Stop putting yourself down and picking at your imperfections like they are all you are. Look at yourself properly, and actually let yourself notice all the amazing, beautiful things that contribute to your being.

Wake up earlier than usual and go for a walk, put the kettle on and make a nice mug of tea, close your eyes and only pay attention to the birds outside (or maybe it’s trains and cars outside your window). Do something daring. Talk to someone new, and surprise yourself—discuss things you never thought you would. Shower twice a day, or don’t shower at all—have a bath, and let the water wash away every bad thought from your mind. Buy something: something big, something small, only for yourself and no one else: a new phone, some clothes, or a chocolate bar.

Look at things and people a little longer than you’re supposed to. Don’t dwell on things that soon won’t matter. Write, draw, swim, dance—do whatever brings light to your eyes. Stop worrying about what might happen and, What if this, what if that. We need to live for ourselves, and most of all, we need to love ourselves. ♦