This month is international Boost Self-Esteem Month. Self-esteem is defined as how you feel about yourself. Self-esteem changes throughout life. Many people struggle with their self-esteem at some point in their lives. Boosting self-esteem can have significant benefits to fighting depression and anxiety and is good for overall mental wellness.
Low self-esteem can impact a person’s life negatively in many areas from relationships, job, and health. Identify areas that impact your self-esteem in a negative way. Some of these could include: a task at work, crisis at home or a job, problems with another person, or change in life circumstances, etc.
Once you have identified the area that is impacting your self-esteem take note of your thoughts about it. Pay attention to your self-talk. Your thoughts may be negative, positive, or neutral. You may experience rational thoughts, or irrational thoughts based on a false perception you have about a situation. Once you have identified your thoughts try adjusting your negative thoughts with constructive thoughts. Here are some examples to try:
Give yourself forgiveness. We all make mistakes. It is not a permanent reflection of who we are. Give yourself grace, and tell yourself, “I made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean I am bad at this.”
Maintain a positive mindset. Think about skills you have and what works well in your life.
Give yourself encouragement. Give yourself credit for things you are working on. For instance, “Although, I didn’t get everything on my list done I completed everything else really well.”
Use hopeful statements. Be kind to yourself. Instead of thinking you won’t do well on a presentation or test, be kind to yourself and say, “I’m capable of handling a tough situation.”
It’s also important to accept your thoughts and feelings instead of avoiding or resisting them. By accepting our thoughts, it can lessen the power of your negative thoughts to influence your behavior. Reframe your negative thoughts with your strengths.
Here are some other ways to improve your self-esteem:
Exercise. Exercising releases endorphins. Endorphins can trigger a positive feeling. Even taking a short walk can improve your mood.
Celebrate things you are good at. Take time each day to write down two-three things you did that day you enjoyed. This helps you notice your strengths.
Let go of comparison. Someone else’s achievements don’t need to take away from your own. Focus on what you have achieved and how far you have come.
Whether you have a high self-esteem or low self-esteem take some time this month to celebrate boosting your self-esteem or share with a friend or family member ways they can boost theirs. It’s important to remember to do you things you enjoy, take care of yourself, and spend time with people who lift you up.
Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January of 2020, coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.