These 21 empowering phrases will help you survive anything.

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.

Photo via iStock.

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.

Photo via iStock.

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.

Photo via iStock.

8. "To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven." — Allen Cohen


9. Everything will be OK.

Photo via iStock.

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.

Photo via iStock.

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.

Photo via iStock.

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.

Photo via iStock.

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.

Photo via iStock.

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.

Photo via iStock.

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."

Droolworthy photo via iStock.

Family

Life for a shelter dog, even if it's a comfortable shelter administered by the ASPCA with as many amenities as can be afforded, is still not the same as having the comfort and safety of a forever home. Professional violinist Martin Agee knows that and that's why he volunteers himself and his instrument to help.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

Keep Reading Show less
Believe
True
Macy's
Photo by Toni Hukkanen on Unsplash

Are looks more important than the ability to get through a long work day without ending up with eyes so dry and painful you wish you could pop them out of your face? Many employers in Japan don't permit their female employees to wear glasses while at work. Big shocker, male employees are totally allowed to sport a pair of frames. The logic behind it (if you can call it that) is that women come off as "cold" and "unfeminine" and – horror of all horrors – "too intelligent."

Women are given excuses as to why they can't wear glasses to work. Airline workers are told it's a safety thing. Beauty industry workers are told they need to see makeup clearly. But men apparently don't have the same safety issues as women, because they're allowed to wear their glasses square on the face. Hospitality staff, waitresses, receptionists at department stores, and nurses at beauty clinics are some of the women who are told to pop in contacts while they're on the clock.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Guardian / YouTube

Beluga whales are affectionately known as sea canaries for their song-like vocalizations, and their name is the Russian word for "white."

They are sociable animals that live, hunt, and migrate together in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. However, they are naturally reticent to interact with humans, although some solitary belugas are known to approach boats.

Once such beluga that's believed to live in Norwegian waters is so comfortable among humans that it played fetch with a rugby ball.

Keep Reading Show less
popular