At some point during the dating process, you will most likely go through a bout of low self-esteem. And although this is totally normal, it can also be incredibly debilitating.
It’s hard to deny that we live in world in which appearance is increasingly more and more important. As much as it would be a much better world if we could just start judging people by what’s inside rather than what’s outside, the truth is that we somehow need to adjust to reality. Appearances do matter.
Luckily, there are a few small steps you can take if you are currently struggling with low self esteem:
1. Check the lighting in your home
Especially in the bathroom! The bathroom is generally the time in which we look at ourselves the most, and for the longest amount of time. It’s a private space…just you and the mirror.
I have found that the times in which I have had the lowest amount of self-esteem seemed to correlate with the brightness of the lighting in the bathroom. The brighter the light, the more our blemishes will stand out! Also, bathroom lighting does not even typically reflect the light in which you will be seen by others. So why would you choose to look at yourself in this way?
The simple solution: Change your light bulbs! Find something dimmer, or one that’s infused with a slight hue of color. This will work wonders in improving your self-esteem.
2. Stay busy
This is perhaps the most important item on the list. The simple reason for this is that if we are busy enough, we won’t have time to dwell on our small imperfections…or even care! Plus, having more things to do can often give more purpose to life, which can even end up making you more desirable to others.
The solution: Take a look at your daily schedule. Could you handle a few more commitments? If so, think about taking up a class or inviting a friend over on a weekly basis. Volunteer. Take up an extra part-time job. It doesn’t matter as long as you are adding more things to your to-do list!
3. Drink more water
There seems to be quite a bit of controversy around how much water we actually need in a day. However, from personal experience I can tell you right now that drinking eight glasses of water each day is life changing (and not even hard to do!).
Drinking water can solve so many of your small issues, including skin problems, energy levels, achy bones, and overall freshness of appearance.
The solution: Drink eight glasses of water a day. Easy as that!
4. Stay away from self-abuse!
Self-abuse is a very dangerous thing, and often times we don’t even realize that we are doing it! Be very careful about the things you are thinking about yourself when looking in the mirror or going about your daily life. If you have nothing nice to think about yourself, don’t think anything at all!
Once you have successfully removed the mental abuse from your life, try to slowly replace this with bits of mental praise.
The solution: Take a moment to reflect on how you are mentally talking to yourself when you look in the mirror. If your best friend were to say these types of things to you, would you still be friends?
This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym or start running. Some people just don’t enjoy those particular activities. However, this does mean that you should look for some type of physical activity that makes you happy, and that you should do that a few times per week. It’s no surprise that regular exercise actually increases our happiness and appearance. It may seem hard to start, but once you do, it may actually be hard to stop![Think outside the box! Try yoga, partner dancing, geocaching, hiking, rock climbing, building, parkour, martial arts, sports, laser tag, skiing, walking, biking, etc.]
The solution: Do some research as to what types of physical activities you may enjoy. Decide on one, and add it to your schedule this week.
6. Give yourself little presents
It’s so easy to fall into the habit of not giving ourselves the attention we deserve. And, in the same way that a small present can add a shimmer of light to a troubled relationship, a “self-present” can help you like yourself more.
The solution: This week, find any excuse to give yourself a little gift. What’s something that sounds amazing to you? Maybe it’s a facial, or maybe it’s a fancy box of tea that you’ve been eyeing at the store. Just buy it for yourself. You’ll be thankful.
7. Take action
This step is different for everyone, and can be done with any type of issue. Take a moment to really think about what’s bringing you down, and brainstorm ways you can battle this issue. If the issue is huge, just think of three tiny actionable goals that you can complete this week.
For example, if your issue is your weight, your goals can look something like:
- Go hiking on Saturday.
- Eat dessert only once this week.
- Replace all soda with water.
And then next week, you can make three more goals!
Self-esteem plays a very important role in dating. If we become too busy with worrying about how we look or what other people are thinking about us, we won’t have enough mental space to actually give love and kindness to the people around us. During your dates, you might end up being so focused on yourself that you forget to smile, listen, or even enjoy yourself! This can cause a really bad first impression.
So next time you go out with someone, try to think about how your date feels. Think kind things about them. Compliment them. Listen. Smile. Enjoy it. And most importantly, consider the possibility that your date could be struggling with self-esteem too.