Your Guide to Self-Esteem and Self-Care Practices

When it comes to the mental health strides and the self-care movements across the country, we as a society are finally making some important progress recognizing that mental health matters. However, this does not prevent opposing voices from sharing their displeasure with these shifts in our culture.

 Some still don’t understand this shift as more than a silly trend for millennials to focus on themselves, however here’s some important news. This may or may not be an epiphany for some, but fun fact, it turns out that not caring for yourself holistically really is a problem for everyone.

When we only take care of our body or our to-do list, but forget to take care of our inner selves, the rest of our impact on others and our communities cannot function to their best quality and neither can you.

So, what does that mean for all of us? We need to turn this trend into an unstoppable force, and it starts with every single person and their views of themselves, their worth, and their capabilities. If you work on your self-esteem, every other decision you make in your life can improve the life of others and yourself. Learning how to find the right dose of this and use effective self-care practices is what we are talking about today.

Positive self-esteem and regular self-care practices are both interconnected to one another and beneficial together, not just on their own. In order to take care of your mind, body, and soul, you have to treat it like you take care of other things that you value. For instance, you wouldn’t leave your pet at home without giving them food or water if you were, so why neglect yourself either?

Having a positive self-esteem helps improve all other aspects of your life. With a positive self-esteem, a person will have a better outlook to overcome challenges, because they believe they are capable of handling conflict and stress. Self-esteem increases your motivation, your ability to take healthy risks, as well as increases the desire to build others up as much as building yourself has helped you.

Those of us who struggle with self-esteem issues, however, have two concerns with making strides to change our ways. One of which, is worrying that we will lose our humility and become arrogant in the process at looking towards ourselves, actually flipping to the other extreme. Another concern is that if is not the case, then there is no point in changing, because our worth is so low, we don’t see the point in putting effort into nothing.

If this sounds like you, listen up. If you believe that you will become arrogant if you increase your self-esteem more than you currently are, you won’t. Just your concern of this fact, indicates your natural humility. As for fearing you are not worth the work, yes you are. It may seem silly, and you may not believe it hearing it, but it is true.Try to take the necessisary steps to improve your worth, and it will become clear one day. So now that you have no excuse not to give self-care a chance for the sake of yourself esteem, how might someone go about changing it? How do we create that perfect balance of humility and self-acceptance? It starts with re-getting to know yourself. The more in tune with who you are, the more you can read your needs, and therefore address them properly when something isn’t right inside. 

The best way to get to know yourself is creating an internal dialogue of conversation. Just like some people catch themselves talking to themselves as they organize their own thoughts, personal dialogues can help you sort out what you currently believe, what you want to believe about yourself, and how to begin shifting what you think is true from what actually is true.

 Personal dialogue can be anything from daily self-affirmations on what you appreciate about your life, your own qualities, or what has already happened to you to just being kinder to yourself. Start small, you don’t have to have an answer for the parts of you that you struggle to accept right away, just start by trying at all. Once it gets easier, challenge yourself to face the parts of you that are harder to accept. For instance, if you struggle with your body, what are you appreciative of, regardless of the things you still want to change? What makes you different from everyone else?

Another form of personal dialogue that can help you see yourself in a more positive light is acting like your voice is another person and responding to that voice like you are a close friend. Say or example you just got a bad grade in a class and you call yourself stupid. In response to this thought, instead of sitting in that belief, tell yourself as you would a friend something nice and productive. You could say that everyone has their bad days, that you are in college for a reason, and that you are more than your grades and aren’t actually stupid. Practices such as this on a consistent basis, like any practice, will become truths the longer their practiced and you will feel a noticeable difference in your view of yourself. In addition, these thoughts can happen at any time, so it is at no cost to your time in your day to do.

Great ways to practice self-care that don’t always require a lot of mental talk are in the activities that bring you joy and relief. Be sure that every day, yes, every day, that you are doing something just for you. This could be as small as five minutes reading before bed, to going for a walk on a particularly hard day. Whatever it is, be sure you put some time into yourself as much as you naturally do for those you love. Because if you love yourself like you love others, it will only spread love more when you can give it to yourself and back out again. Find a hobby, paint, write, draw, take up a new sport, learn to sew whatever it is, have something that is your personal escape and learn to do new things too so that you can build confidence when you are able to complete something new you didn’t expect to complete.

 Another way to combat self-esteem with self-care, is to stop comparing yourself to anyone else. You already have so much to try to improve within there is no time to put energy into comparing yourself to anyone else. Take a moment to really think about it. There is absolutely no benefit in comparing yourself. No matter what you do, you will never be the person you are comparing yourself to, no matter what, because newsflash, they aren’t you.

 Even if you adapt a certain look or hobby, if it is not authentic to you it will drain you and make you feel even less worthy when you can’t keep up the façade any longer, and you will feel like you failed. But there is good news, you can’t fail at being yourself, because that is a natural subconscious act, so be you. The only way you can is if you don’t try or give anyone a chance either. This is a mistake not worth risking. Instead, take some time to practice some self-care practices. Yes, the cliché face masks, bubble baths, or smoothies all work. But don’t limit yourself to these, pick whatever makes you specifically feel better that is healthy for you. This will boost your mood, make you feel good, and give you the confidence you deserve to live a valuable life since you see your own value.

 

The final best way to increase self-esteem is to remember it comes from within. No one can love you the way you need to learn to love yourself. Yes, it is important to let others love you and support you, however if you want to find true self-worth, you must come to terms with the fact that you and you alone are the only one who can believe you have worth deep down.

 Even if others affirm and try to convince you, you have worth, it has to come from you. Once you believe this, the changes inside can truly start. Be patient with yourself, just like a broken bone or an exam, it takes practice, patience, and forgiveness to improve. There will still be days that you don’t completely like yourself, but the days you start to believe in yourself will be the days that your life will change forever.

 

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