Seven ways to boost your self-esteem this spring
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Harriet Frew
18th March, 20150 Comments
Spring is finally here! The promise of longer evenings; the fresh smell of the first cut grass; little buds of pretty, pink cherry blossom and cheerful yellow daffodils. It all sounds so clichéd, but the wonderful thing about living in Britain, is the forgetting of the surprise spring brings! But are you feeling spring-like inside, brimming with well-being and hope for the coming summer months?
After winter, hiding under layers of clothes and safely tucked up under your duvet with a warm cup of cocoa and sitting by the fire, there can be some safety and solace in the winter period. Suddenly, the thought of exposing limbs; spending more time outside; starting to exercise, thinking about holidays and social events; you might be feeling a little daunted. So how can you embrace the warmer seasons with a healthy dose of self-esteem and well-being?
Seven ways to boost your self-esteem this spring
1. Focus inwards
Rather than focusing on your external world eg. that your sister is striving for body perfection on the 5:2 diet; that bikini clad model bodies are scattered through every spring edition of glossy magazines; that the shops are full of ‘essential holiday stuff’ to buy (and you know that these things don’t really make you feel sustainably better), put on your blinkers to the world and direct your energy inwards. What is important to you for the coming months? Friendships, activities, learning, culture – expand your mind to the possibilities ahead.
2. Your body
If you feel that you need to lose a bit of weight and tone up, instead of going on a crazy diet and exercise routine, (to then rebound from with serious overeating due to feelings of deprivation some weeks later), focus on some mini and sustainable goals for change - eg. I am going to walk to work three days a week; I am going to take some tasty and nutritious food in my lunchbox every day.
3. Be realistic about change
And be your best self. Basing your self-worth on getting down to size X for your cousin’s wedding or trying to be ‘bikini ready’ for the summer vacation is possibly going to set you up feeling disappointed. If you have never been a boyish size 8, then maybe you need to rethink your goals. Instead of going on ‘the regime’ take a trusted friend or use a personal shopping service to help you to enhance your best body bits and to choose colours that really suit you.
4. No-one is perfect
Remember that everyone else has insecurities, imperfections and frailties, even if it doesn’t look like it. Super-Mum at the school gates, or Ms Perfect in the office, or Mr Talented in your study group all too have their own little troubles and self-doubting. Such is life. When you put someone on a pedestal, you immediately put yourself down in the dumps. Make a conscious choice not to do this. Judging your inner self by someone’s outer self is counter-productive.
5. Beware of beautiful lifestyle websites (and glossy magazines) portraying the ideals
This is the airbrushed, beautifully presented fantasy. You can still enjoy the voyeurism of soaking up ideas and inspiration, but do it with a conscious mind – this is the best and pretty version of someone’s life.
6. Make a decision to boost your self-worth based on other things apart from your body
Notice your qualities, eg. kind to a friend; thoughtful to my partner; working hard and motivated on the project; attractive smile. Write these down in a journal. Get in the habit of appreciation of yourself and the world. It beats listening to your inner critic.
7. Self-care with abandon
Buy yourself your favourite flowers; a new fragrant perfume; go for a lovely walk; spend time with a trusted friend; laugh at film you have wanted to see; read that new novel. A life peppered with mini pleasures and injections of joy and well-being is usually a happier one.
Enjoy this spring-time. If you are struggling to boost your self-esteem alone and are feeling low and stuck, it might be worth talking to a therapist to get some additional support. Do get in touch with one of the therapists on the Counselling Directory. We look forward to hearing from you.
About the author
Harriet Frew is a counsellor, blogger, writer and enthusiast in supporting people with eating disorders. She has worked in the NHS; private practice and in the voluntary sector; working in the field since 1999. Harriet now works privately in Cambridge and at Weight Matters in London.
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