Feeling down? Looking for ways to help make the most out of every day? I may not be an expert, but I do know a thing or two about treating yo’self. Whether you’re going through a tough time or just not feeling the excitement that every day has to offer, I’ve compiled some tips and advice that I hope will help you love yourself, love others, and love what the world has to offer.
1. Compliment people, even (especially) if you don’t know them.
When’s the last time you liked something about a person, but didn’t tell them because you didn’t want to seem creepy? Now, think about how you would feel if a random stranger complimented you. A compliment, even just a small one, can make someone’s day. It takes very little effort, and you’ll feel good knowing you made someone else happy, too. What’s may seem like an awkward compliment to you can make a huge difference to someone else's day. So compliment people! It’s fun, and it’s so worth it.
2. Drink lots of water!
Drinking water is SO important. It helps keep you awake, alert, and focused. It’ll eliminate headaches and fatigue. You’ll be in much better health if you stay hydrated, and it’s great for your metabolism. Water is good. Water is your friend. Buy a giant water bottle and keep it with you at all times. You’ll notice a difference in your mood and general health–I guarantee it.
3. Change your routine.
You may not realize it, but small changes in your daily routine can significantly improve your happiness. It’s all too easy to get stuck in the same mundane routine, going through each day with a monotonous rhythm. Letting yourself get stuck in too much of a pattern can leave you feeling unhappy and unsatisfied, so it’s important to shake things up every once in a while. Try going to Starbucks before class one morning. Meet a friend you haven’t talked to in a while for lunch. Find a new study spot. Even the slightest of changes like these can improve your mood and leave you feeling refreshed.
4. Read books.
This one is pretty difficult for most students–it’s hard to find the time for leisure and the motivation to read something that hasn’t been assigned. But let’s admit it–we all need to get out of our own heads sometimes. Reading, even if it’s just for 20 minutes before you go to bed, is a great way to relax, forget about your problems and responsibilities, and enter into another world.
5. Treat yourself.
I think we’re all a little too hard on ourselves, which is why I stress the importance of treating yourself sometimes. Remind yourself that it’s okay to eat out every once in a while, and it’s okay to spend a little more money on that pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on. If it makes you happy, you should have no regrets.
6. Smile more.
It’s so simple, but it couldn’t make a bigger difference. Smile at people you know. Smile at people you don’t know. Smile when your teacher makes a lame joke. If you’re having a rough day, just SMILE. Even the physical act of smiling can improve your mood. Take selfies. Smile at yourself in the mirror. It’s the one thing that looks attractive on everyone.
I think writing has become something of a lost art. We’re so focused on writing papers and assignments for school, that we forget what it’s like to write for pleasure. There are SO many different things you can do with writing. You can write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, you can use your imagination to write fictional stories, you can simply write about your day, or you can write fun articles every week (ha, see what I did there?). My point is, writing is a release. It’s a therapy we often don’t even think about. It helps us be creative and develop skills that are so important in everyday life. Oh, and it’s super fun, too.
8. Find something you’re passionate about.
This is easier said than done, and it can take time. Not everyone finds their true passion in life right away; it often takes lots of exploring, many trials, and lots of errors. But once you find that thing—that one thing that gets you out of bed in the morning, what drives you to succeed, that thing that makes you radiate with excitement—hold onto it and never let it go.
9. Do things with friends, even when you don’t “feel” like it.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have canceled plans with friends simply so that I could continue to lie in bed and watch Netflix. This laziness, though tempting and sometimes necessary, can get addicting. But next time you feel like picking the remote over your friends, do yourself a favor and go out with your friends. You’ll be much happier if you spend time with real humans and not just a TV screen.
10. Know that it’s okay to stay in sometimes, too.
Okay, so I know I just told you that you should pick your friends over Netflix, and this may seem like a total contradiction, but it’s also okay to have those nights in. It’s all about balance. Being social is great, but make sure you’re finding time to charge your batteries once in a while.
11. Look at pictures/watch YouTube videos of puppies.
I shouldn’t even need to explain this one.
12. Tell the loved ones in your life how much they mean to you.
Call your parents. Tell them you love them. Tell your siblings that even though they’re annoying, they can still be pretty cool sometimes. Remind your friends how awesome they are, and thank them for being there. It’s easy to take these people for granted, and oftentimes we don’t say anything before, and feel regret when it's too late.
This is so important. You’re only at your best when you’re fully rested. Everyone has those nights when sleep is low on the priority list (or maybe isn’t even an option), but make sure you’re finding time to catch up. When you’re well rested, your mind and body work so much better, and your mood improves, too. Plus, sleeping is super fun; not only is it the ultimate time of relaxation, but we get to create little movies in our heads. Talk about a fun time.