Yesterday, I cleaned my laptop with vinegar and a microfiber cloth. The keyboard was grimy, the screen was dusty and splattered (ew). There was even a coffee ring on the back of the laptop from where I had set an overflowing mug.
First, the obligatory: this is why we can't have nice things.
Second: I had a revelation. I don't do things like this for myself often. It's not quite self-care (which I'm working on), so I'll call it self-respect. Yes, there's a difference.
Think about it: if someone were to use your laptop, would you hand it over as it is? Or would you give it a quick once-over so they wouldn't have to wipe it off themselves?
The same goes for cleaning house, organizing papers, maintaining your wardrobe, etc. I've talked about treating yourself the way you would treat others (the new golden rule), but today I'm talking about the tangible things you can do to show yourself a little more respect.
Ways you can respect yourself today
I'm not telling you to do all of these at once, but you should try one or two of these out if you have a few minutes.
- Clean it up: Clean something you use everyday like your car, your laptop, that nasty coffeemaker on your counter.
- Tools add value: invest in a product that makes your life easier. Recently, I purchased hairspray (something I haven't had for years). Getting ready is now a lot easier, plus a solid hairstyle makes me feel more confident and beautiful.
- Nourish yourself: Have tea instead of a second cup of coffee. Replace something that will make you feel bad with something that might just make you feel better.
- Show up for yourself: Wear clothes that you love and good perfume without occasion. Dress yourself like you're picking out clothes for a friend.
- Hygiene, baby: Shower, shave, paint your nails, wash your face and pop on a face mask. Wear makeup that you don't usually use (or don't wear makeup if you usually do). Bathe your body, because it works hard for you.
- Respect your boundaries: Say no. Just. Say. No. When something doesn't feel right, don't be afraid to turn it down. When work gets too much, take a few minutes to break away from the computer screen. Respect your schedule as much as you'd respect someone else's.
- Speak up: If you're not being treated the way you want to be, stand up for yourself. If you're overwhelmed, ask for help. There's no use in putting yourself through a tormenting day of "figuring it out on your own" when you could put two heads together and solve the issue in half the time.
I know how easy it is to bypass self-respect and go straight to the martyr mentality (where you justify that lack of self-respect as service to others). I do it all the time.
But know this: you don't have to lose yourself. No one should be asking you to give up your humanity, your hopes or dreams, or your aspirations for them.
Respect yourself as much as you respect others, and you will thrive.
What are your favorite ways to show some self-respect?