New Month: New Ideas

February is national library lover’s month, national bird feeding month, national snack food month, and also national return shopping carts to the supermarket month! It’s fun to consider the possibilities that any month can bring, but what I want to focus on today is international boost self-esteem month.

Self-esteem is simply defined as the way you feel about yourself. Even though it develops in childhood, it is always changing. Everyone has the power to develop their own self-esteem without having to rely on others, but it does help to have a friend, family member, or therapist in your corner.

Good self-esteem is worth cultivating because it improves your mental health and your ability to roll with the punches. It can increase feelings of worth and help you manage feelings of sadness, since low self-esteem is one major cause of depression.

So, how can you change the ways you see yourself? Try these.

  1. Stop the negative self-talk. The labels you assign yourself can become ingrained, so pay attention to the ways you talk to, or about, yourself. See if you can catch yourself with a negative thought that you can challenge this week.
  2. Celebrate your strengths. It only takes a few minutes each day to reflect on your great qualities. If you do a particular task every day, like make coffee, or drive to work, these are great times to remember to consider what you like about yourself. Maybe you make your friends laugh, or you care for your children. Perhaps you’re very resourceful, or you work hard on your self-improvement. Once you acknowledge your strengths, write them down! If you have a hard time deciding on your strengths, you can always ask a friend.
  3. Practice self-care. When you take care of yourself, it boosts your self-esteem, period. It’s also one of the easiest things to ignore when you are feeling busy, overwhelmed, or depressed. It may take some planning to take better care of yourself, but self-care is a must for boosting self-esteem. Self-care may mean different things to different people, but you may want to focus on getting enough sleep, eating nourishing foods, and taking part in activities that boost your sense of peace.

Reaching healthy self-esteem is a process that is worth it, and it will make your outlook on life brighter. It can not only help with depression and anxiety, but also help you feel more resilient when facing daily left stressors. Which strategies will you try this month?