5 Ways To Show Yourself Gratitude

Be your own best friend.
© Trisha Rahman’s Images via canva.com

My husband is not my best friend.


I know. But it’s true. I’ll say it again and with an immeasurable amount of love for him: My spouse is not my best friend.

Don’t worry, I’m not his best friend either. In fact, early in our relationship, he explained —in front of my entire family at Christmas — why your spouse can’t be your best friend.

But I feel like there’s a lot of pressure for your spouse to be your best friend. Almost like you’re doing something wrong if your spouse isn’t your best friend.

My personal stance is that it’s fine if your spouse isn’t your best friend.

Taking it beyond the spouse conversation, I don’t even think a person needs to have just one best friend.

I have lots of best friends, one of which is me.

Be Your Own Best Friend

Okay, it may sound corny, but stay with me. Let’s talk about why you should be your own best friend. To elaborate on this, I’d like to tie in one of my favorite topics — gratitude.

My favorite kind of time with just “me” is when I run. Photo credit: Lindsay Paulson

It’s one of my most favorite things to discuss. I will never get sick of talking about the benefits of gratitude.

First of all, showing gratitude is good for your health. According to the American Heart Association, practicing gratitude can lower blood pressure and help your body fight illness.

Having a gratitude mindset is also good for relationships. Research from Frontiers in Psychology states that people who show gratitude tend to have stronger, happier bonds with others. They often feel closer to family and friends, too.

Combining these benefits for yourself and those close to you, and in the spirit of being your own best friend, here are ideas for how to show gratitude to yourself.

5 Ways to Show Gratitude to Yourself

1. Take Time for Yourself

Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but I think spending time alone is crucial, especially for moms.

Thank yourself for all you do by enjoying solo time.

I don’t mean go to the grocery store alone, or take a shower without kids banging down the door. Those are errands and basic hygiene. Take real, actual time to rest and relax, whether focused on your body, your mind, or both.

2. Nourish Yourself

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my “dinner” is just scraps of my boys’ leftovers. And I tend to eat standing up while fielding their requests for milk, napkins, and second helpings.

Show yourself some gratitude by eating something you enjoy that also makes you feel your best.

Sit down and savor it.

And it doesn’t have to be a full, fancy meal you cook yourself. Order take out, splurge on a fancy coffee, or even a simple favorite treat. All are nice ways to energize and thank yourself.

3. Speak Kindly to Yourself

I think it’s normal to be your own harshest critic. Some people even view negative self-talk through a positive lens. According to Psychology Today, people who believe that negative self-talk is valid see it as just being honest with themselves, keeps their ego in check, even prepares them for disappointment.

While people can learn from constructive criticism and strong self-awareness is important, please be your own biggest hype woman, too. Show yourself gratitude by speaking kindly to yourself. After all, people grow from positive reinforcement, too.

4. Journal about Yourself

Okay, so it might be hard to switch that inner critic to positive. Even the idea of self-talk might feel weird to you. So, why not try writing it down instead?

Gratitude journaling
Consider getting started with gratitude journaling. Photo credit: Lindsay Paulson

Gratitude journaling has been one of the simplest and most significant habits I’ve adopted over the years. It’s improved my mental wellness, how I manage tough times in life, even how I interact with others.

Consider the idea of journaling your gratitude for others and blessings. Now apply that to journaling gratitude for yourself, things you’ve done, and why you deserve acknowledgement.

5. Celebrate Yourself

Speaking of acknowledgement, dads are living large these days. Everywhere you look, dads are getting accolades for doing typical parenting duties, from cooking meals to changing diapers to picking up kids from school.

Moms, no one is going to praise us for those same tasks. And, honestly, they shouldn’t.

Whether mom or dad, we don’t deserve praise from others for simply being good parents. It’s like the parenting version of participation trophies. But I’m all for internally celebrating our own small wins, acknowledging little victories, and pausing to appreciate the positive ordinary aspects of the everyday.

So, moms, the final way to show yourself gratitude is to celebrate yourself.

Thank yourself for reading your child another bedtime story and for scheduling all the doctor appointments.

Bask in the glory of a clean house or for packing a top-notch lunch.

Give yourself a mental high-five every time you stand your ground and say “no” to all those extra things you just don’t want to do.

You Can be Your Own Best Friend

I’m lucky to have several really great friends that I’d consider besties (including one who’s furry). While it makes for a tough time choosing just one best friend, I always have the ultimate best friend in myself. I’m honest and harsh, yet I bring the hype and the, “Hell yeahs!” like no one else.

I don’t care if it sounds ridiculous, I think we should all be our own best friend.

As for my husband? We may not be each other’s best friend, but we’re the ones the other chose to do life with. He’s in a category all his own and I think that’s pretty awesome.

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Lindsay Paulson
You know the moms who bake delicious treats for school, throw Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, and have picture-perfect Christmas cards with the whole family in matching pjs? Lindsay is the exact opposite of that. What she lacks in skill and willingness to do ALL the things, she tries to replace by being present and positive. Her top priority is her family - her husband, Chris, two boys born in 2018 and 2020, and dogs, Burton and Gus. She also prioritizes herself, working as a Communications Manager for a healthcare company and staying well through exercise, gratitude, and mindfulness. Her first love is running and she has run marathons in several cities, including Boston, Chicago (which she ran pregnant with her first son), Duluth, and of course, Fargo. Her writing is often based on personal stories, with a touch of humor, and lots of honesty. She hopes all moms know how strong they are and encourages you to embrace who you are, rather than try to be who you think you should be.


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