably won’t do it perfectly, but making a conscious effort to just let other people be, without judging them, will bring you a lot more peace than you would expect.
3. Read. The more you expand your brain and force your imagination to be activated, the better you will feel internally.
4. Start each day with a to-do list that’s actually attainable. If lists aren’t your thing, cool. Just do it in your head on the commute to work. However you go about it, ending each day accomplishing even just a few small things will make you feel more relaxed and content with how you spent your time.
5. Keep up with the news and current events. Find a website or a daily email publication that can easily help you stay up to date. It takes up less than ten minutes of your day, but you’ll feel a lot more engaged during parties and debates and, hell, even while watching SNL, if you know what’s going on in the world.
6. Focus on gratitude. The more you pay attention to the things around you that bring you joy and laughter, the less time you will spend obsessing over all the little things that you are convinced are wrong with you.
7. Be kind to others. Most of us are inherently good people (for the most part). But sometimes good people forget to hold the door or smile at the cashier or say hello to the bus driver or to reach out to the friend who’s really struggling. Make sure you’re always doing the small things. The small things are what make us feel good.
8. Sleep more. None of us sleep enough, and it’s one of the most important things we can do to maintain not only our physical health, but our mental health and clarity as well.
9. Listen to music that’s going to put you in a good mood. The kind that gives you chills, the kind that gets your blood flowing, that one song you can listen to a hundred times, whatever. Just throw on something that makes you feel like you can take on the world.
10. Lipstick. I’m speaking personally here, but hey, it’s a small thing that always makes me feel like I’ve stepped out of my slump.
11. Treat yourself to some top of the line skin care products. Good, well-reviewed, high-quality stuff that’s going to make your skin feel soft and fresh and smooth.
12. Give out genuine compliments whenever you can. Making other people feel good makes us feel good.
13. Eat well. Really well. You don’t need to be overly strict with yourself, but making sure that the majority of your diet consists of healthy, clean foods will make a world of a difference in how your body feels and looks.
14. Get ready in at least some way. Dress in an outfit that makes you feel good, take some extra time to really moisturize, or choose any other one simple thing that gives you a little extra boost when you feel like you need it.
15. Change up something small in your routine. Sometimes switching up the monotony of our every day habits can shake something up within us that takes us out of our own crazy, judgmental heads.