13 Ways to Celebrate Yourself

13 Ways to Celebrate You — More Often 

I took it as a personal challenge to write this post.  As I read an article by a friend of mine: “Five Good Reasons to Celebrate More Often.”   I kept thinking, “Yes, Tom, you are so right, yes, I need to do that, yes, but ‘how’?  How do you do  that?” 

Did you ever hear the phrase:  “The shoemakers’ kids go barefoot” or understand the implication behind the term “a busman’s (or postman’s) holiday”?  Both of these speak to the idea that we sometimes end up ‘last’ in our own priorities.   Are you celebrating someone else but ignoring your own self-appreciation?  I was.  

All day long I give encouragement and insight to my clients, love to my children, support and enjoyment to my friends, booja-booja’s to my dogs and every squirrel that darts out in front of my car.  Once, my son,  when still young enough to be in a car seat said:  “Mom, how come when you drive everyone is “sweetie” and when Dad drives everyone’s ‘as—–‘?”  I laughed my head off, thinking about how much ‘slack’ and ‘sugar’ I give to everyone I meet.  But I am brutal on myself. ..Medieval-type brutal.  My ‘to do’ list is long and I don’t often pause to say, “wow–you go girl!”  Do you? 

In his article, Business and Life Coach, Tom Volkar,  explains WHY it’s vitally important to Celebrate, why it’s a basic human need and the dangers of not doing so.  I don’t believe Tom is referring to going on a drinking binge, but to really acknowledging and celebrating your successes.   I call them “heroic moments” and I know they are the stepping stones of being a divine human and living a great life.   I have to admit, there was a time when I was so distraught that just the fact that I got out of bed one day was, to me, a heroic event.  I gained a pure and deep admiration for all the small heroic acts that each of us perform daily that go unacknowledged.

Because I am so hard on myself to constantly improve, do a better job, etc., this is something that Tom and I have had frequent conversations about.  So it’s ‘up’ for me, to celebrate and Tom convinced me of the need for it.  The question I always answer for my clients and students is “how” to do what it is that will get you where you want to be so my next question to Tom was going to be:  “Ok, Coach, How?” 

So I gave myself the task of this post to see if I had any answers inside me for me.  I realized these are things I do sometimes and could do more often.  Okay, I’ll cheat a bit, do you have any ideas about HOW to celebrate? Do you identify your own heroic moments?  How do you celebrate? 

How to Celebrate You

1.    Name it and frame it – realizing the titanic effort associated with getting out of bed one morning during my divorce and the fact that I actually did it, and got the kids to school, fulfilled my commitments and on top of that made the day look normal for my children turned my day around.  Identifying what seemed like a ‘given’ but actually was took about as much effort as any Olympic event was huge for me.  What ‘ordinary’ things you do can you name?  And then applaud the Herculean effort you put out to “just do it.”

2.    Breathe it in – celebrating doesn’t need to be another thing on your “to do” list.  Pause, follow step one, and then breathe.

3.    Smile – that simple act has bonus physiological effects on the body:  try it.  Your heart lightens, your emotional state elevates, endorphins release into your bloodstream.  You can add the “cherry on top” by sending your eyes skyward.  Try it.  See if you notice that you might spontaneously inhale; that’s your connection with Divine grace:  Inspiration!

4.    Take yourself on a date – I love to do this.  Set aside a few hours and go do something with and by yourself.  I love to take myself to a movie, or take a magazine or book and go to dinner, order a glass of wine, sit quietly snuggled in my corner booth and allow the waiter to pamper me by bringing me delicious food. 

5.    Draw a poster and hang it where you’ll see it – remember high school or college or even someone coming home at the airport?  Those signs:  Welcome Home Bobby! We Love You. Congratulations!   Do it now, grab a piece of paper from your printer and make yourself a poster.  Hang it on the door you enter your home or tape it to your wall!  Great Job Sally!  You did it.

6.    Send yourself a card or thank you note – I love this.  Whenever I go on vacation, I send myself a post card.   I usually get the postcard when I am back home and going through the ‘re-entry into real life’ dance.  It’s a wonderful reminder to me that brings back the fun that I just had.  I send myself birthday cards, too.  You’ll laugh when you open the mailbox.  Send yourself a ‘good job’ card, it’s really fun.

7.    Do a ‘happy dance’ – if you have a dog you know what this looks like.  Every time I come home, my dogs are so  happy to see me.  In one of his comedy routines, Jerry Seinfeld talks about his dog and says, “it’s as though they are so excited that you found your way home again…hey, he did it, he found his way home again.”  Just thinking about this one makes my tail want to wag.

8.    Give yourself a ‘high-five’ – There’s a commercial that I love and sometimes in a time of self-doubt I call it to mind and it makes me smile.  It’s shows a guy, Hal, going through his day, perhaps it’s to a job interview (I’m not sure) and through the magic of television, everywhere he went up to that interview, appeared a bleacher section filled with people applauding, “Go Hal!”  Did you see that one?  I don’t even remember the product (oooh, the marketers would be upset) but I do remember the cheering section and how cool that would be to have my own pep club following me around.


Ok, this is where I got stuck.  I could have stopped here and changed the title to “8 Ways…” but I want more.  I want to go beyond and really overdo it on the Celebrating because I’m so behind.  Can you help me?  I need 5 more ways that someone would ‘celebrate’ themselves, their own being, or their accomplishments.  How do YOU celebrate?