Most people feel bad about themselves from time to time. Feelings of low self-esteem may be triggered by being treated poorly by someone else recently or in the past, or by a person’s own judgments of him or herself. This is normal. However, low self-esteem is a constant companion for too many people, especially those who experience depression, anxiety, phobias, psychosis, delusional thinking, or who have an illness or a disability. If you are one of these people, you may go through life feeling bad about yourself needlessly. Low self-esteem keeps you from enjoying life, doing the things you want to do, and working toward personal goals. Following are Things You Can Do Right Away—Every Day—to Raise Your Self-esteem
- Pay attention to your own needs and wants. Listen to what your body, your mind, and your heart are telling you.
- Take very good care of yourself. Begin today to take good care of yourself. Treat yourself as a wonderful parent would treat a small child or as one very best friend might treat another. Eat healthy foods and avoid junk foods (foods containing a lot of sugar, salt, or fat). Exercise. Moving your body helps you to feel better and improves your self-esteem.
- Take time to do things you enjoy. You may be so busy, or feel so badly about yourself, that you spend little or no time doing things you enjoy–things like playing a musical instrument, doing a craft project, flying a kite, or going fishing. Make a list of things you enjoy doing. Then do something from that list every day. Add to the list anything new that you discover you enjoy doing.
- Get something done that you have been putting off. Clean out that drawer. Wash your car/ bike. Write that letter. Pay that bill.
- Do things that make use of your own special talents and abilities. For instance, if you are good with your hands, then make things for yourself, family, and friends.
- Dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself.
- Give yourself rewards
- Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself—people who treat you well. Avoid people who treat you badly.
- Display items that you find attractive or that remind you of your achievements or of special times or people in your life.
- Take advantage of opportunities to learn something new or improve your skills. Take a class or go to a seminar.
- Begin doing those things that you know will make you feel better about yourself— like going on a diet, beginning an exercise program or keeping your living space clean.
- Do something nice for another person. Smile at someone who looks sad. Say a few kind words to the check-out cashier. Take a meal to a friend who is sick. Send a card to an acquaintance. Volunteer for a worthy organization.
You may be doing some of these things now. There will be others you need to work on. You will find that you will continue to learn new and better ways to take care of yourself. As you incorporate these changes into your life, your self-esteem will continue to improve.