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Did you know that February is Boost Your Self-Esteem Month? As Oprah Winfrey quite rightly says; “Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgment of others.”
So how does the world look to you? And how are you making your world look to others? It’s an interesting question isn’t it?
In the long months of lockdown over the last year, I have been doing my regular live lookarounds, giving you a shopping experience and keeping in touch with all our supportive and regular customers. I hope you think I’m as honest as I can be when I discuss ways that you can support us and how we see things in the future. It’s just that sometimes I really am having to put on a brave front, a happy face, a big smile - when I am definitely not feeling it.
It’s been tough on ‘non-essential’ retailers. It’s been really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. To hand over the rent on a shop that hasn’t had a customer walk through the door that month. But still, we’ve tried to stay happy and be thankful that we’re still here. I have also tried hard to step out of my comfort zone and raise my voice in the campaign to #makeretailfair. That’s led to some good media coverage and a chance to meet and support fellow retailers going through the same as I am.
So how does that relate to Boost Your Self Esteem Month? Well, as far as I can see it, easy ways to boost your self esteem include:
STOP criticising yourself (I do this all the time!)
STOP comparing yourself (again - sometimes it’s hard not to)
START practising gratitude (especially hard when times are tough - but so important)
START moving – we all know the benefits even a little bit of exercise can bring. (We have had some really lovely input on this from Tara at Moor Fitness and Claire from Woman on a Mission. You can read more about them on our blog.) ADD LINK
So why not invest some time into boosting your self esteem and finding small ways in every day life to encourage yourself. There are a few things here at Insideout that could help. I’ve listed some of them below. So why not start RIGHT NOW and invest in yourself. Here are my ten ways to to boost your self esteem - with a little help.
In order for us to be able to achieve anything we must first believe in ourself! If you can find the source of your own self-doubts, you are halfway towards overcoming them. This circle of karma brings positivity your way to spread a little good karma each day.
It’s so important that we speak to people who we feel will listen to us. It’s hard when we are so far away from them physically. But we can still keep in touch online - and very soon we’ll see them too. Good friends will be honest and give feedback on how we are doing and if we have something to learn.
Movement and fresh air are the perfect combination for mental wellbeing! Whether you’re walking, running, cycling or taking the children to the park, make some time for some mindful thinking. It really can make all the difference.
This may sound like common sense, but many of us end up doing things for nothing other than the thrill of doing something different. Get creative, make a card for someone, run a bath with the intention of spending 20 minutes meditating in it. Whatever it is, relish the moment.
Improving self-esteem isn’t about outward appearance, but more about what is happening inwardly. The fact is that the whole of our being is inside us, and it is important to accept this rather than being concerned with our external appearance. If you haven’t read this book, then you need to. Down-to-earth and relatable, this book is for anyone seeking the tools to build a new life.
Chocolate may make you feel good temporarily - but it’s nourishment that the body needs on an ongoing basis. When we eat healthy food we make sure that we are full, this gives us more energy and will help to boost our self-esteem. Peter Gorton is an award winning Masterchef of Great Britain and one of Devon’s finest chefs. He recently gave us a delicious recipe to stay happy and healthy in lockdown.
This will look different for all of us. One of the best ways to boost our self-esteem is to set time aside for ourselves, this is not just a time for doing something different, it is also a time where we can enjoy some alone time. Journaling or doodling is a great way to put our thoughts in order and unburden our mind of every days stress.
When you have low self-esteem you may notice that your positive energy goes into other people and not yourself. The charity Mind advises to ‘get into the habit of thinking and saying positive things about yourself to yourself’. Before leaving the house for work or a to attend something that makes you feel anxious, stand in front of the mirror and pretend the reflection isn’t you – it’s a friend. Compliment them on their hair, their outfit or their complexion like you would to someone else.
You got up on time this morning. Tick. You poached your eggs to perfection. Winning. Celebrating the small victories is a great way to build confidence and start feeling better about yourself.
But, if you are really struggling with self esteem issues, please, contact a professional or confide in a friend or family member who can support you. Let’s face it, there won’t be many of us who don’t struggle with our own self esteem from time to time. Sadly in a digital age of instant gratification and images of perceived perfection everywhere we look, self esteem is affecting our mental health even more than ever.