We are raised in a world where celebrations are reserved for special occasions. We wait for recognised holidays and “special days “like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Easter, Diwali, Christmas, etc before we celebrate anything or better yet, New Year’s Eve when we highlight and acknowledge the year that passed and our achievements accomplished and New Year’s Day to set our goals for the year ahead. We go through this process annually without fail. I was also guilty of this cycle for years before I outgrew it and discovered there’s more to life than this dangerous “hamster wheel”.

As a Specialist Wellness Counsellor, I have realised that we are living in a very pressurised society and are expected to conform to pre-set societal norms. We forget that we need to enjoy and celebrate our everyday lives, every day. How do we do this, you may ask and my answer to you is simple, self-celebration.

What is self-celebration?

It is consciously acknowledging yourself for all your accomplishments irrespective if it is big or small. It is celebrating where you are at, in the present moment of your life, through your own efforts, commitment, dedication and sacrifices. Celebrating how far you’ve come on your own personal journey. It entails giving yourself love and being your own cheerleader. It is about accepting yourself as you are and empowering, acknowledging and continuously encouraging yourself. It is meeting yourself where you are, celebrating your achievements and failures and uplifting yourself in a healthy manner without bragging or being self-absorbed (which is an unhealthy coping mechanism).

Most importantly, it is a sincere and intense(non-judgemental) acceptance of yourself in the present moment.

There are many benefits of self-celebration, some of which include:

  • Healing from the belief that you are not good enough.
  • Seeing yourself as worthy of every singly accomplishment that you’ve achieved.
  • Your friends will be able to cheer you on since you are letting them know about your achievements.
  • You maintain a positive outlook on life whilst uplifting others around you through your positive attitude.

What do you need to practice self-celebration?

All you need is yourself and to practice self-love which includes self-confidence, self-compassion, self-esteem, etc (all those things that begin with self). Anyone can practice self-celebration. To be mindful of yourself, when you are exhausted, when you are being too hard/critical on yourself and when you are pushing yourself too much. Knowing your limits and listening to your body so that you don’t burn yourself out. To celebrate your accomplishments (even the small ones) because all goals reached is a reason to celebrate. It takes courage to celebrate yourself knowing that there are judgemental people out there who might view your celebration as egotistical or bragging. Put aside these fears, shift your mindset and celebrate yourself anyways.

There are many ways to practice self-celebration:

  •  Unleash your inner child – play your favourite song/s on full blast, dance by yourself, laugh loudly without limits.
  • Take a break – have a nap, read that book that you’ve been putting off, take that drive, binge your favourite series, eat that desert. Find a way to spoil yourself in the way that you love (no matter what it is).
  • Send/buy yourself something special – have flowers delivered to yourself, buy that outfit you’ve been eyeballing.
  • Treat yourself – Go for that massage/pedicure/manicure, treat yourself to supper/lunch out, take a mental day off work/school.
  • Write down everything you love about yourself – make a list of things you love about yourself (mentally, physically and emotionally)
  • Add something to your everyday routine that makes you happy–play your favourite song that annoys everyone, dance while you cook, take a walk outside.
  • Journal your accomplishments – write down your accomplishments/failures, how you feel and how you intend on celebrating this milestone. Be present in the moment.
  • Bend the rules for your celebration – indulge yourself and break your own restrictions and rules. Buy that coffee, indulge in that desert, just spoil yourself and enjoy the moment without repercussion or judgement.
  • Use social media – praise yourself publicly and indulge in your moment and your close family and friends will celebrate you in that post as well.
  • Don’t forget to STOP – Breathe and take a moment to appreciate your achievement and how hard you worked for it. Stay in the moment so that you can really appreciate it.

Self-celebration can take place at any time. You don’t need to wait for that special occasion/day to celebrate yourself. Acknowledge your small steps/achievements and tell yourself how proud you are for sticking it out (because it’s far easier to quit than to stay committed). Remember, after all is said and done, we only get one life, so make it your best. Don’t spend it working yourself to the ground, stop to smell the roses along the way, dance in the rain or just listen to the music of life. Whatever and however you choose to celebrate yourself, make sure you enjoy every moment of it because IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU!

Author: Omashree Balie