The holidays are full of joyous things – delicious food, exciting parties, family get togethers, extra chances for romance and closeness…. all of which are, unfortunately, also ripe with opportunities for wreaking havoc on your self-esteem.
Everyone talks about the calories and pounds added at Christmas – Do you worry about eating your favorite holiday foods or skimp for fear of facing your favorite jeans in January?
Parties mean chances to dress up, look amazing, impress friends and coworkers… Do you Feel amazing or find reasons to hide in a corner?
Families can be both loving and cruel. Do you endure snide comments about your job your children, your cooking, your decorating….?
Mistletoe, sparkly lights, cooler temperatures invite snuggling and kisses. Do you feel abandoned or neglected and wonder why you aren’t glowing like the lovers in the commercials
Emotions run high at the holidays with all the possibilities for appreciation, love and hope; self-esteem can be especially fragile if those possibilities do not come through.
Holidays are tough enough though to enjoy without feeling bad about yourself. This year you deserve to be at your best, which means your laughing, loving, confident, naturally great self.
Being at your best means accepting yourself for all that you are and though there may be things you would like to change, you do not beat yourself up over those little things, you allow yourself to enjoy the life you are living, you see the positives in yourself and your circumstances.
Does this sound like where you are right now? For many women, this sounds like a fantasy. Women tend to take things personally, to believe the worst faster than the best, to be hard on themselves about the tiniest of flaws or mistakes. Women tend to think it is both normal and acceptable to dislike themselves in one aspect, or many; rarely do they dislike just the aspect, but themselves as a whole because of that aspect. This not only means that women feel uncomfortable with who they are, they also allow themselves or force themselves to miss out on some of the joyous wonders of life because of it. This is especially true at the holidays.
We all have natural human needs for love, connection, acceptance, support, appreciation, significance, and belonging that we look to our relationships to fulfill. This is perfectly natural, healthy and in fact inescapable. However, we also have not only the ability, but the duty to ourselves (and our loved ones!) to do as much as we can on our own to like ourselves, to boost our self-esteem.
We all have the ability to:
Make changes in our bodies that bring us to a state of health and strength.
Participate in activities that utilize and encourage our intelligence and skills
Surround ourselves with people who bring us up rather than putting us down
Change the things we say to ourselves to be more positive
We have a duty to ourselves to do all of those things so that we can:
Improve our situations in life, creating the opportunity for more hope and happiness
Live healthy so we can do the activities we enjoy and job we need
Take advantage of opportunities when they come knocking rather than letting them pass us by
We have a duty to our loved ones to do these things and have healthy self image because we cannot truly give to others when our own emotional bank accounts are empty.
This may sound like a lot of responsibility and work, especially if you are struggling with low self esteem. Don’t be afraid or discouraged though. Boosting your self esteem only takes small steps and efforts each day and you can start seeing improvement immediately. Not only will you see improvement in the way you feel, but in the way you enjoy the life and opportunities around you as well. Start now and you can enjoy the holidays like never before.
Eat your favorite foods and enjoy the pleasure on your taste buds and the nostalgia of the experience.
Feel amazing in a favorite or new dress, bringing the best dessert from your repertoire or just laughing and enjoying the conversations you participate in
Ignore, laugh off or comfortably challenge the cruel comments your family makes.
Enjoy the intimacy of the holidays with your partner, or feel secure in the warmth inside you, knowing you are beautiful and worthy, even if he misses the chance to show you.
Be Your Own Heroine this year and start boosting your self esteem now so you can enjoy the holidays and the year ahead of you.