Has your self-esteem reached an all-time low? You might need to revisit how you do self-care, a.k.a. taking the necessary steps to improve your overall health and well-being. But contrary to popular belief, the most transformative self-care ideas aren’t bubble baths, spa days, and sleeping in on Sundays.
As satisfying as those practices are, you must commit to doing things that scare you to achieve an even greater sense of wellness. Some self-care strategies – like speaking your mind, setting boundaries, or sitting with your feelings – can boost your confidence in not-so-obvious ways. Learn about them here.
Types of Self-Care
First, get to know the different types of self-care that you can commit to. You can focus on one before moving to the next. Or, you can target a couple of them right away after assessing your needs and situation.
- Emotional self-care
- Mental self-care
- Physical self-care
- Social self-care
- Spiritual self-care
- Practical self-care
- Financial self-care
8 Confidence-Boosting Self-Care Practices
Go beyond the usual ideas for self-care and work on yourself from within.
1. Be consistent with positive rituals.
A daily routine with pockets of positivity can help you take care of yourself. It gives you something to look forward to and motivates you to show up for yourself, even when you’re in a slump. Pick an easy ritual that makes you feel good and do it regularly. You can journal, engage in gentle movement, or go for leisurely walks – if it sparks joy, lean into it!
2. Make time for meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is a Buddhist practice that helps ground you in the present. Many practitioners use it to manage negative emotions and self-talk. It also encourages you to be kind to yourself, recognise your humanity, and let go of whatever’s weighing you down. With enough practice, bringing that self-possession wherever you go becomes second nature.
3. Limit social media usage.
Social media is a wondrous invention that lets you connect with others and see the world. However, too much of it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, especially when all you see is everyone else’s best days. If endless (mindless!) scrolling has you constantly comparing yourself to those you follow, it might be time for a social media detox.
4. Express your feelings.
Struggling to express yourself can be one side effect of having low self-esteem. But as terrifying as it is, it’s necessary to try. It’s the first step to conquering the fear. Start small by pouring your heart out into a journal or through art. When you get more comfortable, try booking a session with a therapist to untangle your thoughts. Eventually, you’ll feel more secure in speaking your mind.
5. Set boundaries.
When you express and enforce boundaries, it signals to others that you’re not a pushover. You make it clear that you expect consideration and respect. So, think about what lines you want to set and practise being firm with them. For example, if you don’t like it when your friends drop in without calling first, let them know. You don’t have to grin and bear it!
6. Invest in yourself.
Confidence should come from within, but you can’t disregard the impact of aesthetic changes on self-esteem. It could be as simple as putting lipstick on when you feel drab or getting a haircut to refresh your look. Some adjustments require more time and money to pursue, but many will swear they’re worth it for the long-term confidence boost they give.
Do you struggle to show off your teeth with unabashed confidence? Consider investing in ClearCorrect to improve crookedness. This invisible aligner is a discreet, comfortable, and effective treatment for misalignment, thanks to its tri-layer ClearQuartz material. It works by gently moving teeth to their ideal position; over time, it helps you develop a uniquely confident smile that suits you better.
7. Prioritise rest.
A study published by The National Library of Medicine reveals that individuals who get enough sleep score higher on optimism and self-esteem. Excessive deprivation can make you feel irritable, sad, and frustrated, which impacts your overall well-being and sense of self. So, whenever you feel run-down and like nothing’s going your way, take that as your cue to get some precious slumber.
8. Celebrate wins.
People who struggle with confidence tend to think of themselves in a negative light. They belittle their accomplishments, doubt their capabilities, and judge themselves too harshly for every mistake. If you’re in a cycle that sounds like this, it helps to pause and acknowledge your wins, no matter how small. Yes, everything counts!
Did your boss give you kudos at work? Accept it graciously and be proud of yourself! Did you complete a daunting task at home (i.e., folding laundry, deep cleaning the sofa)? Bask in the sense of accomplishment: you did what you needed to do, even if it wasn’t so fun. These little moments of celebration will help you view yourself more positively.
Practise these self-care ideas and see how much they can improve your self-perception. You don’t have to do them all at once – start with whatever’s easiest for you and go from there. Remember: you don’t have to be “perfect” at self-care. Just keep working on yourself! The confidence boost will follow.
Website, N. (n.d.). Raising low self-esteem. nhs.uk.
Lemola, S., Räikkönen, K., Gomez, V., & Allemand, M. (2013). Optimism and Self-Esteem Are Related to Sleep. Results from a Large Community-Based Sample. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 20(4), 567–571.