1. Post something positive on social media.
2. Pamper your face.
3. Play a game.
This can take many forms, and in turn serve many needs. Feeling lonely, but not sure you're up for super-involved conversations? Grab a couple friends for a few rounds of something like Quiplash or Cards Against Humanity. Need to distract an anxious mind? Focus on something soothing and simple like Tsum Tsum or Neko Atsume.
4. Cross one thing off your to-do list.
As minor as "take basket of clean socks upstairs," as substantial as "finish writing essay," or anywhere in between -- whatever you feel up to. Even if it is just the socks, having one less thing looming above you like Eeyore's rain cloud can only ever feel great.
5. And, for balance, write yourself a have-done list.
We're all familiar with that mean little voice in the back of our heads that likes to pop in and tell us we're a waste of space. Write down everything you have accomplished recently -- I even include things like "took a shower" in my lists! -- and you'll have physical evidence to help scare away those nasty thoughts.
6. Brush your hair.
7. Get some fresh air.
Sit on your front porch for a few minutes. Go for a walk around the block. Heck, even just open your windows! However you get it, fresh air will do both your mental and physical health a whole lot of good.
8. Revisit an old favorite.
When you're not feeling your best, reading or watching something new can be stressful as you have no idea what to expect. On the other hand, much like snuggling up to your favorite stuffed animal, spending time with a book or movie you already know and love can be incredibly comforting. The Harry Potter audiobooks have been helping me fall asleep for years!
9. And while we're on the subject -- get cuddly!
Let's be real, y'all -- you're never too old for a stuffed animal. Sometimes all you need is a good cuddle with a snuggly buddy who's always been there for you...and who never has anything rude or judgmental to say!
10. Finally, pause for a moment to remind yourself that you are worthy of self-care.
Needing to rest does not mean you are lazy. Needing time alone does not mean you are selfish. Needing support from your friends does not mean you are a burden. You deserve to take the best possible care of yourself -- always, no matter what.
I find that being kind to myself gets easier with practice. I've tried to train my brain with one basic rule: If you wouldn't say it to a friend, don't say it to yourself!