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As I’ve spoken about on the blog before, around four years ago I recovered from really severe depression.
This is something I talk about a lot and the reason why I speak about it so much is because so many of the things that helped me were things that we can all be doing, and, in fact, probably should be doing even if we don’t have mental health issues.
Things like basic self-care and living a life that’s more authentic to ourselves (not one that we feel we *should* be living.)
And I share this over and over again because I truly believe that if I had had the information I have now, and believe what I do now, then I probably wouldn’t have had to deal with the depression, at all.
However, there was also another big part of the puzzle that I totally didn’t realize the importance of until recently.
I did all the work and the actions relating to it but I just didn’t recognize the vital part it played in my own recovery and the recovery of lots of other people I’ve since spoken to.
That missing puzzle piece was self-worth.
And because self-worth is so important to your mental health, from recovering from depression to anything really relating to living a good life that’s full of happiness and joy, in this blog post I’m going to tell you eight super simple ways that you can improve your self-worth!
Quick disclaimer: If you suspect a mental health issue or know you have mental health issues, please definitely go and see your doctor or medical professional. Whilst I do talk a lot about the things that we personally can do to improve our mental health, it’s so, so important that you’re also working with a medical professional. It’s the coming together of those two things that can really turn things around for your mental health!
What is self-worth?
First, let’s talk about what I mean when I’m referring to self-worth.
It’s very similar to self-esteem in that it’s basically our view of ourselves and what we think of ourselves.
However, what’s so special and why I focus so much on self-worth versus self-esteem, self-confidence or something like that, is because self-worth is how much worth we think we have.
And this is so, so, so important, especially if you have mental health issues, because when you think you have a low value or a low worth you don’t give yourself the time that you need to do the actions that can really help you because you just don’t think you deserve it, which then makes it like a billion times harder to get better because you’re not prioritizing yourself in the way that you need.
So while I didn’t realize it before, but self-worth is critical to recovering from depression, to improving your mental health and for just general happiness in life.
How can I increase my self-worth?
Often, when we think of improving our self-worth we think it’s going to be really difficult to do or require lots of complicated actions.
But here’s the thing, improving your self-worth is actually really quite simple.
It’s all about repeating specific, easy actions over a long period of time in order to teach your mind a new belief – the belief that you are worthy.
I know it sounds a little strange but hear me out, if you hear and see the same idea over and over again you start to believe it.
This is one of the reasons that things like bullying or abusive relationships can be so harmful is because even after the abuse has ended, you still might believe the horrible things you were being told about yourself.
It’s also how school and education works, you are told things and have to do things over and over again until you know them inside out and believe in them.
And we can use this to our advantage, by doing simple (they need to be simple so we can easily do them most days) daily (well, okay 70% to 80% of the time, we’re human after all!) actions that increase our self-worth over time.
In this case simple really truly works, and improving our self-worth can be (dare I say it…) easy!
8 super simple and easy things you can do each day to improve your self-worth
Okay, so let’s get started on eight really simple things you can do each day to improve your self-worth!
One – Look in the mirror and pick out something that you like and admire about your appearance.
I like to start with this one because it’s super easy but also because low self-worth can often be rooted in issues with our own appearance.
Low self-worth can often stem from issues that we develop in adolescence where we’re struggling with changes and that sort of thing, and our appearance often comes into it.
I think appearance is a great place to start because you can really make a big difference there and when you feel good about how you look, that actually impacts far-reaching areas of your life that you maybe wouldn’t expect.
So it’s definitely where I recommend you get started!
Two – Each day, unfollow a social media account that doesn’t make you feel good about you.
I love this one because we’re on social media so, so much and we often think that social media can be really harmful for our mental health and whilst that’s true, it can also be a tool to improve your mental health.
But we first have to make it a nice place to be.
So if every day you just unfollow one account that when you come across their post, doesn’t make you feel good, that makes a really massive difference in the long run.
Three – Follow a new social media account that does make you feel good.
So this kind of goes in conjunction with action two but basically, we want to get rid of stuff that we are consuming that doesn’t make us feel good and pull in new things that do make us feel good.
Don’t overthink this too much, if you just come across an account and it’s posts make you feel really empowered, strong and great about yourself, start following them.
That way those posts will pop up on your timeline every few days and it does make a difference just seeing those thing flash up and remind you how great you are!
And if you’re going to be on social media anyway, you might as well make it work for you!
Four – Repeat an empowering affirmation three times to yourself.
I really love affirmations, so much so that I actually wrote a post all about them that you can read here.
I think you can be really structured about them, have certain times you do them and be really clear on exactly what you’re saying each time, or you can make it really chilled and relaxed and just repeat them to yourself when you’re feeling a bit down.
But affirmations are fantastic, especially if you’re one of those people who talks to themselves inside their head (I know I certainly do.)
You can have some really simple ones, like “I am strong”, “I am beautiful”, “I am worthy”, or just any short statement or message that appeals to you and makes you feel good.
If you know that there’s something that you struggle with, maybe you struggle with feeling like a failure, then your affirmation could be “I am successful” or “My worth is not dependent on my achievements.”
Do you see what I mean? So anything you can repeat to yourself that makes you feel better works!
Sometimes just repeating to yourself “I can do this” is good. I know if I’m feeling anxious about doing certain tasks, that really helps me.
Five – Find a positive thing you did that day and praise yourself for it.
This is obviously something you do in the evening, but you need to reflect on your day, so find a positive thing you did (can be big or small) and praise yourself for it.
It’s really, really easy when we feel worthless to assume that all our actions are pointless and useless, and that we are pointless and useless…
But by having a look through your day and finding something no matter how big or small (it can be from earning your degree to washing up your water glass) and just praising yourself for that thing makes a huge difference.
Six – Compliment another person.
I think this is just great because you don’t know who around you’s also struggling with their self-worth, and just hearing a compliment come from someone else really brings them up and it also brings you up!
It’s just a nice thing to do and it’s pushing more of that good energy out that we really want.
And you’ll be surprised how much complementing other people and focusing on their positives rather than their flaws will help you feel good about yourself as well.
Seven – Do something nice for yourself (because you deserve it!)
Again, this can be big or small.
Maybe you’re going take yourself on a huge shopping trip, maybe you’re going to take yourself on holiday, or maybe you’re just going have a bubble bath and add some of your favorite smellies in, or light your candle, or have 10 minutes reading your book.
Just do something consciously for you.
It can even be something you’re already doing, like making yourself a cup of tea. That can be it.
But making it a thing that you’re doing for you because you deserve it, it’s that slight mindset shift that really makes all the difference.
Eight – Identify an aspect of yourself that you like that is not appearance related.
So every day, you’re finding a new little part of yourself that you like.
It might be your personality, it might be your attitude, it might your work ethic, it doesn’t matter.
You might start quite big and broad, like “I like how I’m kind” for example.
But as the days go by, obviously, those big umbrella things are less and less available to find and so you’ll start drilling down into real nuances about your character that you really adore.
Don’t be afraid if you identify something you like about yourself that would normally be regarded as a flaw as well. Just because it’s a flaw, don’t think you can’t not like it, you certainly can.
You should love yourself for your flaws, as well as your good points.
So you’re probably sitting there thinking these are all crazy simple things, that’s not going make that much of a difference.
But what I ask you is are you doing those things?
Because chances are, you’re not and that’s why you’re still not feeling great about yourself.
I think when things are so simple and so easy, we think they’re not going to work so we just don’t bother doing them. Or we think they’re so obvious that we’re basically already doing them, so we don’t need to focus on them.
But that’s normally not the case and it’s something that I see come up with self-care as well, that when the action’s so simple, we almost brush them off as pointless thinking they’re not going make a difference and that’s not true, which is why I made a free printable checklist of these actions for you to download because then you have something that you can hold, that you can read that really focuses you on doing those actions!
Yes, they’re super easy but just having that piece of paper in front of you helps to remind you to do those actions!
So click the button below to grab your FREE printable checklist!