There’s a lot of coverage out there about how, in this day and age, we are spiralling into a society that is heavily influenced by social media, where we can be subjected to hurtful comments and where we can little, by little, destroy our own confidence by comparing ourselves unfavourably to celebrity and personalities and influencers.
With mental health issues highlighted in the press and the link between social media and our self-esteem, being explored on an almost daily basis, the time has come to start to focus on spreading positivity and practicing self-love, building our self-awareness, esteem and confidence.
Where do we start?
Firstly, you need to reflect on what makes you feel good – that intrinsic buzz when you do, or are doing, something you love. It might be something work related or on a more personal level, like a sporting challenge, perhaps achieving a best, or longest run, or if you have a very busy life, it might be just being somewhere quiet, relaxing with your family, friends, pet, or just alone.
Whatever it is, so long as it’s positive, just try and make more time for it! You might need to give something up or make arrangements for your family are or something, so that you are free to pursue what you want, whatever it takes, do it! Do it for yourself, you’ll feel better and be better for it. When you have balance in your life, you have a better balance with others.
You’ll find that you will become more self-aware, as well as develop a sense of achievement. These feelings will fuel your self-esteem, leading to self-acceptance, we’re none of us perfect, but when you accept that you may have made mistakes in the past, and that you have flaws, you can accept and respect yourself and acknowledge that others will accept you too.
Here are a few ways you can help yourself start on your journey of learning to love yourself.
Start a journal and list your strengths: This can be a difficult exercise, because we are not used to ‘blowing our own trumpet’ but give it a go. It’s best to do when you are feeling in a good place, and remember, it’s a private exercise, you don’t have to share with anyone. You can always ask someone close what they perceive as your strengths. Once they’re down on paper – you can revisit them if you go through any negative times of insecurity and remind yourself of your positive traits.
Take care of yourself: If you are used to putting others first, you can often find that you neglect yourself, your needs and your own frame of mind. Taking care of yourself includes eating well, surrounding yourself with positive people to secure a healthy frame of mind and mental health, as well as balancing activity and sleep. There was the tragic case of a young Chinese woman, Wu Huayan, who died at the age of 24 of malnutrition because she put the needs of her ill brother before her own. Start small if you have to, but every day, make sure you do something for yourself.
Ditch the social media: As we discussed at the beginning of the article, social media can be negative, bombarding us with false news, unattainable images of what is supposed to be ‘beauty’ and, negative commentaries, all of which can cause stress, anxiety and low mood. Even social interactions with friends and family can take on a different meaning when the words are written in text rather than spoken, which also can add to low mood if they are misread or misinterpreted. The answer is simple. Take a break. Stop it for a day, speak to people the old-fashioned way, face to face or by phone, and when in someone’s company, pay attention to them. Make a pact not to check your phones for the duration of the time you are together.
Surround yourself with positive and supportive people: This can be a hard one, because you might not get on with everyone at work, but you still have to work, so cannot do much. Here, we’re talking more about the people who drain your energy, like someone who always has problems and seems to unburden themselves on you. The type of people who take you for granted or behave in way that does not seem respectful. It’s where you draw the line if they ask to see you by saying that you are a bit busy or do not have time. That will distance them allowing you to spend time with people who have faith and will help you feel good about yourself.
Finally, if you need some help to get on the path, you can work on your own self-awareness with our Self-Development Skills program. It’s a detailed course of 5 modules that will help you explore your inner self. It’s packed with information, quizzes, video’s and structured exercises to help you uncover your deepest passions and plan a way to happiness and fulfilment.
Developed by us, and based on national qualification standards at level 3, this is not available anywhere else and is based on science and experience.