Sometimes, you can be so caught up in helping and gifting others at this holiday season, or anytime for that matter, that you forget about doing for yourself. There are some simple things that you can give yourself that won’t mean laying out a whole lot of bucks. In fact, you can start today even if it’s giving yourself just one of the gifts on this list. Put your money back in your wallet – you don’t need another new toy to be good to yourself. You can do this – you can be good to yourself and give yourself some gifts that don’t cost much of anything – well, maybe a few minutes. You will feel better and be more ready to give to others once you give freely to yourself.
- Talk positively
There have been many books and courses that teach thinking positive and the power of positive thinking (The Power of Positive Thinking is an excellent example). In fact, positive thinking versus negative thinking is really quite beneficial. Some people make affirmations and visualize good things that they want to happen in their lives. You can choose to think positively and even talk to yourself in a positive way. You can catch yourself talking to yourself negatively (oh, that was so dumb of me) and replace it with good thinking and loving talking about yourself. It’s sometimes called, “self talk” but no matter what you call it, it is how you talk to yourself – usually without speaking it out loud. If you speak highly of yourself, and get rid of the negative self-talk, you’ll notice a difference in your life and your feelings – even your health.
- See yourself out of the problem
Life happens. In fact, these days, life is happening so very fast that sometimes there is one problem to be solved after another. And, it can be so stressful. One thing you can do right now is to see the solution and yourself happy and out of the problem. Where there is a problem, there is a solution. So, while you are waiting for the solution, begin to visualize yourself out of it. It’s a done deal so see yourself out already. What does that look like to you? Problems are there to be solved and there are solutions all around you. See yourself with the answer. Imagine even those feelings once the issue is resolved. What are those wonderfully positive feelings you will have when the trouble has passed? See yourself solving the issue and being a hero/heroine.
- Quiet time
Noise. It’s everywhere. It’s so very hard to get away from the droning noises of the age we live in. You might find that something that you choose not to do – and you might love all of the noises – even when you sleep. Having quiet time can include reviewing the events of the day or week at the end of the week. It can include being reflective and looking objectively and subjectively on what you’d like to change in your life. Or… thinking on what you really want out of life. Without interruptions. You can do this – turn off the ringers and the alarm clocks and every other reminder of time — and just sit quietly.
- Me time/ Time off
Second to quiet time, is “me time.” “Me time” is the time that you can take to do something just for you. It might be to take yourself out to dinner and just sit and read. It might be to go for a manicure or a facial. Volunteer to do something for someone else if that is your way of having “me time.” Go to the library… read a new book. Oh, and take a walk. Notice the flowers, the trees, the foliage, the wildlife. Go to a movie – by yourself – a movie that you have selected and one that you want to see. Sit and read something new that you have wanted to read but kept putting it off. Go to the local coffee shop and sit there and people watch. Meet some new people – just because.
A lot is said for the person who forgives. It is a big healing for the forgiver. And, when you forgive yourself, it’s even more beneficial. Take time to sit and think about how hard you’ve been on yourself. Yes, you. Those mistakes that you made – forget them – learn from them – and forgive yourself. This might be the best gift of all. After all, we all make mistakes. Once you find yourself forgiving yourself for mistakes that happened even years before today, you will experience a new level of freedom. You will even learn to accept the mistakes of others more readily. Show yourself mercy and you will be more merciful. And, you will find more mercy being shown to you by others as well. Be kinder to yourself when you make a mistake. Sure, it might have stung for a minute… maybe even you are still experiencing the ramifications of the mistake. Forgive yourself and move on. Forgiving yourself doesn’t make a wrong “right,” but it frees you to be happier – and healthier. It has been proven that holding unforgiveness is unhealthy. Usually you hear it related to forgiving others. Even if the “mistake” is “terrible” and unforgiveable in your mind, drop it and let it go. Forgiveness is not an option. And, if there are opportunities that you have missed, forgive yourself and watch for the new ones in your environment.
- Love who you are right where you are at
Life is interesting. At times, you might find yourself at a place in the road with many forks. You will have to make choices that sometimes are not fun to make. You might find yourself in a place where you don’t even know or like yourself. My friend, wherever you go, you are there. You are more than who you have been meditating and thinking you are. You have greatness within you. Love yourself and watch things change. Oh, and this is not an ego thing – love yourself but still care about others – just not about what they think. Sometimes, in life, it is “normal” (whatever normal is) to feel as though you aren’t as far down the path of progress or in your career, for example. Loving yourself and dropping self comparisons with others will free you to see your value.
- Enjoying and being happy today
Today is a gift. A gift to yourself that will never come again. We all are given the same time each day. And, tomorrow isn’t promised, is it? You can choose to enjoy and be happy no matter what is going on around you. No matter what the negative news it – be happy anyway. Choose to be happy. Learn to be happy regardless of circumstances or the news. There are going to be critical people and unkind people along your path. Usually, they are people who are close to you – friends, relatives, co-workers – because those who are not close to you can’t really hurt you the way those who are close to you. Of course, you can choose not to be hurt by others! Many of the most highly successful people had a lot to make them miserable; but they chose to be happy and continue on their journeys.
- Let it go
There are a lot of things that can happen to us and even against us. And, as humans, we are not infallible. So, next time someone hurts your feelings and you feel offended, go ahead and let it go. We all have things that “come against” us but we can choose not to maintain a victim mentality. Take on the mentality of a winner, a champion, a forgiver, a merciful person, a person who is not a whoosh who is easily offended and let the stuff go. We all have pet peeves and things that can come to off-end us. They are designed to take you off the track of your destiny. It’s like a person running a race – and suddenly someone comes by and elbows them really hard – intentionally. You might have been elbowed recently or years ago – choose to let it go. You don’t want to try to vindicate yourself and fight back and be spiteful at all. You bind up yourself if you don’t let it go. The other person goes “scott free” and you’ll remain stuck. Let go of the old obsolete ideas – your parachute won’t open if you’re standing on the ledge.
- A new attitude
Having a change of mind can lead to a change of attitude. One way to have a new attitude is to be more patient. The new attitude can open up many doors for you and lead to you having a peace in your life that surpasses the circumstances that might be overwhelming at times. Having a new attitude will give you a whole new refreshing way of looking at what “is” and knowing that you can be happy right where you’re at. Spend time taking a long look at what your attitude is right this moment. As humans, we can always choose to think differently.
10. Don’t focus on “what’s not”
It’s been said that depression comes from needs not being met. And, sometimes, it is hard to go “without” something that you have been yearning for – for days, weeks, months, and years. One theory is that it’s because of a wrong focus. You have so very much to be thankful for – it makes for a happier you to focus on the good in your life and take your focus off of “what’s not” or what is missing. After all, there are things you can reach for in life – today, make it your business to be thankful and to reach for the stars – after all, it’s a gift to you.