Five Ways To Focus On Self-Love And Boost Your Self-Esteem

I-love-you-self-esteem WilcoWellness

Self-esteem has a direct relationship with our overall well-being

A 2019 interview by the National Health Interview Survey revealed that at least 18.5% of adults experience severe symptoms of depression, with symptoms ranging from sadness and emptiness to irritability and changes in cognitive function.

In the way we speak to ourselves and think of ourselves, there is nothing truer than the old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Poor self-esteem isn’t restricted to those who fall outside the standards we see on TV. Many celebrities who would seem to have it all have admitted to suffering from poor self-esteem, from Kim Kardashian to Jennifer Lopez. Beauty and appearance anxiety are issues experienced globally, with nearly 85% of women admitting to having opted out of social activities due to not feeling good about their appearance, according to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report.

Low self-esteem is prohibiting women and girls from living their lives, from believing in the power of their voices, from asking for a raise at work, and from asserting their boundaries in relationships. With the negative influence of social media and advertisements only increasing, it’s no wonder that depression and suicide rates are also on the rise.

By striving to love ourselves and encouraging other women to love themselves, we do more than raise self-esteem. We save lives. In observance of International Self-Esteem Month, one way to strengthen self-love and gratitude is to practice mindfulness. In other words, to pay closer attention to negative thoughts when they arise and to consciously reroute our minds towards positive thinking.

Remember, no matter how perfect you might think someone else’s body is- or their life, for that matter- there’s a good chance that person focuses much of their energy on their flaws. For that reason, no amount of exercising and eating right can improve a person’s self-esteem if that person perceives themselves through a negative lens. Confidence truly does come from within.

As part of your self-esteem practice this month, the following strategies can help you spark confidence from within, accept yourself flaws and all, and love yourself to bits:

#1 – Speak to yourself lovingly

The way you think impacts the way you perceive, and the way you perceive impacts the way you experience. If you think negatively, you will develop a habit of perceiving yourself in a negative light. Consequently, you will consciously and subconsciously attract negativity into your experience. The first step to improving your self-esteem and brightening your perception of both yourself and the world is by speaking to yourself through a filter of love. If you find yourself regularly drowning in negative self-talk…

#2 – Dedicate yourself to a journal

There is a mysterious power to journaling that only those who dedicate the time and energy into regularly and thoughtfully doing so have the fortune of experiencing. There are many ways to journal and no single outline for how it should be done. It may be beneficial to write out any negative thoughts that you seem to be centering in on, but once they are on paper, consider them banished. Move on from them by spending a little time each day listing or detailing the positive attributes you view in yourself, the goals you wish to accomplish, and the ways you would like to give back to the world. And if you can’t quite find anything positive to say…

#3 – Accept your flaws

We all have them, but we can’t quite embrace them until we have learned to accept them. Some of the most influential people have made careers off of embracing their flaws. Only when you learn to accept yourself for exactly who you are will you be able to focus your energy on your true purpose in this world. Make no mistake; your quirks are not your flaws. Your quirks make you unique, and they are something to flaunt, not to hide. But for those days when you feel like your flaws are getting the best of you…

#4 – Practice self-care

Reality check: it’s very unlikely that one day you will wake up without noticing a single imperfection in yourself. On some level, you will always experience a grain of self-doubt or a lack of self-esteem. But that doesn’t mean you, as a whole being, aren’t perfect exactly as you are. Sometimes, no amount of meditation, exercise, journaling, or affirmations will change the way you think because bad days happen, and that’s exactly where self-care comes into play. Even on your worst days, a soothing face mask, a massage, or a new set of essential oils does wonders to help you reset your mind and renew your strength. Speaking of…

#5 – Share your strengths with the world

It may take a while to arrive at a place where you are able to consistently focus on your strengths rather than your perceived flaws. Like any sport, practice, or art form, positive thinking takes discipline and hard work. One of the best ways to harness those strengths you have trained yourself to focus on is volunteering. Regardless of what you have to offer, there is a place in this world where your strengths are needed and desired for the betterment of the community and the world as a whole.

Have you ever seen a person smile so vibrantly that their joy made you smile? That person may never know how they affected others so positively by simply being present and embracing the beauty of the world around them.

That person, like all of us, has their moments of shame, self-doubt, and poor self-image, but at that moment, it was their smile that shined through- not their imperfections. Your strengths almost always overshadow your flaws in the eyes of others. This month, make a choice to view yourself with the same grace.

Childhood Obesity Awareness

national childhood obesity month

Childhood Obesity is a Big Problem, Quite Literally

Pediatric obesity in America is a problem – a big problem. More than 3 million US children are affected by childhood obesity, a condition in which a child is significantly overweight for their age and height. according to the Mayo Clinic.  That’s it! There are no other real symptoms other than your child is overweight. Those 3 million children are at higher risk for having serious and chronic health disorders like asthma, sleep apnea, bone, and joint issues, and type 2 diabetes.

In a population-based sample of 5 – 17-year-old, almost 60% of children who were overweight had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 25% had two or more CVD risk factors” – CDC

Depression and self-esteem issues are already part of your child’s routine. Who, my child? YES! Children with obesity are way more likely to be bullied, isolated, and downright made fun of if they are a bit heavier. It’s literally like the movies.

Here’s the good news: children can lose weight (typically) faster than adults. However, obese kids turn into obese teens who turn into obese adults if you do not stop the cycle now.

Now, a message from my heart…

I wish someone would have taught me how to break the cycle, I’m thinking this as I write this article because I’m struggling in my early 20s – really struggling – to get the weight off and enjoy my life. Can you relate?

I wouldn’t say that I’m obese now, but I would say I love tacos (and two flights of stairs make me winded). I would say that I struggle to make the right decision – especially if I’m stressed. I work out 5 days a week and eat a pretty healthy diet, but man – I’m just now learning these things.

I’m just now learning that working out isn’t “just something fit people do”. I’m learning that “working out” and “eating healthy” is actually something that is normally taught. So, where did I go wrong?

I didn’t have someone who taught me to deal with my emotions and therefore, I ate. Like, a lot. If I could, I’d zoom back in time and tell myself I would.

I’d say, “you don’t need a snack after school, every day. You need to know how to deal with your emotions. You especially don’t need to “treat yourself” with a Nutterbutter because Ben (not “Benn) didn’t hug you after 5th period (like usual) and Calculus is flying over your head.”

Then again – why do I choose food as a way to comfort myself?

The (cold hard) truth is I ate my emotions because I didn’t know how to deal with them. In the “adult world,” we call this “emotional eating”. It’s a serious epidemic for children and I’ll be your “figure A”.

According to)Healthy Children, children use food for other reasons than to satisfy their hunger – they’re responding to emotions. From the beginning – getting fed a bottle because baby is irritable – have kids been learning to pacify themselves in order to reflect a sense of well-being.

Children are given cookies and cakes during holidays as a symbol of their relative’s love. Even my Aunt Gina would send us some homemade fudge when she just “wanted to say hello”. (Man, I loved that fudge!) Children are comforted by the feeling of being loved and associate food with feeling better.

Emotional eating leads me (and millions of other children) into a state of childhood obesity.

When your child uses food as a companion, the outcome is not what is expected. Overeating may catch your student in a bind – feeling guilty or ashamed for consumption – resulting in depression. As a parent, it’s good to discuss what is good and what is bad for your child. You need to reach out to your child to ask them if they eat at times that are irregular to mealtimes and snacks. Ask them why they felt a need too much at THAT given opportunity and what it is that is contributing to their overeating.

Parents should avoid rewarding children with food

It teaches that “because you did a good job, you deserve this desert”. Later in life, your child might be out celebrating with a tub of ice cream because she got a promotion. There are healthier ways to reward your children for a job well done such as a shopping trip or an adventure hike up the mountain. Don’t think that a simple, “FANTASTIC JOB, SAM” doesn’t get you far. Worlds of approval can boost self-esteem and help keep your child motivated to make correct choices.

Speak kindly

I’ve heard it before, “Man, you’re getting a ‘little thick’! Do we need to go shopping, again?” It’s not that fun to hear and it makes children feel negative about themselves. Parental praise and positive reinforcement go a very long way. Try using phrases like, “you’re really looking healthy” or “great job packing a healthy lunch today” as those might go over better. How you speak to your child may make all the difference.

Encourage physical activity

Your child needs 60 minutes of exercise, 5 times a week. Where are they receiving this? Teach your child that physical activity is good for the mind and body – no matter what stage you are in life. Play pirates outside. Join volleyball. Go for a family walk every night. Whatever it may be – stay physical!

Speak to your child, kindly about how to eat right and get exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s important for their physical and mental health. If you are having issues, please reach out to their physician as they can help. Stay involved in your child’s upbringing and help them make the correct choices.

A few helpful links below: