How we view ourselves has a huge impact on what we do and how we live. This is called self-esteem and it can be affected by things like drug and alcohol use and how and where we spend our time. Read on for our blog on improving your self-esteem.
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is rooted in what we think of ourselves. So often, we focus on what other people think of us, and we forget to think about how we perceive ourselves and whether or not we love and accept ourselves.
There are so many different elements and external factors that can impact our self-esteem, and drugs and alcohol can play a significant part in how we see ourselves.
Your own view of yourself impacts so many areas of your life, from the work you do to how you act in social situations, what you will tolerate from your relationships and even the things you do throughout the day to take care of your basic needs.
When using drugs and alcohol, this can impact your self-esteem and alter your perception of your worth and value. This can set up a vicious cycle of drinking or using to feel better about yourself, then feeling progressively as the physical and mental harms take hold.
How to improve self-esteem
There are many different things you can do to improve your self-esteem, but if you’re looking for ideas on how to get a better relationship with yourself, here are some of our top ways.
Sobriety is one of the key ways to improve self-esteem, and by removing toxins from your body, you will finally get a clear picture of what your self-esteem is like without being under the influence. This gives you a new benchmark to work from and to make the necessary changes in order to improve your self-esteem from a place of knowledge and empowerment. It’s not an immediate fix, but over time your self-esteem will improve from treating yourself with more kindness.
Your circle of influence
This is one of the hardest things to consider, but sometimes, your friends and family can have a negative impact on your self-esteem and your self-worth. This can involve looking at how and where you spend your time, to identify how you feel when doing certain activities and hanging out with certain people. It’s important to think about how you feel before, during and after. For example, if you always feel very excited about meeting up with a new partner, but afterwards you often feel down on yourself, then that relationship may be affecting your self-esteem.
How we look after ourselves also has an impact on how we see ourselves. By implementing small self-care changes, we may be able to see an increase in our self-esteem. This could be things like improving our diet and water intake or looking at the kind of activities we have in our lives. Time in nature and time spent doing things we enjoy are both good ways to improve this area.
Moving your body
Exercise doesn’t have to be a HIIT class, and it doesn’t have to be rigorous. A gentle walk can often improve our perception of a situation, and this can be applied to how we see ourselves, too. Variety can be fun and energising too: going for a swim in the sea, dancing, whatever makes you feel happy. This isn’t about wild or exhausting movements; it is about getting things flowing and moving, to help get the good hormones flowing.
Calming your mind
Poor self-esteem is often linked with our mental state, and if we have racing thoughts or repeating negative thoughts, it can be hard to shake them. Things like mental resilience training, breathing exercises, tapping, creative pursuits, mindfulness and meditation can all help in this area.
Finding the support you need
If you are suffering from poor self-esteem, it may be an appropriate step to seek professional help. Speaking to your GP or an organisation such as CALM or MIND, may be a good step to take for you and your situation. If you’re using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with low self-esteem, you may be suffering with an addiction. If that’s the case, please get in touch with Help Me Stop for a confidential assessment for treatment.
However, it is important to remember that improving your self-esteem is not an overnight fix or a quick-win that can be solved with some positive thoughts and a bubble bath. It is an ongoing commitment to your mind and being kind to yourself along the way.
How ‘Help Me Stop’ can help
Help Me Stop offers rehab programmes for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. We offer Dayhab, which is a non-residential rehab model in our London locations, as well as online. Our programmes are based on the 12 step programme and utilise tools such as 1-2-1 support and coaching, group sessions and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to craft a programme that works for you.
If you would like to find out more about our rehab programmes, you can do so by clicking here.
If you are looking for more advice and inspiration, you can read more entries from our rehab blog here.