Most of us lose our groove at one point or another, and getting it back can — well, difficult. Problems at work, issues at home and even personal insecurities can take their toll, knocking down our self-esteem and making us feel bad about ourselves. Also, let's not dismiss how we may be feeling post-pandemic and the toll of the last year — some of us make jokes about being a "bucket of bog water" or "an old troll" but there's a little bit of truth in every joke and many of us are feeling awful about ourselves and our places in the world.
If you're struggling, you are not alone. Millions of others are struggling, too. But there is hope for feeling better. Here’s how to get started.
When we’re feeling down about ourselves, it can be easy to focus on our failings over our accomplishments. A personal brainstorming session may help set the record straight. Inc. recommends making a list and writing down even our most minor achievements.
Go as far back as you can and write them all down. A pattern is likely to emerge, one that reveals the most important step toward success is simply finding the will not to give up. When we see all we’ve overcome to get where we are today, we can better appreciate ourselves
And get going on them. When we’re able to strive toward new goals, we tend to feel empowered, affecting both our perspective and performance. Having something to work toward gives us rewards to look forward to as we reach milestones, and every goal we achieve is another piece of evidence that we are capable and worthy. Setting big and small goals can make it easier to track our progress and motivate us to keep pushing forward.
Try setting goals in every major area of your life if you haven't already. Or revisit old goals. Dust them off and revamp them for your current circumstances then reinvigorate them with new energy.
Most of us are our own worst critics, and all that negative dialogue can have lasting impacts on our self-worth. The right self-dialogue can inspire positive personal identity and improve our sense of worth and personal image. Try turning any harsh criticisms into words of love and encouragement and see what happens.
Everyone needs to decompress sometimes, and a little pampering can go a long way. Being proactive about our health and well-being is an effective way to feel better about ourselves and the obstacles that remain in our paths. Experts recommend regularly setting aside time for a hot bath, a relaxing walk or whatever else might offer a personal boost.
We don't really define "self-care" as taking bubble baths or indulging in ice cream. Instead, we advocate for self-care as the philosophy that puts life-doings at the center of self-care. We might take a moment to make the phone call we've been putting off, or pay that bill, or mow the lawn. Whatever it is that we know we need to do to feel better, we prioritize and do it. Often we do these things in spurts using the Pomodoro method but the point is, we all feel better when we free the log jam on our task lists.
Outside support can make a huge difference when we’re having a hard time standing tall by ourselves. Reach out to friends and family members to stay connected and minimize isolation. Emotional support can help fortify us during hard times, and the direction and advice we receive can help us stay on track.
Social media use can have negative impacts on both physical and mental health. Constant comparisons between ourselves and all those “perfect” posts can tank our self-esteem. Yet, we may not be able to stop scrolling due to the addictive nature of social media websites. Even a small break can be helpful. Try deleting the apps from your phone for a week and then see if you can go a month.
Well-being can come in many forms, but research has shown one of the surest ways to improve how we feel is to give someone else a boost. Sure, it’s important sometimes to put ourselves first — but it can feel just as good, or even better, to focus on the people around us. When we make the world a better place, we reinforce our personal sense of value and add to our own happiness.
No one can feel great about themselves all the time, but a persistently negative self-image can create roadblocks and hardship. When it gets especially tough to see yourself for the shining light that you are, it’s critical to have coping strategies so we can stand back up. It may take a little effort at first, but the rewards can be well worth it.
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