As we mention in Decreasing Stigma and Social Isolation with Portable Oxygen Therapy, âsocial stigma related to using supplemental oxygen is one of the top reasons many people are reluctant to use itâ. But, what if there were ways to boost your self esteem which would allow you to go about your day without the least bit of concern for how your portable oxygen concentrator affects others? Â Possible? Yes, indeed.
According to Psychology Today, your self esteem is affected by health conditions that leave you feeling âout of controlâ. Â Although low self esteem may be deeply rooted in childhood trauma or neglect, people who experience it generally see themselves as victims and feel helpless about changing things.1
Thankfully, there are a number of self-esteem building exercises1Â recommended by Psychology Today that may help you break the vicious cycle. Take a look at the top 17 and consider adding a few of these exercises to your daily routine:
1. Make a list of your strengths, achievements, and what you admire most about yourself. Keep the lists in a safe place and read through them daily.
2. Replace negative thought patterns about yourself with positive ones. For example, instead of telling yourself âIâm a loserâ, tell yourself âIâm a winnerâ. Place positive affirmations on sticky notes and post them around your home. Remind yourself that, despite your problems, you are a unique, special, andÂ valuable person, and that you deserve to be happy and feel good about yourself.
3. Pay extra-special attention to your personal hygiene: for example, condition your hair, give yourself a manicure, and floss your teeth daily.
4. Dress in clothes that speak to who you are and make you feel good about yourself.
5. Eat healthy foods that nourish your body instead of depleting it of energy. Make meal times special, even if you are eating alone by lighting candles and placing fresh flowers on your table.
6. Do some form of exercise daily: take the dog for a brisk walk, do some gardening, try some gentle stretches, yoga or Tai Chi every day.
7. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
8. Manage stress by getting a weekly massage.Â If youâre watching your budget, trade massages with a friend or loved one.
9. Clear away clutter. Keep your home clean, comfortable, and pleasing to the eye. Display items that make you feel good.
10. Get out of the house and do more things that you enjoy. Do at least one activity that brings you joy every day and remind yourself that you deserve it.
11. Being creative nurtures the spirit. Take an art, music, poetry, or dance class. Find a class through your local adult education service or community center.
12. Set short and long term goals that you can realistically achieve, and then go for it! For example, take up ballroom dancing, learn to play the harmonica, or invite friends over for a pot luck.
13. If youâve been putting off cleaning that garage or something else that needs doing, try not to procrastinate. Make a list of things that need to be done and cross each item off the list as you do it.
14. Each day, do something nice for others. For example, smile at a stranger, strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you on the bus, send a friend a nice card, or volunteer at a local charity.
15. Tell friends and family what youâre going through and that youâd appreciate their advice and support.
16. Spend as much time with the people you enjoy most, but also try to enlarge your circle of friends by engaging in a variety of social activities.
17. Avoid people, places, and things that make you feel bad about yourself. This could mean that you need to be more assertive. If you need help being assertive, seek a professional therapist to show you the ropes of assertiveness training or find a class online.
Author: Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN