A chronic illness like diabetes can result in a big dent in your self-esteem. That is, if you let it.
I don’t need to recite the reasons. Diabetes presents a lot of challenges. And sometimes dealing with those challenges can take a big hit on how you are feeling about yourself. That's just human nature. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Here are some ideas to give your self-esteem a boost:
Have some compassion for yourself, beginning with your self-talk. Turn off the negative messages inside your head and replace them with positive ones. Instead of beating up on yourself, tell yourself that you are trying as hard as you can. Remind yourself daily that you are a worthwhile person, capable of loving and worthy of being loved. Remind yourself that you have some health challenges that you want to overcome, that you are looking for solutions, that you are determined to move forward in creating a better life.
Do an inventory of your strengths and accomplishments by making a list of everything that you have accomplished in your life so far. What do the people you care about appreciate about you? What are you the “go-to guy” for? And add this to your self-talk.
How’s your self-care routine? Stay open to new ways to take more control in your life. Are programs that you might get involved with that would help you to better manage your diet or exercise? This might be worth a conversation with your doctor, or a CDE, or a nurse, and some research on your own. Of course, I would recommend only moving forward with a strategy that your doctor is comfortable with.
What about the people in your life? Refuse to buy into the judgments of others. Tell people who constantly criticize you that this is unacceptable. Tell the people you care about how they can help you, and what you can do for yourself. And ask how you can support them in return.
Maybe it’s time to find some new people to bring into your life. Are you involved in any religious activities? This might be a good time to connect with some spiritual support as well as meet other people. Have you looked into support groups related to weight loss or diabetes? How about doing an hour or two of volunteer work that might get your around other people as well as give someone else a helping hand?
While you’re at it, if you are comparing yourself to other people you will always come up short. You are a unique individual, progressing on your own path in life. And you're doing the best you can with more accomplishments to come.
If you are really feeling like you can’t get a handle on your self-esteem, you might want to consider talking to a mental health professional to help you to sort out how you are feeling about yourself, and help you to work on building up a more positive outlook on yourself and the world around you. Don't go through this alone!
Any tips you want to share on how you keep your self-esteem at peak performance? Anything we can do to help you?
Here on Diabetic Connect, you are surrounded by cheerleaders, so let us do our job. Go team!
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