Mental health is a very important part of my life. To me, my mental health is a big priority, so I try to be as candid about it as possible in order to motivate other people to start taking care of themselves. This year, I started therapy in order to learn skills to show love and kindness to myself when I feel at my lowest. On this list, I put together some advice to help you work on improving your mood and self-esteem:
1. Learn to stop questioning yourself
When we don’t get something that we’ve been working toward and we feel rejected, it’s easy to blame ourselves. Instead of looking at the big picture, I’ll often find myself asking, “What’s wrong with me?” Did I say the wrong thing? Wear the wrong thing? To combat this, I learned that instead of asking myself what I did wrong, I should ask: “What’s wrong with them?” By alleviating myself of all the self-criticism, I have learned to be a kinder person to myself. From learning not to beat myself up so hard about things that are out of my control, I have started to take constructive criticism better and work on how I view myself.
2. Take time for yourself
When I think of love, I usually think of romantic love that one person shows to a loved one. But what about self-love? It is equally important to show yourself love and kindness as it is to show another person these feelings. Take a step back and think of all the ways you like to show love to a loved one. Some ways to show your love include checking up on them, comforting them and making sacrifices for them. Once you have an idea, you can start applying those actions to yourself. Check up on yourself by writing in a journal at the end of the day, comfort yourself with your favorite movie or playlist and make some sacrifices by taking time out of your day to do one thing that makes you happy. You’ll find that by taking time for yourself and being kind to yourself, your mood will begin to improve.
3. Make yourself heard
When we don’t express how we feel, we can end up feeling unheard, weak or that we’re lacking much-needed closure. To stop feeling this way, it’s important to always express your emotions and how you feel. If you’re arguing with a friend, don’t just say “Okay” and end the conversation. Instead, take the time to express your feelings about the situation. You’ll find that your arguments will have a more productive result and that you’ll end up feeling recognized, validated and appreciated. Never be afraid to ask for what you need or what you want!
4. Get in tune with your emotions
Sometimes, it’s easier to feel nothing than to feel sad. Sometimes we find ourselves suppressing our emotions or ignoring them in order to get through a situation. However, the more you bottle up your emotions, the bigger your emotional explosion will be. Always remember that your emotions are valid. If we continue to avoid our emotions when we feel low, we will never understand how it feels to be truly happy.
5. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for every day
In the age of social media, it is easy to start comparing yourself to others. Instead of thinking about the things we don’t have, it is important to start thinking about the things that we do have and that we’re grateful for. By writing down things you’re thankful for every day, like your family, friends or education, you’ll start to appreciate the things you have much more. I didn’t realize all the positive things I had in my life until I started doing this, and it has really had a great impact on my life!