13 Self-Esteem Building Practices – Choose One Today



Eating disorder recovery requires the building of solid self-esteem. The core of self-esteem is based on respect and appreciation for yourself coupled with an honest appraisal of your capabilities and a kindness you give to your vulnerabilities.

If you haven’t got self-esteem, how do you get it?  I’m continuing this self-esteem building series to give you specific tasks that contribute to building self-esteem.  Choose what seems relevant and possible for you.

1.        When you experience any kind of a loss you will go through a normal grief cycle.  Rather than suppress grief, commemorate the value of what you have lost in a way that is meaningful to you.



2.        Plan and create a simple birthday party for someone who doesn’t usually have birthday parties: e.g. a neighbor, a pet (yours or a child’s), yourself.

3.        Take a martial arts class or a self-defense class for women. Befriend your own power.

4.        Learn what you can about the lives and experiences of your grandparents and great grandparents if you are lucky enough to have them.  Ask questions and listen. Ask questions with a tape recorder going. Don’t interrupt.

5.        Give yourself reasonable time to learn something new or develop improved habits. Setting a goal is not the same as achieving a goal.  Be gentle and patient with yourself. Expect new learning to take time and practice.

6.        Give yourself the gift of privacy on a regular basis. You need alone time to think, write, muse, dream, feel what you feel, make a phone call in private. You don’t have to isolate. Just give yourself the gift of a closed door once a day. (suggestion from reader, Kym.  Thank you!)

7.        Journal your hopes and dreams for the future. Sketch them. Paint them. Sculpt them. Collage them with pictures from magazines. Do this alone or have a group hope and dream session with a friend or a child.

8.        Be attentive to the wonders of our planet. Watch the moon. Call a friend to see a special night sky. Catch a sunrise or sunset now and then, alone or with a friend (or child).

9.        Examine the rules, habits and routines you follow. Do they serve a useful purpose? Have you outgrown some? What might you change?

10.      Be on time for your commitments and promises: e.g. picking up your child from school; meeting your friend for lunch; arriving at a family dinner; greeting your guests at home as well as job interviews, arriving at the airport or bus terminal or  train station.

11.     Create emergency backup systems to help you when you need help. E.g. smoke alarms, charged phone battery, locks that work, car in good working order, extra light bulbs, flashlights with new batteries; candles, matches, whistles, first aid kit, easily available phone numbers to call: fire department, police station, doctor, emergency medical help, emergency child care.

12.    Take care of your health. Get regular medical and dental checkups. Be responsible about giving your body the care it needs.

13.    Take time to relax and be silly with a friend, a child or a dog (or all three at once!)

If you had or have an eating disorder these activities were probably not part of your everyday considerations.  Bring them into your life and you will be building a sturdy and earned sense of self-esteem that gradually will make your eating disorder irrelevant and unnecessary.Which of these suggestions seem like new possibilities to you?

  • Which have you yearned for but never tried?
  • Which do you think could make a positive and needed change in your life now?
  • Which will you do?

Please share your choices and what happens when you follow through.



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0 # funny thing. I was going to post a forummylifex2 2012-07-07 18:54
funny thing. I was going to post a forum question on how people handle anxiety? I think we all know by now (LOL) that I have a lot of anxiety issues. I have been trying to come up with stress relieving activities that I can do in a pinch. The obvious ones are meditation and excercise. Then I remembered this blog Joanna did several weeks ago. It kinda fits for this subject. I first want to know how some of you would answer the questions here, and also what do you do to relieve anxiety? Or when you get that panicky feeling?
To respond to this particular blog more specifically, I would like to share a few things that I have done recently. I have a friend who has terminal cancer. He has a wife and 4 children. It doesn't look good for him. As friends, we have arranged to send them money to use for Disney tickets. We also have arranged meals for the family through the end of August, so far. It feels good to know that they are being loved and taken care of. It isn't about me but it does give back a feeling of warmth that I have helped care for my friends. Another way I am working on my self-esteem is thru working with my autistic daughter. I am really emmersed in learning how to help her. I am reading books and taking active part in her therapies. Ever since I realized that she is not able to control her actions at times, I have changed how I deal with her, and how I discipline her. This has given me a sense of better control over the chaos that is my evenings and weekends with a challenging child.
I huge thing i have worked on over the past year is my relationship with my mother. She is quite impossible at times, very angry person who never got treatment for her chaotic childhood (alcoholic father..the one who abused who knows what he did to her?)
Anyway, I have learned to let things go with her. To not indulge or play into her drama and discontent. I take care of myself by walking away from situations with her that would cause me heightened anxiety..
I feel empowered and more adult-like when I handle these situations like this.
I do need to pay better attention to taking care of my health. I put off going to the doctor especially the gynecologist...I have been having really bad pains in my lower abdomen for a while off and on, as well as a lump on a lymph node in my neck...I tend to just hope things will go away...and I stay so busy with my kids and family that i don't have time. I know that it's important and this is the next thing I will place as important on my list so i can responsible for giving my body care. I hate going to the dentist because I don't like to hold my mouth open...i get gagged so easily, and here again is issues with past abuse.
in giving myself the gift of privacy, i have set up "mommy time" every night at 9pm...the kids must be in their rooms and I can do things i find relaxing...facebook, emailing friends, journaling, tv...i try to not use this time so much for cleaning or doing things considered "work". It is my down time.
Boy I wrote a lot! Had a lot to share with myself and all of you. :-)

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