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Self-Love In A Time Of Self-Sacrifice

Time to scream “me, me, me, me!”

When you have spent almost all your waking moments toiling for others, it’s high time to recapture the right to enjoy yourself. Self-loving forms the core of a mentally healthy lifestyle.

But loving yourself need not be exorbitantly priced nor should it take you further than your front yard. Mull over these easy, affordable tips on how to love yourself even more:

1. Think about an iconic Hollywood actor. Then watch a marathon of his or her movies, in your honor of course. Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Grace Kelly, Greta Garbo, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn—that’s you!

2. Get your special clothes out from hiding and wear them on a very plain day, with no occasion whatsoever. Your confidence would shoot to super levels, guaranteed.

3. While on the subject of clothes, chuck those that do not fit you anymore, physically and personally. If you were a trampy bombshell before, but have now understood the forces of the universe as a dedicated Wicca practitioner, then get those outdated clothes out and donate them to charity; just hope that the recipient won’t become trampy herself!. If you were a skinny lad that has evolved into a lean machine, then follow suit with your apparel. You’ll benefit from a more spacious closet and the joy of reinventing yourself.

4. Jot down things you like about yourself on a piece of paper. Not possessions or anything material, but traits, real virtues. Keep this paper in your wallet and take it out if you need a pick-me-up anytime, anywhere.

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5. Set a photo of your dream destination as your desktop’s screensaver. Antarctica. Sahara Desert. London. Angkor Wat. The Moon.

6. Create music playlists. Not just any, but a best-of collection with songs tied to your greatest memories.

7. Watch the pups in the dog run.

8. Make a scrapbook of things you love most. You would never regret the minutes you’ve allotted for this project. Out in the market is an array of scrapbooking trinkets and supplies to spice up your creation.

9. See a movie by yourself. Sit anywhere you want and munch on popcorn.

10. Be a tourist in your own town. Visit local attractions you’ve never known or cared to know. Surf your area’s tourism site for help.

11. Have a wishlist. The wishes can be short-term (acing the Tuesday exam) or long-term (passing the Harvard entrance exam); trivial (a Blu-ray disc of your favorite documentary) or highfalutin (equal rights for all homosexuals); and selfless (giving chocolate bars to beggars) or selfish (eating boxes of Godiva chocolates by yourself). Tick off those wishes as they gradually come true.

12. Let your spouse take your children out so you can be at home, all by yourself.

13. Stargaze like there’s no sunrise coming.

14. Remember how it was when you were just a kid, naming anything and everything as your “favorite.” See if those favorites have changed.

15. Watch TiVo-recorded episodes of lowbrow programs like The Jenny Jones Show or Judge Judy. Smirk and realize how normal your life is.

16. On wintry days, prepare hot cocoas for two and go for a walk with a friend. Make sure to create angels on the snow.

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17. Surrounded by fragrant candles, wine and classical music, dip into a warm bubble bath.

18. Take catnaps on Sundays.

19. Install a swing in your backyard. Read a book on it, knit, text, or just stare at the sky.

20. Hone your inner shutterbug. Take photos of something very beautiful. Experiment with angles, depths of field and light. Then frame your best photo and display it in a prominent place of your home.

21. Make your own blog.

22. Every week, buy one stem of your favorite flower. Put in a vase on your bedside table.

23. Troop to the mall and have yourself made over at the makeup counter. Get tips from the stylist on how to bring out your best features.

24. Write “permission slips.” Think of something you have always wanted to be or desired to do. Then ask for permission to try. Lesson learned: life is truly what you make it.

25. Wake up earlier than usual on weekends, while everyone else is still dozing off. Drink coffee, pick up the broadsheet, and watch your favorite flick.

26. Go to school when there are no classes and take in the gorgeous solitude from the benches, amid the trees and fresh air.

27. Certain school supplies make us perky at the sight of them. Take that item, be it a metallic pen, thick crayon or scented stationery, and put it in your desk.

28. To a distant friend, send a postcard with a very brief message about your favorite memory with him or her.

29. Memorize some lines of a poem. Recite them to yourself whenever you’re in a fix.

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30. Purchase a new lingerie that let you feel so sexy!

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