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How To Regain Your Self-esteem

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Breaking up can cause your self-esteem to take a big hit. If it wasn't great to begin with, we often find ourselves in a depths of depression and self-loathing. If you recognize you need a boost, I suggest you try what worked for me. Here's the list:


1. Positive affirmations. Every day for a minimum of 30 days, make a list of short, positive statements about yourself. For example, "I have great skin". Don't use the words "no", "not", "never". I wrote them out and repeated them outloud so I used different areas of the brain to help it stick. I repeated them in my head while I was waiting in line at the post office, wrote them out while I was waiting for a doctor's appointment, whenever I had a few minutes. My goal was 20 per day. Sometimes I wrote the same statement out 20 times. Remember, 30 days minimum to reprogram the negative thought processes.


2. Exercise. Do it daily. It helps get the endorphins flowing.


3. Eat right. Nutritional imbalance can lead to lack of energy (read motivation). If you need to, take a multi-vitamin to ensure you get what your body needs. Sam-E and St. Johns Wort have no side effects for most people and can help improve your mood. Also, next time you get a blood draw, ask if you're deficient in any areas. I discovered I was very low in vitamin D. Taking supplements helped a great deal.


4. Get some professional advice on how to improve your hair, make-up, or skin. Those things can all be changed with just a little money. You're working on getting from "before" to "after", so address what you don't like now. There's no better time.


5. Go through your wardrobe with a fine toothed comb. If something really doesn't flatter your body or reflect your personal style, get rid of it. You should feel confident and look great in everything you wear (unless it's paint clothes - everybody needs something to paint in). If you don't have a personal style, now's the time to get one. How do you want to project yourself to the world?


6. Take back your house. Speaking of paint, your home should reflect who you are. Make it your own. Paint the walls, move things around, clean out the cupboards. (The only things I have left from when I was with my ex are our bed, a dining table, and a few little things. I painted the rooms, re-arranged the furniture layouts, and got rid of all aspects of him. Our house is for sale - people think it's staged and my realtor loves to tell them "it's not staged, but if you like what you see, I'm sure the owner would negotiate some of her pieces".)


7. Learn something new. Take violin or dance lessons, a French cooking or martial arts class. Just try to make it something you've always wanted to do, whatever that is. Indulge yourself.


8. Volunteer in your community. It's a great way to feel valued and to meet new people. Thinking about something or someone other than yourself is one way of taking the focus off your ex. If you volunteer to help the less fortunate in your community, you'll also come to realize it could be worse - you could be alone and living on the streets, perhaps.


9. Put a positive spin on everything. You'll feel happier. You get a speeding ticket on your way to work? It's the Universe telling you to slow down, you'll get there. You're up five pounds? That's your reminder to take care of yourself.


10. Say "yes" more often than you say "no" to opportunities. You don't feel like going out with your friends Friday night? If you said "no" on Wednesday, tell yourself you have to say "yes".


11. Make a list of 20 things you'd like to accomplish each week. My list used to include such simple things as meet two new people, clean out the laundry room, pick up a book I was wanting to read, reorganize my closet, do something selfless for someone else, call an old friend, give $100 away anonymously. I'd carry the list with me and scratch them off as I'd get them done. Sometimes I wouldn't do them all and it wasn't something I'd beat myself up over. I chucked the list at the end of the week and made a new one for the next.


12. Envision yourself with the attributes you wish you possessed. When in doubt, think of a character from a book or film you admired. Ask yourself "what would Bond do?" Give it some thought and do what s/he would do. Tap into your inner Bond or Audrey Hepburn. By emulating, you practice. By practicing, you do. By doing, you eventually incorporate into your natural state.



That's about it. By making this time about you and what you want and need to heal and move on, you can come out of this period realizing, as I did, your break-up was the best thing that ever could have happened to you personally.

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