How To Be a Better Friend to Yourself

4 Tools For Improving Your Self Care

August 16, 2020 |
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I can be insane at times. My view of the world and my life can be extremely negative. My perspective is consumed by what can go wrong, the opportunities lost, the mistakes I’ve made, and how everything can, and in my mind will, fall apart. This is insanity, because my thinking is just not accurate. My perspective is flawed, which is what I mean by insanity. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, old or young, healthy or sick. Your life, like mine, will always have difficult times. Sometimes we can predict these moments, but usually they catch us by surprise. If you’re proactive in your self care, you can prevent much of the insane thinking from sticking. Nobody can take better care of you than you!

4 Ways to Be Your Own Friend

Tool #1: Be Good to Yourself

Loving yourself is a serious battle for most people. From my experience, even those that seem confident externally usually struggle within. Create a list of activities to turn to when your self worth dwindles. Select 6 activities below. Add your own activities if missing. Engaging this list when you need something to pick you up and put yourself in the right place. 

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”
– Parker Palmer

Self Care Ideas

  1. Read a favorite magazine
  2. List 5 things you are grateful for today
  3. Cook or bake something
  4. Search for a new book
  5. Garden
  6. Listen to a podcast
  7. Write a thank you note
  8. Call a friend from the past
  9. Listen to music
  10. Search for a new recipe
  11. Visit a friend
  12. Volunteer
  13. Play a card game
  14. Singing
  15. Call your best friend
  16. Play a computer game
  17. Make jewelry
  18. Write a letter
  19. Knitting
  20. Set goals
  21. Prayer & mediation
  22. Plan out your evening
  23. Read old letters/journals
  24. Plan out your next day
  25. Organize
  26. Pottery
  27. Collecting things
  28. Memorize poetry or quotes
  29. Explore somewhere new
  30. Play a board game
  31. Research a topic online
  32. Rearrange furniture
  33. Join a book club
  34. Learn an new instrument
  35. Think about a favorite hobby
  1. Read a book
  2. Visit a museum
  3. Ride a bike
  4. Write down 3 goals for the month
  5. Photography
  6. Organize and edit pictures
  7. Breath deeply
  8. Stretch
  9. Take a walk
  10. Go fishing
  11. Search for new music
  12. Group exercise
  13. Swimming
  14. Hiking
  15. Pets
  16. Writing
  17. Watch a favorite movie
  18. Watch a new movie
  19. Make something crafty
  20. Do a puzzle
  21. Draw or paint
  22. Juggle
  23. Play a sport
  24. Play a favorite instrument
  25. Practical jokes
  26. Make a To Do list
  27. Martial Arts
  28. Woodworking
  29. Furniture restoration
  30. Bird watching
  31. Look at old family picture
  32. Take a nap
  33. List 5 things you are excited about today
  34. Illusions and tricks
  35. Run a side business
  36. Researching family history
  37. Garage sales/thrift shops

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ”
– M. Scott Peck

Tool #2: Friendly Self Talk

Do you treat yourself like a friend or an enemy? If you treated your friends, the way you treat yourself, would you still have any friends? Your friends show care and concern to you when you’re struggling. I’m sure they’re patient, kind, warm, and gentle. Recognize your negative self talk, and replace it with the words of your closest friends. 

Tool #3: Enjoy Hobbies

One of the first things I try to figure out with a new client is how much fun they are having in their life. What do they engage to unwind each day. Having activities to look forward to, outside of work, where we feel successful, improves our resiliency. These activities do much more for our mental health than most think. Here’s a List of 100 Hobbies to get you thinking of ideas. Plan to engage something today!   

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Tool #4: Energizers & Drainers

There are activities you engage each day that fill you with hope. There are things you engage daily that fill you with fear. Are you engaging in self sabotage, without even knowing it? Here’s a worksheet I use with clients to identify the people, places, and things that energize and drain them. Engage what fills you up and minimize what depletes you.

ENERGIZERS & DRAINERS

Choose today to love yourself! This may seem like a simplistic solution to a complex problem, but the simple solutions are the best. The simple solutions are the ones that stick. Being good to yourself is a choice.

From working as a counselor since 1998, I’m convinced that every person has the potential to be at a very low place. I’m no exception. I’ve had some very dark days. Take this activity seriously, your future depends on it.

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