Y’know, sometimes it’s hard to feel good about yourself. You know those pesky inner voices living rent-free in your head, telling you you’re not enough - good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough? It can be overwhelming and confusing, because this can happen to anyone and everyone. Other people might say nice things about you, but you might not believe it or think they're just saying things to be nice. Especially when growing up and living in the world of social media. It becomes easier to compare yourself and your life to others around you - and even strangers on the internet. If we don’t recognise and stop this, it can turn into a toxic, Debbie-downer cycle.
1. Do more of what you love and what you're good at
Think about your hobbies - do you enjoy listening to music, exercising, arts and crafts, playing with your pets, going to aesthetic brunch cafes? Take heaps of photos - of yourself, nature, buildings, friends, family and your dog/cat. Also, recognise the things that you’re good at. Are you an absolute dance machine or can belt out a good tune or cook up a storm? Would you say you’re a really great friend or hockey star? All of us are good at something - and doing stuff you’re good at can also be a great mood-booster.
2. Search for the positive
Life isn’t always going to be good and happy but it all comes down to your mindset and how you think about it. Don’t let those intrusive thoughts take control over your mind and your life. That inner critic of yours will only work to bring you down. This sounds super cringe-worthy, but get out a notepad or use your mental notepad to list out some things that you think are positive about yourself. You might think what’s the point or is this really going to help? Whether it’s something really small about how you are kind to strangers or that you have a good listening ear, or patient, trustworthy or that you think you have nice eyes - nothing is small. All these things make you who you are and are definitely things to be proud of.
3. Be kind to yourself
Treat yourself how you would treat a close friend. Be more gentle and less harsh on yourself at times where you feel down in the dumps and not good enough. This is because you are usually the hardest on yourself and you may not realise. Take your negative thoughts and think - if your friend came to you and said they were struggling with the same thoughts about themselves - what would you say to your friend? Treat yourself with the same kindness and respect you would give to them. You are your own friend - not an enemy!
4. Try not to focus too much on what you see on social media
Sometimes seeing isn’t believing. That internet person you follow is probably going through some stuff too. Unfortunately, not everything is unicorns and rainbows out there. People will post the best versions of themselves to show off to the world - but they can be going through their own trials and tribulations. And of course they aren’t going to show those off and air out their dirty laundry to an Instagram story. Remember that everyone is a human and has flaws, too!
5. Be your own hype man
Most of the time, you will need to hype yourself up - because if you don’t then who will? It’s consistent self love and care - coming from the most important person whose opinions matter the most - yourself. You'll be with yourself for the rest of your life so you might as well start trying to accept you for who you are. Understand yourself, so you can treat yourself with the utmost kindness, respect and compassion.
6. Put down your phone
Like we said before, people will only post the good stuff online, we have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes. If you’re not mindful, you might miss out on some great moments happening IRL - be careful to not let these slip by. What will you remember 20 years from now - scrolling through TikTok or going out there and living your best life?
7. Try out something new
Try out something you’ve never done before or challenge yourself. Always wanted to take up a new sport? Thinking of investing more of your time into personal art projects or reading that one book you always said you were going to read? Now has never been a better time. Set yourself some small goals - achieving these will boost your self esteem and make you feel like you’re earning small wins!
8. Practice self-care
- Take care of your body and it will take care of you in return.
- Practise good posture, surround yourself with good influences and hang out less with people that make you feel bad.
- Exercise regularly - this can totally just be walking for 10 minutes daily!
- Build and maintain a daily skincare routine.
- Try to go to bed a little earlier each night with no distractions and give your body that well-deserved rest.
- When you wake up in the morning, drink a glass of water and do a ‘lil stretching before going about your day.
- Treat yourself with respect and learn how to say no sometimes.