Self-esteem is a tricky topic; it is inherently subjective, relentlessly present and always changing. Many things in our society can have an unwilling effect on the way we feel about ourselves, and often it is something that is completely out of our control. There are a thousand ways out there that advise how you can help your positive self-esteem flourish, but rarely do we hear anything about how we can rebuild self-esteem once it has been knocked down. Here are 5 steps you can take to rebuild self-esteem…
♡ Try to stop comparing yourself to others
One of the biggest bug-bears where self-esteem is concerned is comparing yourself to others. We all do it, and whether we’re comparing our lifestyles, our looks, our fashion choices or our social life to that of another’s, it’ll only put us into a pit of despair on the self-esteem front.
- One thing that you can do to try to rebuild your self-esteem is to limit your social media activity. Too much time online, and you’re bound to fall down the rabbit hole, soon finding that you’re 32 weeks deep in a stranger’s Instagram, feeling envious of the fact that they’ve just spent a week in Marbella with the love of their life.
- Teach yourself that success is arbitrary and the way that we measure success in our society is fucked. Comparing your successes to someone else’s isn’t going to improve your self-esteem. Our society accepts thinness and whiteness, above all else, as signs of success, but you and I know that that’s bullshit, right? Know when you have succeeded in something and don’t compare your achievements to those of another when yours are just as valid.
♡ Be mindful of the way you talk to and think about yourself
We are so used to talking about ourselves with a razor-sharp tongue, that we forget to rationalise what we’re thinking and saying. If we did, we’d come to the conclusion that, actually, we’re being a little hard on ourselves and should probably cut ourselves some slack.
- Inadvertently, we find ourselves thinking negative things about our bodies, abilities, grades, relationships and fashion choices – the list of what we criticise ourselves about is, frankly, endless. Unfortunately, this kind of internal monologue isn’t going to go away overnight but, when a negative thought enters your head, I want you to try and counter it with something positive about yourself. At least then, you’ll be in a better practise of recognising and expressing positive affirmations about yourself.
- Stop using self-deprecating language. Belittling and undermining yourself in this way adds fuel to your low self-esteem, even if you think that you’re ‘joking’ at the time. You shouldn’t be the brunt of any joke, least of all your own.
♡ Distance yourself from people who make you feel low
This is a difficult one, because often we don’t realise when someone is having a negative impact on the way that we feel about ourselves. It’s important to assess our relationships and those who we choose to spend our time with to notice whether they are serving our mental health in a positive, or negative way.
- We’re not always going to live in seamless harmony with those we are close to, but a few disagreements every now and again are fine. It’s only when we take a step back to see how we’re being treated, when we realise that actually, it’s not okay. Take some time to look at how you treat your loved ones and if you’re not receiving the same treatment, support and encouragement back, then maybe it’s time to have a bit of a chat with them?
- In a slightly less-personal way, the online presence of influencers is so rich and diverse that it can be hard to source where genuine support can be found without the need for products to be brought or Patreons to be a part of before you have access to resources. It’s time to cleanse your social media, beginning with those who you feel don’t aid your self-care progression. Be ruthless!
♡ Try to factor active self-care into your routine
Our lives are so hectic that we don’t grace ourselves the time to relax, rest and rejuvenate. Self-care extends so much further and wider than a bubble bath and face mask, and although they are luscious when you have the time, there are more important things that you could be factoring into your routine to ensure that you are looking after yourself.
- Get a good night’s sleep, drink enough water, enjoy a good and wholesome meal, spend time with loved ones, spend time indulging in something that you enjoy, take time to plan something that you’ve been meaning to for a while, spend an hour or so completing a task that you’ve been putting off, monitor your mental health and acknowledge when you feel at your worst and your best, connect with someone you care about, clean your home, spend time with your pets. There are plenty of things that you can do to support your self-care – you just need to find an hour or two to indulge yourself.
♡ Learn to forgive your mistakes and be forgiving of others
Punishing yourself for something that you’ve done, or holding a grudge against someone else is a sure-fire way to lower your self-esteem. Chastising yourself over something that cannot be changed is a toxic thing for your mental health and recognising when you are doing this can cause a collapse of self-esteem.
- Forgiving yourself for something that you’ve done can be incredibly difficult – we are our own worst enemies most of the time. All you can do is try. Try to forgive, try to draw a line under it, try to move on.
- Instead of focusing on the things that you think you may or may not have done wrong, focus instead on the things that you are excelling at in your life – turn the table on your focus.