Wellness Wednesday: How To Raise Your Self-Esteem
According to Mind, self-esteem “is how we value and perceive ourselves. It’s based on our opinions and beliefs about ourselves, which can sometimes feel really difficult to change.” The way it affects a person differs for everyone, as it may change suddenly, you may react to it differently, or you may have had low self-esteem for a while now. Nevertheless, it can be difficult recognising the signs and making changes, which is why I have decided to focus this week’s Wellness Wednesday on helping you raise your self-esteem. Read on and find out more!
There may have been difficult or stressful life experiences that can usually factor in on lower self-esteem, these include:
- “being bullied or abused
- experiencing prejudice, discrimination or stigma, including racism
- losing your job or difficulty finding employment
- problems at work or while studying
- ongoing stress
- physical health problems
- mental health problems
- relationship problems, separation or divorce
- worries about your appearance and body image
- problems with money or housing”
There are a lot of other factors that could be contributing to your wellbeing, though these are the common ones listed. Either way, it is also important to note, as Mind explains, that your self-esteem can still affect you whether you:
- “like and value yourself as a person
- are able to make decisions and assert yourself
- recognise your strengths and positives
- feel able to try new or difficult things
- show kindness towards yourself
- move past mistakes without blaming yourself unfairly
- take the time you need for yourself
- believe you matter and are good enough
- believe you deserve happiness”
I will advise you with some tips and suggestions for improving your self-esteem, however, please note that different people find different ideas useful for them; everything works differently for people at different times. Do what makes you comfortable and will not push you too hard over the edge when helping yourself. If something does not work, try something else.
- Be kind to yourself – Journal and get to know yourself better to find out what makes you happy and what does not, allow yourself to feel the emotions and consider what self-esteem means to you. Most of all, do not compare yourself to others.
- Self-care – Get enough sleep, think about your diet and physical activity, spend time outside, look after your hygiene, do some pampering, and avoid “recreational drugs and alcohol”.
- Notice the good things – celebrate your successes, write a list of the good things that happened during the day no matter how small, and spend time with people who make you happy.
- Build a support network – when you feel down, have a list of people you feel you would feel safe contacting and speaking to during this time.
- Therapy or counselling – Talking therapies can sometimes be helpful for building your self-esteem, or finding ways to cope with experiences that have affected how you feel about yourself.
- Learn new skills – learning something new can raise your self-esteem; new knowledge brings new power.
- Set challenges – try volunteering, setting small goals for the day, do things you enjoy, and take up new hobbies.