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21 Self-Love Microbreaks To Carry Into The New Year

Tanya Carroll Richardson
mbg Contributor By Tanya Carroll Richardson
mbg Contributor
Tanya Carroll Richardson is an author and professional intuitive, giving readings to clients all over the world.
Portrait Of An African-American Woman With Eyes Closed
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It's always important to ask for help from others—and in 2020 we've all needed that extra support. Yet your most consistent, reliable source of support comes from yourself. A little (or a lot) overwhelmed these days? Microbreaks are just the ticket to show up for yourself in powerful ways each day.

Here are 21 easy, quick microbreaks to help increase your self-love for 2021 and beyond:

1. Open an inspirational book to a "random" page.

Whether it's a memoir written by one of your heroes or a spiritual book that changed your life, hold the book between your palms for a minute and silently ask for a supportive message. Open the book and see what words your eye lands on first.

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2. Indulge in a meaningful music break. 

Music is an amazing emotional conductor. It can help you process and get in touch with whatever you're feeling. Listen to something celebratory when you're on top of the world, or listen to something comforting or emotionally deep when you've been feeling grief about your life or something happening in the world.

3. Come home to yourself energetically.

Find a quiet moment alone, place your hand on your physical heart to connect with your energetic heart, and take some mindful breaths. Ask yourself silently, What do I need emotionally today? Your intuition can answer you in thoughts, words, feelings, or images.

4. Practice mirror work.

This was made famous by the late, great Louise Hay. Pause in front of the bathroom mirror and smile at yourself, playfully wink at yourself, or tell yourself, "I love you."

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5. Reread or revisit a recent compliment.

It's natural that the negative feedback sticks out, so make a point of savoring the compliments that come in email or text form...or even in an online review. If someone gave you a verbal compliment recently, take a few minutes to remember what they said and explore how it makes you feel. We often rush by compliments about ourselves too quickly.

6. Be an earth angel to someone else.

Nod or wave at neighbors you pass on a walk, tell someone—like your barista or grocery store cashier—a sincere thank you for showing up this year, text a friend that you love them, or compliment someone on their contribution to a Zoom work call. It could make their day, and taking the focus off of yourself can actually be a loving break.

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7. Pick a nurturing affirmation for the day.

This was the inspiration for my page-a-day A Year of Self-Love Calendar. It offers a self-love affirmation and a manageable action step for each day of 2021.

8. Put on your favorite clothing, just for yourself.

With more people working, studying, or just staying at home, folks forget how much their appearance can affect their energy. Grab your favorite pair of earrings, do your hair in a favorite style, or put on your favorite T-shirt—even if it's "only" you who will see.

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9. Eat a snack; drink some water.

Taking good care of your physical body, after all, is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself.

10. Perform a quick energy clearing of your space with aromatherapy spray.

Make or use a natural one with essential oils, and then walk around your space, spraying aromatherapy in the air for a few minutes. See if you notice a difference—like lighter energy or less stagnant energy in your space—afterward!

11. Write a journal entry to your spirit guides.

Start with three sentences about something you are grateful for. Then write three lines explaining what you need help with. Watch for synchronicities in the hours and days that follow as answers.

12. Step outside (or just look outside).

Connecting with nature—whether it's watching the snow fall outside your office window or standing beneath a tree in your backyard—is incredibly restorative to the human spirit.

13. Check your favorite uplifting social media account.

A quick hit of inspiration can positively influence your mood all day.

14. Stretch any area of your body.

Hold your pose of choice for a few minutes. Try gently stretching and moving your body into poses that aren't your standard modus operandi (standing behind a counter all day, sitting at a desk all day, bending down to pick up after kids all day).

15. Revise a worst-case scenario thought.

If you've had a thought repeatedly running through your mind that is overly negative, revise it to a best-case scenario thought or even a most-likely-case scenario thought. The worst rarely happens, and if it does, you will meet the challenge.

16. Recognize something you're proud of.

Don't wait for kudos from someone else. Write your accomplishment—"I nailed that deadline!" or just "I made it through 2020!"—on a stickie and put it on the fridge where you can see it.

17. Tell yourself a hard truth honestly and with great compassion.

Love yourself enough to get real with yourself about a difficult situation in your life. Run your truth through your heart filter to make sure it's honest and loving since we all tend to be too hard on ourselves. Say it to yourself as you would to a good friend, and give yourself a hug afterward.

18. Pull an oracle card.

Pick from a deck that is introspective and empowering. Sit with the message and discern its special meaning for your life right now.

19. Make a donation.

Donate a very small or very large amount to an organization working for racial justice and equality, working to conserve the environment, or working to assist folks unemployed and underemployed by the COVID pandemic. This important act will make you feel more connected, so it's a loving gift to yourself as well.

20. Take a step toward forgiving yourself for something you regret.

Forgiveness is a process and doesn't happen all at once. Think of what you're upset with yourself about, and get a mental image or feeling or thought that represents or triggers this issue. Then work with a mantra like, "I'm starting to forgive myself for that," or "I'm open to being able to forgive myself for that." Begin with an infraction that seems smaller, and work your way up to bigger issues.

21. Schedule a snuggle break.

Take five to arrange some pillows on either side of you on the couch, grab your pet for a quick cuddle, or hug a child. Doing things that are physically comforting is emotionally comforting too.

Wondering where to start? Ask your intuition for a number between 1 and 21. You might see the number as an image in your mind, hear the number as a voice in your mind, or have a number pop into your mind as a thought. That number could correspond to a self-love microbreak that would be particularly nourishing for you right now.

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