February is International Boost Self-Esteem Month, an annual event dedicated to increasing people’s self-esteem all over the world. And it will be especially important in the coming year as our world recovers from Covid and the isolating effects of related illnesses and lockdowns.

Self-esteem is your perception of your own worth and capability. When it’s high, you’re upbeat and optimistic. When it’s low, you’re self-critical and depressed. It also extends beyond the psychological: your actions, relationships, and even health can all be linked to your self-esteem.

It is simple to fall into the trap of constant comparison or trying to portray the best version of ourselves in today’s society with social media at our fingertips. According to studies, social media has made it more difficult for people to feel like they are good enough because everyone is constantly comparing themselves to one another and they only share their best selves there. For many people, this can lead to unreachable goals and low self-esteem. Your mental health, your choices regarding your appearance, and ultimately your future can all be negatively impacted by low self-esteem.

Among the negative effects of low self-esteem are:

  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Sensitivity to criticism
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Having healthy self-esteem is extremely important because it allows you to make positive choices in your daily life, gives you the confidence to be yourself, have good relationships, and helps you deal with difficult situations.

Tips on how to improve your self-esteem:

  1. Connect with people who make you feel good.

People we love and care about may not always make us feel good, whether they were a part of our upbringing or they only spent a few years in our lives. And that’s fine. Every season brings different weather, and the energy we observe and require does not always remain consistent. Find that one person, whether a family member or a good listener, who has positive energy and truly makes you feel better and spend time or share your struggles with them.

  1. Accept and love yourself.

It’s challenging to love every aspect of your appearance, but focusing only on flaws can seriously damage your self-esteem. Every one of us is a work in progress. There is always room for improvement, but it is critical to recognize and accept your flaws and imperfections. The key to feeling confident is self-acceptance. When people give you compliments, simply say ‘thank you’ rather than dismissing them or responding with a negative comment about yourself.

  1. Set your personal goals.

Many of us struggle to recognize our own worth and progress. Often, it appears that nothing we do is enough. If you feel this way, make a list of goals you want to achieve. Give yourself some grace when you do. Simply recognizing your own success is a way to celebrate it. You will definitely choose to treat yourself once you see it!

  1. Help Others.

There is no better feeling than knowing that you made someone’s day better; that person felt more accomplished as a result of your efforts. It could be a small project at work or a sad friend asking for support. If you see your loved ones, neighbors, or coworkers struggling, lend a helping hand or an ear. Your involvement and effort can also help to boost your own self-esteem.

The world’s self-esteem has taken a beating in recent years. Many people, with or without a job, have spent months sitting at home in sweatpants. Others, of course, have fared far worse. “Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival,” author and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn once wrote.

As International Boost Self-Esteem Month approaches, we all deserve to improve our internal self-esteem. Begin with yourself today, and spread the word to others.

Written by Marina Malobabic for www.MedEZ.com