As the pandemic blues ebb and flow, a little self-love can help boost everyone’s mood. Take control of what makes you happy by doing it for yourself. Even better, tailor it with your love language, because who knows you better than yourself.
Acts of service
Doing nice things for myself is a sexy thing, even if those things are a little boring. I’m talking here about tidying up the house. Creating a clear and calming environment, at a time when I’ve never spent more time at home, is critical to my mood. So I’m diligent about making my bed every morning, I stay on top of the dishes and try to tackle the endless dust bunnies that gather every time I turn my back. I don’t go as far as mopping the floor everyday, because giving myself permission to not clean, is also an act of service for myself. Ha.
Living in a tidy space makes it more enjoyable to spend time in the kitchen. I like to eat well and cook yummy things for myself, and my family. Part of that enjoyment is the anticipation, having a fun meal to look forward to. It can be one where I spent hours planning and preparing, or a simple one I threw together quickly (looking at you BLTs), if that’s what suits the mood.
Words of affirmation
There’s no question that words are powerful, especially the ones we tell ourselves. I live in my head more than is probably a good idea, but one benefit to talking to myself (a lot) is that it helps me stay honest with how I’m feeling. Just by saying “I’m having a hard time right now,” gives me permission to not be okay.
Or more importantly, to not pretend that everything is okay. To admit that I’m not really keeping it together is such a weight off my shoulders. Once I’ve admitted that, I like to give myself a pep talk, “you got this” is basic but effective. Another, is to remind myself that it’s not just me in this, there are others struggling too.
Who doesn’t love presents! Especially when it’s exactly the thing that I wanted, because I bought it for myself. Stuck at home (and on a budget) I bought myself an eReader and sync’d it with my library account. This lets me consume my number one source of comfort pop culture, romance novels, without guilt that I’m spending too much money on something I’ll finish in four hours.
Food and drink is another form of self-love for me, so romancing myself with a nice bottle of wine, a fancy steak and some decadent cheese to start goes a long way.
See also: The best gifts for every zodiac sign.
Carving out time for myself is both a loving kindness and a necessity for mental health. However, since I work full time and live with three other humans, this is not always easy.
Do I sometimes pretend to fold laundry on a Sunday afternoon, when really I’m reading book seven of the Bridgerton series? Yes, I have done that. I’m also a bit territorial about evenings on the couch. I try to keep an hour or two free of chores or other obligations so I can recharge with a glass of wine and the remote. This time to relax feels especially good when I’m doing it in spite of the laundry that still needs folding. Because I’m worth it.