Love yourself more this holiday season. Adobe Stock / Oleksandra Voinova
These self-appreciation tips make it a little easier to stay positive over the holidays and build self-esteem and confidence.
Do you give yourself a hard time about things you didn’t do right? Maybe you’re beating yourself up about missing a certain work deadline, skipping a workout or canceling a social commitment.
What about all the things you’ve done well?
Make no mistake, self-appreciation is a skill—one that involves self-reflection and self-compassion. Self-reflection entails examining our feelings and behaviors and the motivations that lie behind them. Self-compassion means treating yourself with kindness and understanding, particularly during difficult times—recognizing, without judgment, your flaws and failures. All too often, we console, support and provide compassion to friends and family and forget about ourselves.
Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you receive and the active acknowledgment of the goodness in your life. Studies show that a grateful attitude can help minimize depression, negative social comparisons, regret, resentment and envy. In fact, it’s impossible to feel envious and grateful at the same time.
When you practice self-appreciation, you take gratitude a step further by recognizing and valuing your unique qualities, abilities, talents and achievements. It involves acknowledging your self-worth and taking pride in your positive attributes. Here are five suggestions to help you on your way.
- Keep a “feelings” journal. Journaling cultivates emotional intelligence, deepening your degree of self-awareness and emotional understanding. It also helps with developing self-reflection, a crucial component of self-appreciation.
- Flip the script on negative self-talk. Give yourself pats on the back and compliments throughout the day. If you’ve completed a challenging work project or navigated a testy interaction with a close friend or family member, proactively acknowledge your success by saying things like, “I did a good job today.”
- Prioritize self-care. Create a self-care schedule that includes things like meditation, exercise and getting enough sleep. Dedicate time and energy to the things you enjoy. It sends a powerful message—that you deserve love, care and attention.
- Set boundaries. Give yourself permission to say no when necessary and establish limits to protect your emotional wellbeing.
- Celebrate wins both big and small. Feel worthy of celebrating your accomplishments. It helps you internalize positive qualities and savor positive experiences.
This holiday season, when you get caught up in giving yourself a hard time, pause and practice the skill of self-appreciation.