It’s so easy to get stuck in unhelpful habits and behaviours that leave us feeling lousy and low in energy. The way we talk to and about ourselves has a real impact on how we feel. Here are a few things that I think could help you to feel good about yourself. They’re not based on any formal evidence, just things I come across that stand out to me when I’m working with people struggling to feel good.
1 Focus on your assets
Stop obsessing over your so-called flaws, instead why not make a list of at least 10 things that are great about you (ask the people who care about you to contribute if you’re struggling). Learn your list off by heart and repeat them daily!
2 Accept compliments
Learn to say thank you and only thank you, when someone pays you a compliment. Try keeping a record of compliments people give you, to help you to remember the positive things and drown out the negative things that we often focus on without realising.
3 Avoid judgemental media
Ditch the gossip magazines, turn off TV shows that focus on judging people particularly their appearance and stop buying negative tabloid papers. All of these things encourage us to be negative about other people and ultimately negative about ourselves.
4 Affirm yourself
Self-affirmations are like mantras – something inspiring or positive to repeat over and over to yourself. Choose to say to yourself “I can do it” rather than “I can’t do it”. Have a think about what your inner voice is saying and try to change it to be more constructive. Remember you can choose what you say to yourself, but it takes practice to break the habit of saying unhelpful things.
5 Have breakfast
Having breakfast can really give you a boost in the morning. It gives you the energy to start the day and helps you concentrate. Start your day positively with a bowl of porridge or some wholegrain toast.
6 Eat regularly
Try to eat regularly throughout the day and include something starchy at each meal/snack. This gives you a steady stream of energy, which can stabilise your mood and help you sleep better. It also helps you avoid reaching for sugary pick-me-up!
7 Get your 5-a-day
The vitamins & minerals from fruit and vegetables help make you feel good and help your body make the most of the energy you put into it.
8 Learn good sleep hygiene
Try to keep your bed just for sleeping (and sex!). That means no work or TVS/PCs etc in your bedroom! Make sure your room is dark, quiet, warm enough and your bed is clean and comfortable. De-clutter!
9 Have a bedtime routine
Avoid working or looking at screens such as the TV or iPad before bedtime. Also leave at least an hour or two after eating before going to bed. Try to do the same things to get your body/mind prepared for sleep. Prepare for the next day, do something to pamper yourself and unwind. If you struggle to get to sleep, try reading a book for half an hour. If you don’t fall to sleep within 20-30mins of turning out the light, get up and do something else for a while; avoid associating your bed with sleeplessness.
10 Get musical
Turn on your favourite tunes, dance around the living room, give your life a soundtrack even if you’re just walking to the shops – choose things with inspirational lyrics to help give you a good mantra. Or how about learning a musical instrument? The sense of achievement can boost your self-esteem, not to mention the enjoyment you could be giving to others.
Have a go and see how you feel.
If you’re struggling to get motivated to make changes to your lifestyle that could help you feel better, why not check out my free e-book on self-motivation? It’s aimed at helping people get started with weight-loss, but the principles can be applied to any situation where you’re trying to change your behaviour. Click here for more info.