Practices to boost your self-confidence and mental health:
A beginners guide
WRITTEN BY NAT STRONG
It’s a Sunday night, you’re making another promise to yourself to start looking after your mind this week. You’re probably scrolling through Instragram, watching all the stories of people journaling, meditating for hours, doing complex yoga poses and advocating for self-care and self-love. Can’t be that hard can it?
Then Monday rolls around, and yet again, you don’t make time for yourself. Or you do, but you either don’t stick to it, or you don’t feel the benefits and fall off the wagon after a few days. A few weeks pass, and you make the promise to yourself again. Seem familiar?
Well, looking after yourself really shouldn’t be that hard – and good news, it doesn’t have to be!
Here are 5 steps to boosting your self-confidence through selfcare (from an absolute beginner)
STEP BACK FROM TOXIC FRIENDS
My entire mindset on life and myself changed when I switched up who I spent my time with. I never had a big confrontation or argument with my “toxic” friends, I just slowly started stepping back, and spending more time with more positive people. And boy, oh boy, it changed my life.
They say you’re the sum of the 5 people closest to you, and that spreads into how you view and value yourself. Once I began hanging out with people who not only truly valued me, but also loved themselves, my self-confidence skyrocketed and my mindset was changed for the better.
PRACTICE GRATITUDE DAILY
This is one of those things everyone who achieves their success actually does – sometimes you’ll fall off the bandwagon and skip a week or month, but it is a simple habit which can completely change your mindset. Depending on what you prefer, you can buy gratitude specific journals, or just simply write a list in a plain notebook; write notes in your phone or just say the things you’re grateful for out loud. Putting pen to paper is best to build lasting connections in your brain, but any form of practice is better than nothing. Try writing 5 things you’re grateful for every day.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Change the narrative on exercise. Move to feel good, not to lose weight or target a particular body part. This doesn’t have to be a hard gym session – it simply has to be a movement you love! Love to dance? Do it! Love to surf? Do it! Love yoga? Do it! Bushwalking, lifting weights, boxing, dog walking, running, HIIT classes – all have benefits if you enjoy doing it.
WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT
Stop trying to follow trends. Not only are trends bad for the environment (no thank you, fast fashion), but everyone should wear clothes they love and feel good in, not things that are “trendy”! Do you feel a million bucks in that leather jacket and flowy dress combo, but feel as if you need to follow the trends and what your friends wear? Or do you hate dressing up and just want to wear your active wear everyday? Here is your permission to just do it – it’ll boost your self-confidence immensely! (and if you feel pressure from your friends to dress a certain way – refer to step 1).
DIVERSIFY YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED
Following only supermodels or influencers who post edited pictures or fitness influencers with six packs who only drink green juice? If this is all you’re seeing, it’s probably not helping your self confidence…. Find folks and brands on Instagram who post photos of what life really looks like, not just a highlights reel. Do a regular “Instagram cull” of any pages who make you feel bad about yourself – ain’t nobody got time for that! It is also helpful to follow people who don’t look like you – including different body sizes, different ethnicities, different fashion styles, etc. By being able to appreciate bodies who are not like yours, you can begin to appreciate yours for its uniqueness!
Remember and repeat allowed “I am me, and that is my power”. Your uniqueness is your strength in life – don’t waste it!
REGISTER HERE FOR OCTOBER ARTIVISM WORKSHOP — MENTAL HEALTH
Join our community to participate in the Murals for Change October Art Workshop focusing on Mental Health with artist Little Earthling.