Self-esteem, what can help?

If low self-esteem feels too intense or last for too long, it could be a sign that you might need additional support. Talking about it can be really helpful and is often the first step to feeling better. Speak to a trusted friend or family member, or contact our Therapy Service on to talk to one of our therapeutic counsellors. They can offer one-off drop-in appointments or weekly counselling sessions.

Below are some things that you can do to start to feel more confident in yourself, and improve how you are feeling, if you are struggling with your self-esteem.

Challenge unhelpful thoughts:

  • Reframing the way we think about ourselves can help improve our self-esteem.  Watch this short video for hints and tips to help:

Focus on the positives:

  • It’s often easy to focus on the bad things we’ve done more than the good. Try to think of one or two things each day that you’re proud of or thankful for. You could write about them in the mood journal or collect them on bits of paper in a jar. Try to look back at what you’ve written after a few days

Do something you enjoy:

  • Whether exercise, sports, art, music, reading, writing, film, TV, theatre, dance – anything! These things can help you to feel better about yourself, even just doing a little bit. Remember, you don’t have to be the best or be perfect at it – do your activity just for the fun of it!

Set yourself some small goals:

  • This might be trying a new hobby, wearing a new outfit, or just getting dressed for the day. Whatever it is, it’s important to celebrate your achievements and give yourself the credit you deserve

Find the right people for you:

  • Sometimes, low self-esteem can come from others who might make comments about you. You might not always realise how the people around you are making you feel. By reflecting on how people are treating you, you can start to see who makes you feel good and spend more time with them

Self-appreciation breaks:

  • Set a reminder every day to appreciate three things about yourself. This only takes two minutes but can have a powerful influence on self-esteem

Choose your heroes carefully:

  • Don’t let the media tell you who your hero should be. Think about what you stand for and who really inspires you in life and why

Be kind to yourself:

  • Always remember to look after yourself and have some self-compassion. This means staying healthy, surrounding yourself with positive relationships and going easy on yourself when things in life aren’t going as well as expected