I have had self-esteem issues for as long as I can remember. For the longest time, I just accepted it. I had tried to change and be more confident (never really trying my hardest, however) but nothing seemed to work. But recently, I’ve got to the end of my tether with it and I’m determined to change how I feel.
Acknowledge the little things
So you got dressed today? Well done.
So you got out of bed today? Well done.
So you had a lazy day completely to yourself? Well done.
Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles for myself was learning to be happy with what I do. Being such an ambitious person sometimes takes a toll on my mental health. Even if I have a maniacally busy day and get 15 things crossed off on my list, if there are still two or three things on there at the end of the day I can feel like I have let myself down. Recently, if I have been feeling as though I haven’t been so productive, I’ve been writing the small ‘done’ tasks on my to do list to prove how productive or busy I have been.
Shower: on the ‘done’ list. Go to work: on the ‘done’ list. Have breakfast: on the ‘done’ list.
It has helped me massively in realising just how much I do during that day that I wouldn’t necessarily acknowledge.
Learn that things don’t always go to plan
This one is a trait I am still learning. I am a bit of a habitual planner. I like having my free-time planned out with what I am going to do and oftentimes, I will pack so much into my free time that sometimes, it can be so disheartening not to achieve it all when a spanner is thrown into the works (see the above point!)
Since I earned a promotion in March, my work/home balance has been a bit out of whack. I find that I am doing more and more overtime, which means less time at home. 2 hours of overtime at work (though it is greatly appreciated at payday!) means 2 hours less time at home to work on myself.
And then there are the times when the other half wants to go out shopping, or I pop to see my family and end up spending 4 hours there instead of the one hour I had been planning.
It is so easy for me to plan every small minute of my day but sometimes, I have to remind myself that it is okay for plans to change. At the end of the day, I’m going to appreciate the time spent wandering the aisles with my fiancé and the hours passed in my family’s company. I just need to accept that plans change. Because they do. And although it is unexpected, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
find something to be proud of
If you have seen my Bullet Journal: July 2017 Review, or if you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I have added a little line per day into my Bullet Journal. I’d had a pretty rough day and decided that I needed to pick myself up, so I wrote a little something of which I was proud. It is something that I have been doing for about two weeks now and it is really humbling to look back on the day and find something to feel proud of. For me, it is acknowledging the good I have done. It is acknowledging my strength. It is acknowledging a positive characteristic or action of myself.
Sometimes it isn’t easy, especially when I am feeling down on myself. However, I spend so much time focussing on the negatives that it is good to change it up and focus on a positive for once.
Know that you’re not alone
Everyone either has, is or will feel the way you do at the moment. And the best thing about this? It’s temporary. I’m sure you’ve felt down before, and you most likely will feel down again in the future. It isn’t a nice feeling, but the fact that it is temporary provides solace to me because I know I will get through this. And I also know that in one year from now, I won’t remember how I felt.
Do something that makes you happy
As I mentioned earlier, I am a planner; I usually have my day mapped out for me the previous evening. But when I’m feeling down, I allow myself an evening off. I allow myself an evening away from chores and tasks and a list of things that I don’t want to do because I know these won’t make me happy. Instead, I find something I want to do and instead, I choose to do that. Even if that task is sitting and watching rubbish reality TV. I accept the evening to myself and I embrace it!
Don’t binge eat
Hands up who has eaten out of comfort before?
Being completely honest with you, it is something I still struggle with now. I have been trying to eat healthily and change my lifestyle recently but it would appear that every time I have a bad day or I am feeling upset, I turn to food to cheer me up. In reality, it does: it makes me feel happier. And then it doesn’t. I am slowly beginning to educate myself in nutrition, but I know from the beginning that comfort eating – and binge eating especially – aren’t good for me. It is definitely a tough task to do (or rather, to avoid doing) but at least it is something that you can put on your tracker to be proud of!
If you still feel like eating your feelings away, try drinking a glass of water first.
If you’re still feeling down, try exercising. Go for a nice long walk outside. If it’s raining or too cold, turn the radio on and dance to the music. Or dance to the silence. Make your body move freely. I promise you, you’ll feel foolish when you’re moving but you’ll feel oh so frivolous and carefree afterwards! And if the exercise doesn’t work, maybe the distraction from your problems will.
Talk to someone
Finally, if none of the above topics are helping you, chat with someone. Be it a friend, a co-worker or a stranger, there is always someone there for you. And if you ever feel like there’s no-one, drop me a line. I’ll always be here for you.
Have you got any advise on how to pick someone up when they’re feeling down?