How to Boost Your Self-Esteem
You can relearn how to feel good about yourself by following your depression treatment plan and taking better care of your needs.
By Krisha McCoy
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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Almost everyone experiences a bout of low self-esteem at some point in life. But for some, especially those suffering with depression, chronic low self-esteem can be a debilitating symptom that spirals out of control, keeping you from enjoying life and accomplishing the things you want to do.
Low Self-Esteem: How Does It Happen?
A person can create his own low self-esteem cycle, or events that occur can bring it on. The former happens when you judge yourself harshly, telling yourself that you are worthless. As for the latter, dealing with a stressful situation such as a disability or a loss of a job can make it hard to feel good about yourself. How others treat you, as well as how you get along with others, can also affect your self-esteem.
It may not always be possible to control your inner thoughts. And you often have no control over the events that unfold in your life. But if you suffer from low self-esteem, there are things you can do to boost your self-image.
Low Self-Esteem: How to Fight It
Often, traditional treatments for depression, such as medication and psychotherapy, can help. Getting into a therapy or support group is the first thing people who are depressed should do to boost their self-esteem, says Julie Walther Scheibel, a counselor at Concordia Seminary Counseling and Resource Center in St. Louis.
Besides following your doctor’s recommendations, here are other steps to consider that may improve low self-esteem:
- Get some exercise.Walther Scheibel recommends exercise for people who are dealing with low self-esteem as a symptom of depression. Making exercise a part of your regular routine can help you feel better emotionally and physically.
- Eat a healthful diet.Avoiding foods high in sugar, fat, or salt, and eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products is an important part of taking good care of yourself — the healthier you feel, the better you will feel about yourself.
- Make the time to participate in activities you enjoy.Carve out time each day to do something you really like, such as listening to music, playing a musical instrument, or working on a craft project. Enjoyable activities can make you feel better, thereby improving your low self-esteem.
- Be productive.Completing everyday tasks like cleaning your kitchen, organizing your junk drawer, getting your laundry done, or paying your bills on time will give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Stay connected socially.Even though it can sometimes be difficult just to get out of bed when you are depressed, it can help to spend time with people who are good to you and who can make you feel good about yourself.
- Practice good self-care.Shower regularly, brush your teeth, dress in nice clothes, keep your hair trimmed, and do other things that make you more confident about your physical appearance. Feeling better about how you look on the outside will leave you feeling better inside.
Depression can make it hard to find the energy and motivation to take care of yourself. But taking time to focus onyoucan improve your self-esteem and make you feel better all around.
Video: Meet Yourself: A User's Guide to Building Self-Esteem: Niko Everett at [email protected]
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