In this month of love and romance, we often forget one of the most important kinds of love – loving yourself. These words may seem over-used and cliché. But as exhaustive as these conversations can be, there is truth to them. Here are some tips and tricks on how to help build your self-esteem and learn to love yourself.
1. Practice Positive Self-Talk With Daily Affirmations
Practicing positive self-talk can be incredibly helpful in growing your self-esteem. Learning to speak kindly to yourself, and forgive yourself, instead of putting yourself down, calling yourself stupid can help your mental health immensely. Even though you may feel silly doing it, looking yourself in the mirror and talking to yourself by saying daily affirmations or just saying something you like about yourself can help boost your mood and self-esteem.
Check out some of our staff’s favorite affirmations below, narrated by our own Matthew Talmadge, Outpatient Services Clinical Supervisor at Nexus-Gerard Family Healing.
2. Practice REAL Self-Care
Self-care is a trendy word you may hear frequently on social media, but true self-care is more than taking a night to do a facemask and a bubble bath – it’s taking care of yourself and putting your physical, mental, and emotional needs first. What may seem like basic tasks for some may be hard for others who struggle with depression or anxiety – brushing your teeth, taking a shower, going for a walk, eating a nourishing meal – these tasks can feel overwhelming. Take it day by day, and as our therapist Luke Spiegelhoff says, “do then feel.” Set small goals to help yourself feel your best.
3. Set Boundaries For Yourself
Boundaries are another topic frequently brought up in the mental health sphere. But setting boundaries are incredibly important for yourself and your mental health. These boundaries can be something like limiting your screen time, setting aside time to do something for you, or setting limits with a family member who doesn’t respect your space. Boundaries allow you to make time for yourself and to prioritize yourself. Remember, it’s okay to say no. Check out our blog on setting boundaries. This blog is specifically about setting boundaries during the holiday season but can be applied in daily life.
4. Focus on What You Need, Not Your Wants
What can feel good or fun in the moment may not always be the best for your mental and physical health. Making choices that are based on your mental, physical, and emotional needs over what may make you feel immediately good can help with growing your self-worth and putting yourself first. Speak kindly to yourself and get to know your real needs by asking yourself “what do I need right now?”.
5. Practice Mindfulness Techniques and/or Try Talk Therapy
There is a body of research that supports the theory that practicing mindfulness techniques can help improve self-esteem. Often times high-levels of mindfulness have been associated with high levels of self-esteem. Here are some examples of practicing mindfulness:
- Mindful Breathing
- 20 Holistic Healing Lessons for Your Mental Health Journey
You can try practicing yoga or meditation, journaling your thoughts or what you are grateful for, power posing and saying out loud things you like about yourself. Being aware how what your needs are, what makes you feel good, what brings you joy, and being mindful of how you speak to yourself can help. If available to you, you can also seek out counseling and talk through how to build a self-care practice with a professional.
Nexus Family Healing is a national nonprofit mental health organization that restores hope for thousands of children and families who come to us for outpatient/community mental health services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment. For over 50 years, our network of agencies has used innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures. We believe every child is worth it — and every family matters. Learn more at nexusfamilyhealing.org.