What does it mean to celebrate yourself?
Imagine how it would feel to wake up, look in the mirror, and feel full. No, not the kind of full where you eat too much dinner and promptly fall asleep. The kind of full where your mind, body, and soul feel complete, impervious from criticism, and fully capable of taking on a world that constantly tries to drain that fullness. We are bombarded with pricks and pins that want to blow this bubble. Magazine covers telling us all the ways some obscure reality star lost weight (hint: more to do with Dr. Miami than pilates), Instagram stories riddled with airbrushed influencers, tv shows that somehow take reality and twist it so that every single person is more beautiful than the last (how many hot doctors do we really know?). Beyond these physical ideals, we are told to strive for this elusive and frankly, impossible, perfection everywhere else.
There are imaginary milestones we are meant to hit at 25, 30, 35, 40 years old. The perfect job! The perfect partner! The perfect apartment! Keep striving! Keep hoping, keep wishing, keep trying! Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with working towards your goals and dreams, there does come a time when you have to press pause. When you wake up and don’t immediately notice that stubborn cellulite on your thighs or immediately remember the deadline for work or don’t daydream about a better future. Learning to celebrate yourself and all that you’ve come to be in singular moments is just as important as dreaming. Grounding yourself in self-love demands this practice; I am whole, I am enough, my journey to this moment was worth it. Celebrating yourself not only brings you out of the anxiety of the future and regrets of the past but also makes you grateful for the present and breeds positivity in every corner of your life.
Power Tip 1: Stay in touch with yourself
Staying in touch with yourself means taking time alone and figuring out what makes you happy and brings you peace. In the hustle and bustle of our ambition, we forget our innate desires. Staying creative is one way of doing just that. Take pictures of the world around you, a sunset, your room, a loved one. Journal or write poetry about the moment you are in, bring awareness to the happiness that accompanies your everyday life. Essentially, who you are is not defined by the things you lack but the consciousness you’ve created after your years of treading life. Give yourself a few hours to watch whatever shows you want, take a nap, or just hang with your friends. Staying in touch with yourself also means fostering self-awareness. What are your strengths? What do you love about yourself? What makes you feel beautiful? The answers can be as shallow or as deep as you need in the moment but the act of questioning is the most important step. The more that you know yourself, the more confident you are. You are telling the Universe that you know what you have, that you are grateful for what you have, and you are ready to step forward with that wisdom.
Power Tip 2: The small things need big love
Take downtime to appreciate the parts of your life that you’ve already nailed; friends, your home, your daily routine that makes you feel beautiful and disciplined. When people are told to enjoy the little things, it turns out, it really is the key to feeling holistically happier. When you start noticing the otherwise neglected corners of the life you’ve created you start realizing just how much there is to celebrate. Looking around at the ways your friends and family show up for you, whether it’s just for a picnic date or a Facetime call, acknowledge the ways these people find you worthy of their love and time. Think, why not do the same for myself? Enjoying the smaller pleasures has a way of simplifying your life in general; we eventually find ourselves feeling incredibly full from just taking a walk around a tree-lined block in our neighborhood, spending quality time with our pets, brushing out our hair during our morning routines, having a stranger open the door for us, the way our bodies are strong enough to get us through any and all days that we take on. The key is to develop a mindset that allows you to pursue big things in life, without sacrificing the small things that make life worth living.
Take a moment every day, stop what you are doing, celebrate, and savor the moment. Life is not a race. When you learn to find joy in the journey, the destination feels all the more worthwhile.
Power Tip 3: Literally, and actively, celebrate.
In the wake of your accomplishments, there should be fanfare and parades. Well, maybe not literally, but remember to reward yourself for doing well. Go for a mani-pedi, grab some friends for a drink, set aside a couple hours in your day where you’re not taking care of everyone else but rather, you just binge-watch your favorite show while eating your favorite snack. Bustle.com recommends beauty treatments to start your week off so that you feel refreshed and beautiful to take on the challenges. Create a beauty routine that doesn’t require that much effort; use a mask, exfoliate skin, and condition hair with coconut oil, and repeat every Sunday. Research by Dr. Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California shows that those who celebrate life by practicing gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don’t. Dress up for no reason, not for others validation but to just enjoy the way you look in your favorite clothes, treat yourself to dessert, shopping trips, dancing, champagne, whatever helps you cultivate joy for your accomplishments or maybe even just your existence.
Let’s get real: Celebrating yourself is a state of mind, body and soul, and it takes small and big steps every day so we remember just how amazing it is to be us, in this moment, and forever after.
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