30 Ways to Celebrate Yourself!
Take Time for You
1. Access your inner 8-year-old. Grab a friend and some lemonade and go walk to the park. Then try a cartwheel.
2. Write down your three favorite traits about yourself and slip that piece of paper in your wallet. Pull it out whenever you need a little pick-me-up.
3. Buy yourself a new pair of undies that make you feel sexy.
4. Why cling to clothes that are no longer "you" -- or possibly never were? Look through your closet and ditch five things that don't fit or flatter, bring them to Goodwill, and don't look back. (Bonus: More closet space + doing good for others = a happier you.)
5. "My favorite way to be good to myself is to climb into a hot bubble bath with a scented candle, a glass of wine, and a classical CD playing."
--Joan Vance, 43, Marina del Rey, CA
6. Quick: Name the Hollywood icon you most relate to. Have your own private movie marathon in her (and your) honor.
7. Special clothes aren't only for special occasions. Dress in an outfit you love on an otherwise ordinary day and enjoy the instant surge of "I know I look good" confidence.
8. Keep a wish list of dreams both big (world peace!) and small (a clearance sale that includes those knee-high suede boots you've been eyeing). Post it on listography.com; add to it as needed, check off the wishes that come true, and delete the ones that don't fit your life anymore. The result? An inspiring snapshot of where you've been, where you are, and where you're going.
9. Take in a matinee by yourself. Grab some popcorn and sit anywhere you want.
10. "My husband takes my daughter for half an hour so I can make myself a cup of tea, sit down, and watch TiVo'd episodes of Judge Judy. Watching her and the viewers that dare to go on her show makes me realize how normal my life is!"
--Jennifer Davis, 36, Pasadena, MD
Enjoy Simple Pleasures
11. Go to the local dog run and watch the puppies play. Carefree joy is contagious!
12. Start a weekly self-love ritual - say, a mini foot massage with strawberry-scented lotion or a Sunday-afternoon catnap.
13. Mail a secret to PostSecret (postsecret.com), the addictive photo blog showcasing anonymous postcard confessions. There's something wonderfully freeing about finally unburdening yourself. (Plus, it's comforting to know that we all have our share of baggage.)
14. Change your desktop screen saver to a photo of a place you've always wanted to go - Tahiti? The ice hotel in Sweden? Dream big!
15. "I spend a couple of hours catching up with my scrapbooking. It's soothing for me to let go of worries and surrender to my imagination. Plus, it's a great reminder of all the things I love the most in my life!"
--Sara Osborne, 38, Conway, AR
Tap Into Your Inner Kid
16. When you were 5, you could easily name your favorite food, color, and animal. Revisit those questions and see how your likes and dislikes have changed - or haven't.
17. Declare a beloved blossom "your" flower. Buy a single stem of it each week and place it in a vase on your night table.
18. To add a personal touch to all of your electronic missives, design a font in your very own handwriting. At fontifier.com, you can create a font based on a handwriting sample you upload. Preview the font for free; download it for $9.
19. Create your own greatest-hits playlist with songs that remind you of your best memories.
20. "My husband bought me a swing for my backyard. I go out there, listen to the birds, knit, crochet, or read. It's like heaven to me!"
--Rhonda Reising, 50, Oregon, IL
Keep in Touch with Yourself
21. Snap a picture of something you find inspiring - maybe a sunset, or birds at the bird feeder - and experiment with arty-looking shots. Frame the photo you like best as a way to honor the way you view the world.
22. Take a blog break. Check out happinessproject.typepad.com to read one woman's experience as she tries out all kinds of joy-boosting tips and theories. Then test-drive a few yourself.
23. Write a postcard to a far-flung friend. It doesn't have to be long - maybe a line or two about a favorite memory. You'll get a boost, and you may find a return surprise in your mailbox.
24. Have daily, bite-size chunks of that classic novel you've always meant to read (Madame Bovary? Anna Karenina?) delivered to your in-box for free at dailylit.com. It's a no-commitment way to discover which great works speak to your soul.
25. "I get up early on the weekends while my family is still in bed and read the morning newspaper and drink a cup of coffee. Sometimes, I even watch one of my favorite romantic movies. It's a great way to reenergize."
--Angela Gramer, 53, Severn, MD
Add Color to Your Surroundings
26. Pick up some school supplies - say, a box of crayons or an elegant pen - that'll make you feel happy every time you pull them out of your purse or spy them on your desk.
27. Get a free makeover at one of the makeup counters at your mall. Ask the technician for her best tips on highlighting your favorite feature.
28. Look through a book of poetry (or go to poetry.com), pick a poem that moves you, and memorize a few lines. You'll have inspiration or comfort at your fingertips whenever you need it.
29. Explore someplace new without leaving town. Log on to your area's tourism Website and make a plan to check out a spot where you've never been. Who knows what you might discover about your town -- or yourself?
30. Write yourself a permission slip to do/try/be something that you've always known was in you somewhere. Let it remind you that life is full of all sorts of amazing possibilities.