We all have brushes with self-doubt. Hey, we’re human.
And this time of year can be especially challenging in the confidence department. ‘Tis the season for rich foods, fancy parties, and family members you haven’t seen in months. It’s easy to get bogged down in worry, judgment, comparison, and doubt.
One way to stay positive during the holidays is to incorporate mantras and affirmations into your routine.
Research from Carnegie Mellon University shows self-affirmations can improve problem-solving abilities and protect against stress.
So this holiday season, before anxiety and self-doubt creep in, give yourself a break. Take a moment to breathe deeply and repeat one or more of these phrases. Taking a moment to pause and center yourself might just be what you need to get the most out of the festivities.
1. “I don’t like myself, I’m crazy about myself.” — Mae West
2. It’s OK to cut loose.
This is your time to relax, unwind, and celebrate the season with friends and family. If that means dancing with your cousins in the kitchen to “Hotline Bling,” or eating the last piece of pie all by yourself, so be it. Dance. Laugh. Go nuts! It’s your holiday season, celebrate as you see fit.
3. “I see the perfection in all my flaws and all my genius.”
4. Steer your own ship.
It’s easy to be swayed by everyone else. Coming home to discover what friends and family are up to and seeing how everyone’s changed can be tough. It’s hard not to get bogged down in comparisons. That’s why it’s so important to remember that you have a say when it comes to your mood or actions.
And whether you have a great time or a miserable one depends a lot on where you steer your ship.
5. “I will let go of what is no longer serving me and make room for what inspires me.”
6. “I belong here.”
You belong wherever you want to be. Even if your Aunt Kathy made an offhand comment that makes you feel small or out of place, you belong exactly where you are right now. You’re not in the way, you’re not a bother or a pest. You’re a part of the group, and the group is better because of it.
7. You are strong.
Get back, blue. Move over, orange. Whether you’re more suited to warm tones, cool shades, or neutrals, everyone looks good when they’re feeling strong. If the holidays are especially draining for you, physically or mentally, don’t hesitate to remind yourself just how capable you really are.
8. “To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven.” — Allen Cohen
9. Everything will be OK.
10. “This is it, this is the only body I’ve got.” — Whitney Thompson
11. “I define my worth, and I am worthy.”
Around the holidays, it’s easy to let family, old friends, or even the bathroom scale define you. But you get decide who you are and what makes you unique, no one else. So let Grandma Mabel go on and on about why you should settle down already. You’re the only one you need to listen to.
12. You know yourself better than anyone else.
When stressful situations arise this season, you may not always be the picture of calm and poise you always envisioned. It’s important to grant yourself a little grace. You need to be kind and patient with yourself so that you can extend that same courtesy to everyone else.
13. “Yeah, I’m fat — but I’m also all the good things that I am.” — Tess Holliday
None of us are defined by any one particular attribute. Plus-size model and all-around-badass Tess Holliday did not say this to imply that being fat is bad (because, just to be clear, FAT IS NOT BAD). Fat is just one more adjective without moral value, good or bad (see: tall, short, left-handed, blue-eyed). No matter how you describe yourself, what’s important is appreciating and respecting yourself for the multitude of wonderful things that you are and expecting and appreciating the same in others.
14. “What other people think of me is none of my business.”
15. *nail polish emoji*
Admit it: You’re really, really good. Good looking. Good natured. Kind and generous. A whiz in the kitchen and quick with a joke with a keen sense of direction. OK, OK, maybe you’re not all of these things, but you’re definitely filled to the brim with talent and kindness. And that’s all you need to stand-up and declare your awesomeness.
16. “I am beneath no one.” — Jim Kellner
Is your older sister back from her trip around the world making knit sweaters for senior dogs in need? Did your younger brother finally invent that cure for athlete’s foot? Good for them! But don’t let someone else’s success cloud the way you feel about yourself. There’s enough love, praise, and talent to go around. Don’t dim your light just so others can shine.
17. Your brain is the most powerful muscle you’ve got.
18. “I choose to think thoughts that serve me well.“
As Mark Twain once said, “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.” There’s plenty to worry and stress about during the holidays, but instead of giving in to negative thinking, try to stay present and think constructive, positive thoughts.
19. Be your own BFF.
20. “My life is unfolding beautifully.”
Your life, with all of its twists, turns, and surprises, is one helluva story. And it’s a really good one. So when you bump into old friends who seem to have it all figured out, remember: (a) They don’t, and (b) don’t let comparison and self-doubt get in the way of celebrating your successes, big or small.
21. You got this.
This holiday season, and throughout the year, remember to take good care of yourself.
Do what feels right for you, and do your best not to worry about everyone else. As my good-friend-if-we-only-met Emma Stone once said, “You’re a human being, you live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damn red velvet cupcake.”
Thanks to my editor, Rebecca Eisenberg, for making these kickass quote graphics.