National Teen Self-Esteem Month

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Health Assured team

12 May 2023

Marking the beginning of National Teen Self Esteem Month, a time which brings an opportunity to raise awareness surrounding self-confidence, and the impact it can have on the mental and physical health of a young person.  

Predominantly, self-esteem comes from our own perception of ourselves, surrounding the beliefs and opinions we have created about ourselves. Ensuring we have healthy self-esteem can be beneficial for our mental health, motivation levels and overall quality of life. However, people in our lives – such as parents, friends, teachers and partners, can often have a huge impact in determining how we view ourselves. Peer or familial validation can make us feel good about ourselves, but if we are faced with overwhelming criticism, it can be difficult to maintain a positive mindset about yourself and life generally.  

Adolescence and young adulthood can be a crucial time for an individual's idea of themself to flourish. However, throughout the adolescent and young adult chapters of a person’s life, the inevitable change can take its toll on a person’s confidence and understanding of themselves. These are the years in which we experience monumental change, as we transition from education to work, discover romantic relationships and create new friends. The consistent contradictions, on top of the daily challenges of society and everyday living, can create issues establishing a sense of identity. 

So, in this article, we’ll be sharing some tips on how you can improve your self-esteem. 

Surround Yourself with People Who Treat You Well: 

Regardless of how much self-confidence you have, it's important to surround yourself with people who treat you well and lift your spirits. Choose friends who make you feel good about yourself and appreciate your authentic self. 

Remove the Idea of ‘Perfection’: 

Sadly, in society there is a huge emphasis on ‘perfection’. We tend to uphold ourselves to such high standards concerning our appearance, careers, finances, friendship circles or partners. Learn to accept your best and allow yourself to feel good regardless of whether something appears to be ‘perfect’ or not.  

Be Kind Towards Yourself: 

We all have that little voice in our head that seems out to get us. Often, our own thoughts can be our worst enemy and we end up being too hard on ourselves. A great way to combat this is to write down all the things you would usually say to yourself. Look over your list, are these kind things you would feel comfortable saying to a friend? If not, rewrite them in a way that is true, fair and kind. Doing this often can be a steppingstone to changing your perspective.  

Focus On the Good: 

Sometimes we can get swept up in the negative things in our life. Talking about our problems consistently can mean that over time, it's all we begin to see. Change your perspective to focus on the good – even if it's only one good thing that has happened throughout the day. 

Be Assertive and Learn to Say No: 

Establishing assertiveness is not about pretending to be someone you’re not. Assertiveness is the ability to respect the opinions and feelings of others, while also expecting the same respect from them. Creating and respecting your own boundaries is important for those who have low self-esteem, as the risk is becoming burdened, resentful and angry. Saying no is perfectly acceptable and does not need to be the cause for upset.

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