In the U.S., we spend the whole month of November giving thanks to everyone else. Now it’s time to turn the focus to yourself. For some reason, thinking or talking about one’s self for an extended period of time can make one feel uncomfortable or wasteful. Why spend so much time on one’s self? If you aren’t thankful and in love with yourself, how can you expect others to be thankful and be in love with you? I say you should treat others how you’d like to be treated, and treat yourself how you’d like to be treated, too! Use December to work on YOU!
This month, give thanks to yourself. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Suspend judgment of yourself. Let go of negative self-talk. Stop thinking of the things you don’t like, the mistakes, or the body that you think isn’t perfect. It’s going to take practice and effort, but stop those thoughts in their tracks—they are no longer allowed.
2. Name all the things about yourself that you’re thankful for. This may feel awkward or arrogant at first—you’re probably not used to focusing so much on you. But the more you allow yourself to see the wonderful things about you, the more wonderful things there will be (and the longer your list will grow!). When creating your list, try to flip any negative thoughts you once had. Your list might sound something like this:
-I am thankful for my inner strength.
-I am thankful for opportunities to grow.
-I am thankful for a body that carries me through anything.
-I am thankful for learning to become more forgiving.
-I am thankful for my good hair days.
-I am thankful for being an excellent mom.
-I am thankful for always being a good friend.
-I am thankful for my integrity.
3. Reflect on your list. Read through your list several times over. Let it sink in. Think about why you wrote what you did and where it stems from. You really are deserving of self-recognition.
4. Put YOU on your to-do list. Putting yourself on your to-do list will benefit your mental health, your physical health, your family, and everyone around you. Making yourself a priority is thanking yourself. I’ll expand on why this is so important in my next discussion.
5. Carry your list with you at all times. Whether you memorized your list of things about yourself for which you’re thankful or you’ve written a list, always have that list with you. In times of stress, pressure, anxiety, or sadness turn to your list. Read over it. Remember what inspired you to write those things about yourself. Feel the positivity about yourself that went into the list. When you carry your list around, you’re really promoting your own self-love.
Your list will always help you remember the real you, the core of who you are, no matter the situation. I find it helpful, especially around the holidays, to be thankful for everything, including myself. Being grateful produces more things, situations, aspects, and people to be thankful for. Being thankful for you will be a huge step to creating and maintaining a happy, full life.