I'm off to a wedding reception this Saturday night. A perfect way to celebrate the love and marriage of a beautiful couple. It's also my niece's birthday this month, and I'm sure we'll celebrate with cake. And unicorns, of course!
However, close your eyes and imagine the last time you celebrated yourself. You're probably picturing your wedding day, graduation, a big birthday, or maybe you celebrated getting a new job or home. All of these events are worthy of celebration. But you are worthy of celebrating every day, not just when you hit a major milestone.
And, since it's difficult for so many women to celebrate themselves, here are some easy ideas to help strengthen your inner cheerleader and drown out the inner critic. You can start doing these today.
Are you ready? Let's go!
1. Pamper yourself
An indulgent bath is a time-honoured way to treat yourself because it's so effective. Many of us prepare for a night out with a lovely bath. Why not have one to celebrate a night in? Gather your favourite candles, music and home spa products and enjoy!
To add a little luxury, I love Neal's Yard foaming bath ranges, especially the Women's Balance Foam Bath, which is gentle and conditioning. It's expertly formulated with mild plant-based cleansers and their best-selling Women's Balance Aromatherapy Blend. Perfect for dry skin in need of a little TLC, this aromatherapeutic bath foam gently relaxes you as it leaves skin nourished, soft and healthy-looking.
And then I grab my latest book or pop on a podcast and soak away the stresses and strains of the day. Bliss.
2. Make a celebration playlist
So many of us associate certain music or specific songs with a time or moment in our lives. Create a playlist filled with songs that remind you of times of celebration. You can look at your list of accomplishments above and reflect on what songs you associate with those memories.
Maybe you have a favourite song from your wedding, a genre of music that was popular during high school, college or university, or another time in your life when you felt confident.
Whatever it is for you, create a list so that, when you push play, you instantly feel like celebrating yourself and all you've accomplished. (Need inspiration? See number 6 below).
3. Take a break
"I think it's important to try to be present with whatever it is you're doing. And if you can't be present, take a break". Emily Giffin.
One of the best ways to show your mind and body you love them is to give yourself a much-needed break.
Lay down for a nice relaxing nap.
Make your favourite dessert.
Work some yoga or stretching into your day.
Set a timer and take some deep breaths.
Read a few chapters of a book you love.
Binge-watch Netflix or watch a funny video clip.
4. Treat yourself
No need for a special occasion! Sometimes, you just need a little treat for yourself to add some sparkle to a tough day. When we want a little treat for ourselves, it doesn't have to be an all-day-at-the-spa affair (with a price tag to match).
Take yourself out for ice cream or a slice of cake!
Take yourself on a date.
Buy yourself some flowers.
Order your favourite takeout for dinner and have it delivered, so you don't need to go out.
Take a relaxing aromatherapy bath and moisturise all over.
Give yourself an at-home facial complete with face masks and cucumber eye patches.
5. Get dressed up for yourself, for no reason
Whether it's just another Wednesday evening or working from home, it doesn't mean you have to wear leggings and your old college sweatshirt again. You don't have to save your special clothes just for special occasions! Get dressed up for yourself and nobody else, for no reason at all.
Your clothing choices can influence how you feel. So if you want to celebrate yourself, put on something that makes you look your best, and you'll be more likely to feel your best, too.
6. Write down everything you love about yourself
Pull out a piece of paper and make a list of at least 20 things you love about yourself—physically, mentally, and emotionally!
What kind of friend are you?
What's your favourite physical trait?
What's something you're good at?
What do people love about you?
What's your proudest accomplishment so far?
You get the gist!
It's amazing how uplifting it is to acknowledge all of your positive traits!
7. Write yourself a card
How can you celebrate yourself without spending more than a couple of pounds? By writing yourself a card. Sometimes the best way to celebrate yourself is to write down what makes you so amazing and special. Writing yourself a card might feel cheesy at first, but it will make you feel proud of yourself when you're done.
A great place to find beautiful and inspiring cards is when you're out and about. Pick up a couple in the shopping queue at Next or M&S, or even the supermarket. If your budget allows, try scouring Etsy (www.etsy.com) or Not on the High Street (www.notonthehighstreet.com) and save them. That way, you'll have a card handy whenever you feel like writing an inspiring message to yourself. The great thing is that they serve as perfect additions to your vision board once you've written in them.
8. Do something that makes you happy
Do you love listening to music? Crank up the tunes while you're cleaning the kitchen or cooking dinner.
Love being outside? Set aside sometime every day to go on a refreshing walk.
Besides increasing your daily happiness, incorporating something that you love into your everyday life will:
Improve your mental health
Provide a fresh outlook
When we take the time to focus on ourselves, we have more energy to devote to our responsibilities and those we care about.
Now that you know how to celebrate yourself, go out and get to it!
Choose whichever one of the eight ways to celebrate yourself that resonates the most, and get started! You deserve to celebrate yourself every day, so why not start today?
Take a moment to celebrate yourself, how far you've come, where you're going, your accomplishments, your courage and your strength. Never forget, you are AMAZING.