"Seize that loveliness. It has always been yours." -Yrsa Daley-Ward

Being happy is a very personal thing, and sometimes it doesn't have to do with anyone else. Self-care is ultimately the most important priority one has to themselves. Taking care of yourself is an essential lifestyle. Being healthy and happy helps you be the best version of yourself. Being happy not only reflects on you but on others too. Do all things with kindness.

Before you read the twelve steps of self-care, first understand the five things you need to quit doing:

1. Trying to please everyone. You will end up being taken advantage of. Instead, teach kindness to the people around you. Have a head on your shoulders.

2. Fearing change. Know that life is rocky and things will happen that you don't like. See, if things didn't happen, life would be dull and boring. So it is good that things do change, for the better. Challenge yourself even through the hard times. Know that life will not fail you, unless you give up on life.

3. Living in the past. Learn to accept things that weren't good for you.

4. Putting yourself down. Look at yourself in the mirror each day and tell yourself all the pretty things you love about yourself.

5. Overthinking. Stop thinking too much. Distract yourself by doing things you like. Communicate with people and make friends. Meditate to reduce anxiety and depression that is caused by overthinking. Sometimes you will overthink, and that is ok. Just try to limit yourself from thinking too much.

Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day and the rest will fall into place.

Here are twelve inspirational steps to practice self-care:

1. Perfection is overrated. Being different is "IN."

Be the best version of yourself. Be confident and honest with yourself. Prove to yourself how amazing you are. Give yourself credit for all the accomplishments you have made. Even the small ones. Always dedicate time to congratulate yourself for being you.



2. Try to never speak badly about yourself. Instead, try to adjust your mind to see and speak of the good within you.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Be an optimist, as much as possible. Try to invest positivity within your thoughts and opinions. This creates less judgment, complaints, and insecurities. Speak and think of gratitude, love, confidence, encouragement, and delight. You will start to realize that positivity does over power negativity IF you consider positivity more.



3. Don't be afraid to say no.

Don't say "maybe," if you want to say no. It is absolutely ok to say no to someone, respectfully. If you don't feel like doing something, simply don't do it. If you do something that you didn't want to do in the first place, you may later regret the decision you made. It is best to just trust your instincts and be confident when saying "no." Don't let anyone control you. Essentially, make your OWN decisions.



4. Don't be afraid to say yes. Especially, when it comes to exciting new adventures.

Collect experiences. Learn to live without any regrets. Never give up, try again. Explore as much as you can. Wander into moments that you never thought you'd see yourself doing, such as skydiving, or jumping off a cliff into the ocean. May you always do what you are afraid to do. Be adventurous in life. You only live once. Truly LIVE.



5. Kindness goes a long way for yourself and others.

Sometimes it is easy to think everyone around you is doing ok. Just saying "hello" or "good morning/afternoon" and smiling to a stranger is a simple act of kindness. Trust me, it goes a long way. Donate to a charity by giving away canned goods or t-shirts you don't wear anymore. Simple things like that will make someone feel special. Not only will it make a stranger feel appreciated and acknowledged, you will feel special too. Kindness makes you a better person.



6. Let go of what you can't control. Learn to accept things for what they are, even if it is hard.

When you feel like you've lost everything, you still have everything you love to do. Here are some things that will help you rediscover how amazing life is: endless road trips, books that make you feel like you are apart of another fantasy, countless numbers of countries you've yet to experience the culture and atmosphere, your favorite drink, adopting a pet and calling it your best friend, the fall breeze, looking up at the stars and realizing that there are other worlds out there, soulmates who haven't crossed your path yet...the list goes on and on. Learning that there are other things to enjoy in life helps you understand to accept the bad things that have happened to you. Learn to cope and accept, even if it is hard. Time heals everything, and patience is essential. There is more to life than reminiscing on things that hurt. To heal a wound you need to stop touching it. Move on.



7. Stay away from drama and most importantly, negativity.

There will always be some sort of drama in life. Life is kind of complicated at times to handle, especially when people try to mess it up. Stay positive in all situations, even when you are upset. Sit down and analyze the situation first before you speak. With every decision you make, make sure you are handling the situation wisely and maturely before taking a step further. Know that letting toxic people go is not an act of cruelty. It is an act of self-care.



8. Trust your instincts and intuition.

The most important rule to self-care is to trust yourself. If you don't trust yourself too much, you probably may seem lost in a lot of situations and life issues you face. Whatever you feel in that exact moment during a tough situation, guide yourself to do the right thing. Take responsibility for yourself. After all, you are the main priority to yourself.



9. Let yourself feel.

First, know that your feelings are valid and are very important. Sometimes depression gets a hold of our thoughts. A part of our minds gets lost in fear and anxiety. That is ok. Don't beat yourself up for thinking negatively sometimes. Instead, learn to control it and cope with it. For example, meditation helps ease the mind away from negativity.



10. Never give up on yourself and your DREAMS.

You will achieve your goals IF you believe in yourself. Believing in yourself will make you stronger and a better version of you. Even when you get turned down, still believe in the possibilities of achieving greatness. If you give up, you will regret. There is no need to regret if you keep picking yourself back up and having the courage to do it all over again. Be brave and be courageous in every task you face. Opportunities are handed to you if you work for them.



11. Stay true to yourself.

Don't underestimate yourself. You were put on this planet for a reason. Stay true to who you are no matter what. People will love you for who you are and the kind of character you represent.

You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.



12. Love everything and everyone.

You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people.

Love is a beautiful action to hold and to give. Love is the only source that fixes our troubled deep thoughts. People say I love you all time in different ways. When someone says, "How are you," "Take a jacket, it is cold outside," or "Text me when your home so I know you made it back safely." There are thousands of ways of wording 'love.' You just have to listen for it in simple phrases. You don't always have to say the three-worded-phrase in order for someone to know you love them.

"When someone else's happiness is your happiness that is love." -Lana Del Ray.

Take a step back and look at all the beautiful things you have. Not just "things," but the people in your life, the memories you have so far created and will create in the future, and how important and special you truly are to this world.

You are strong for getting out of bed each day when you feel like hell. You are brave enough for doing things that are scary and make you anxious. You are absolutely amazing for trying to hold on no matter how hard life gets. Be proud of all your small and big accomplishments. You deserve it.