Self-esteem relates to how you value and perceive yourself in the world. It will generally relate to you as a whole person – your opinions and beliefs, what you do and how you feel about things. If you have healthy self-esteem, it allows you to be positive about yourself and life, and feel more able to take on challenges. A healthy self-esteem can ensure you make positive choices and decisions.
We will all have moments when we are not feeling our best and need a boost. At this time of year, we all tend to become a bit more reflective about what we have achieved and where we would like to be. As this is a year like no other, it’s perhaps even more important to reflect on how well you are looking after yourself and what you would like to take with you into 2021.
Here are tips to help you to raise your self-esteem, to empower you to have a healthy relationship with yourself and others.
Check your network
Are you surrounded by supportive people? This may be family, friends or someone trusted you can speak to who will support you. They will listen to your hopes and fears while having your best interests at heart. A supportive network can encourage you to achieve and feel better about yourself.
Stretch, move and play
Exercise regularly. Thirty minutes of exercise a day can release those all-important feel-good hormones, endorphins. There are many forms of exercise such as walking, running, Pilates, yoga, cycling, swimming or going to the gym. Regular exercise can improve mental health and boost immunity. It is also proven to reduce stress and improve moods. Exercise can raise confidence as the fitter you get the more you are able to do and goals you can achieve.
Try something new
Taking on new challenges or getting involved in different social activities are positive ways to raise your self-esteem. It can feel daunting, at first, as you may feel you don’t know anyone, and that inner-critic may rear its head. Take some time to build yourself up and remember all of the positive things about yourself, to empower you to take that next step.
You may find that you really enjoy the new activity and it makes you happy, or that you meet some great people and can’t wait to go back. You may also find that you’re really good at it, which will give you extra confidence.
Or you may find that it’s not for you, but you’re really happy that you tried it anyway. At least this way, you are not left wondering.
Set small achievable goals
When we breakdown our dreams into small goals, it brings the finish line even closer, as you are taking steps towards it all the time. There’s also a more frequent sense of celebration, as each small goal you achieve will feel like a win and will increase your confidence and self-esteem.
Fuel yourself well
Drink water and eat healthy foods. Drinking two litres of water a day can release toxins and energise our moods and muscles. If we eat healthy foods such as vegetables and fruit then this can improve our memory and increase our mood to a more positive one.
This is something we hear a lot now but it’s not all about how we make another person feel. When we do kind acts for others, it allows us to concentrate on someone else’s wellbeing while feeling good about doing something to help another. Acts of kindness can promote emotional warmth, connections with other people and improve our health and immune systems.
Would you like more help working on your self-esteem? Our Butterfly Project programme has helped hundreds of young women to embrace who they are and empowered them to take on new challenges. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch.