In the spirit of celebrating ourselves and finding peace in solitude, I put together a list of 6 things that always bring me back to myself.
1. Take a Walk Alone
When I was 18 I hated being alone. I lived in a house with three dudes, in the middle of nowhere and platonically shared a room with one of them. Our house became a default hangout for my high school’s graduating class of 2005 since all our friends were in college or still living at home. During that time, I became acutely aware of how uncomfortable I was being alone. Distraught over the realization of this dependency, I made it my mission to become comfortable in my own company. A standard that still serves me well today. I started by taking many walks alone and writing poetry in the local graveyards. I was an angst-y teenager, what can I say!
It is my belief that if you do something enough times it becomes a habit. Before I knew it, 18 year old Melissa discovered she actually enjoyed being alone.
2. Treat yourself.
Go to a movie, paint your nails, head to a spa or even go wine-tasting, whatever it is; you deserve it. Taking those careful moments to fill a vase with flowers or to bake your favorite cookies will help center you.
One of my favorite, not-so-secret single behaviors is to binge watch terrible Hulu shows like Revenge or Vampire Diaries while eating a pint of ice cream. This is a great self-date to me!
If we don’t value ourselves how can we expect to teach others, like children, their own value? It all starts with numero uno.
3. Travel Alone
Not everyone needs three months road tripping across America to travel alone, though I highly recommend it! Even the smallest of trips can be romantic and self-affirming. There is something very brave about adventuring alone it takes courage and patience. Plus, think of all the reading you’ll get done.
4. Be Kind
I struggle to keep my self-talk in check, whether it’s about my weight, my calendar or my do-list. I’m never good enough for myself. That's not a kind way to live.
In the Dali Lama’s book, The Art of Happiness, he teaches us that kindness extends beyond ourselves to others. By showing kindness and having compassion for the humans around us, we will in-turn find happiness within.
I believe it! There’s nothing more rewarding than volunteering, giving to others and watching people you care for succeed.
Like I said, this is usually last on the list of priorities. It shouldn’t be. As someone who struggles with depression (most of us do at some point or another), exercise can be the equivalent to anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication. It boosts confidence, endorphins and releases stress. It will also help keep that negative self-talk at bay.
6. Get Your House in Order
Organization will help you follow your dreams and curate your own path.
Whenever I’m stressed out I always seem to be surrounded by a mess. Some people handle their stress by being hyper-critical, others are like me and fray at the ends.
To be organized is helpful for everyone. One of the first steps to living the life you want is to clean up. De-clutter and knock that to-do list out. Our homes and offices should be 10 minutes away from being able to receive guests.