8 ways to better yourself in 2019

Be the best you
Feb 7, 2019 · Gabrielle Sorto
Man lying in a hammock

Making changes in your life, even small ones, can greatly benefit your health and make you feel your best.
 

Learn to forgive yourself

Letting go of past mistakes is a way to show yourself love and compassion. We all make mistakes, but we must forgive ourselves to move forward. A 2014 study from Baylor University found that the inability to forgive yourself can lead to depression, anxiety, and a weakened immune system. To forgive yourself, you can acknowledge your mistakes, allow yourself to feel whatever feelings arise, and find the lesson you need to learn from the experience.
 

Be of service to others

Volunteering for an organization you believe in or supporting a friend or family member in need are just a few ways you can help others. Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota, says that people who volunteer have higher self-esteem and overall well-being. When you see someone doing good for others, it makes you want to do the same. This domino effect can help boost your self-esteem as well as your capacity for compassion for yourself and others.
 

Spend time with people who lift you up

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. It’s OK to end friendships that no longer make you feel like the best version of yourself. Choose friends who truly want the best for you and will support you.  
 

Learn to enjoy your own company

It’s important to spend time with family and friends, but it can also be satisfying and contemplative to take some time for yourself. Go to the movies alone, bring a book to your favorite restaurant, or take a walk by yourself. Over time, you’ll learn to appreciate yourself in a new way.
 

Treat your body well

You don’t need to spend lots of money on face masks and bath products to take good care of yourself. Self-care can be as simple as drinking enough water, eating your greens, being active, and getting plenty of rest. 
 

Spend time in nature

California is full of beautiful terrain to explore. Whether it’s hiking Runyon Canyon or visiting Muir Woods, there are plenty of ways to get outside. Research has found that walking in nature improves mood and self-esteem in healthy adults. When your self-esteem is high, you’ll feel good about yourself and better appreciate other people.
 

Set boundaries

Honoring yourself and your own needs sometimes means you need to set clear, strong boundaries with others. Saying “no” to people that do not have your best interests at heart can improve your physical and mental health. It’s not always easy to set or enforce boundaries, but doing so and sticking to them will help you to improve your relationships. 
 

Stop comparing yourself with others

It’s important to remember that social media is a highlight reel. Most of your favorite people to follow are only showing their best moments. Their real lives are likely just as complicated as your own," blogger Erica Ligenza says. "The biggest mistake we make is assuming someone else’s story is better because of an Instagram feed.”