Self-Esteem is an important part of a person’s well-being. It comes from within ourselves and helps to determine what we project of ourselves outward for others to see and hear. Having positive self-esteem implies you accept, respect, trust and believe in yourself.
When you accept yourself as you are, you can live comfortably with both your personal strengths and weakness without self-criticism.
When you respect yourself, you are acknowledging your value as a unique human being.
Trusting yourself comes from consistency and coherence in your feelings and behaviours despite changes and challenges before you.
Believing in yourself means believing that you deserve to have good things in your life and that you can achieve your personal needs and goals.
Where would you place yourself on the following scale? (0 being very low self-esteem and 10 being very high self-esteem)
Growing in self-esteem means developing confidence and strength from within. Self-esteem is built gradually over time in your life through a willingness to work on a number of areas in it like taking care of yourself.
Without developing a basic willingness to care for, love and nurture yourself, it’s difficult to achieve a deep or lasting sense of self-worth. Two important ways to take better care of yourself include
- Acknowledging and meeting your own basic needs.
- Making time for small acts of self-nurturing on a regular basis.
How many of your basic needs are you actually getting fulfilled at this time?
I’m talking about basic needs like:
- Physical safety and security
- Financial security
- Being listened to
- Expressing and sharing your feelings
- Sense of belonging
- Physically touching and being touched
- A sense of accomplishment and progress towards your goals
- Feeling competent or masterful in some area
- Fun and play
- Spiritual awareness
- Unconditional love
In what areas do you come up short?
To help me ensure my basic needs are met on a daily basis I came up with the idea of creating a Self-Care Menu for myself.
How does it work?
Well just as a menu in a restaurant separates items by grouping them (appetizers, main courses, desserts), I grouped possible self-care activities for myself by morning, throughout the day and evening periods. The goal was to complete at least one self-care activity from each of the categories on a daily basis providing opportunity for me to be present and enjoy being in the moment.
I posted my Self-Care Menu in a visible place in the kitchen beside my fridge so I could look at it throughout the day and be reminded that self-care was a priority. After 30 days, I found myself completing not just one but often two or three activities under each category with ease. As a result, I felt calmer, healthier physically, mentally and spiritually and have experienced improved self-esteem.
So what type of things can you include for self-care items? That’s the beauty of it…anything that nurtures, re-energizes, and re-balances you. It can be anything physical, psychological, intellectual, spiritual, social or emotional. To get you inspired, here’s some of the things that were listed on my Self-Care Menu.
- Take a warm bath
- Go for a walk on a scenic path in a park
- Stop and admire the ocean
- Wake up early and give myself time to do some mediation and/or yoga before work
- Sleep in at least once a week without an alarm to wake me
- Watch the sunset
- Relax with a good book and/or soothing music
- Watch a funny Netflix show
- Play my favorite music and dance to it by myself or with someone else
- Go to bed early
- Go out on a date
- Get inspired by connecting with my garden
- Take the time to gaze up at the stars
- Take a “mental health” day off
- Fix a special dinner just for myself and eat by candlelight
- Go for a walk in the neighbourhood
- Call a good friend and have a good intimate conversation
- Spend quality time with my family
- Go for a swim at the community pool
- Create a piece of art
- Develop a goal and then visualize achieving it
- Read an inspirational book
- Write and send a letter to an old friend
- Bake something healthy and special for myself like some “Cliff” cookies
- Explore new music on iTunes and purchase a song that grabs me
- Write in my daily journal about what I have accomplished
Not it’s your turn to start ensuring you are giving yourself adequate time for self-care. What steps can you take over the next 30 days to better satisfy your needs that are going unmet? What can you do for yourself to start building stronger self-esteem?