self-esteem, physical health

Self-Esteem and Your Physical Health

3 Things that Hurt Your Self-Esteem:

#2 Neglecting Your Physical Health

We live in an age where you can have virtually anything delivered to your doorstep. I mean, even McDonald’s. It’s as if the idea of “fast food” is no longer fast enough in our society. While this is super convenient and helpful at times, it comes with huge warning bells for our self-esteem and physical health. I’ll talk more about that in just a few. 

At the very basic level, our self-esteem is what we think of ourselves, but there are so many layers to the concept. In my first blog post in this series, I focused on how social media can be detrimental to your self-esteem. If you missed it, check it out here: 

When I speak about physical health, I’m focusing on what we put into our bodies, sleep, exercise, and our appearance. First, let’s talk about the ways our physical health can negatively effect our self-esteem.

Habits that Contribute to Low Self-Esteem:

  1. Poor eating habits
  2. Drinking too much alcohol
  3. Smoking
  4. Being sedentary too much of the time
  5. Not getting enough sleep
  6. Not having a sleep routine
  7. Schlopping around in pj’s all day or other worn clothing
  8. Setting unrealistic goals/being too hard on yourself

Now, nobody’s perfect. Of course, some of the items above you probably struggle with more than the others. That’s okay. You’re okay. I’ve yet to meet a perfect person (including myself). Also, sometimes we just need a day to veg out and do little to nothing. That in itself can be so important. The above items on the list play a part in our overall view of ourselves. If you’re not happy with your weight, then you’re not going to feel good about yourself. If you’re tired and don’t get enough sleep, you’re more susceptible to being triggered and feeling down on yourself. So what can you do to take care of your physical health more so that you maintain a healthy self-esteem? 

5 tips to Increased Physical Health and Self-Esteem: 

  1. Fuel your body – Watch what you eat and drink. Literally, track it in a notebook, app, or on your phone if it helps you to stay accountable. You probably know the basics: eat lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and drink a ton of water. My best suggestion is to pick one small, positive change to make in your diet. If you have a soda every day, try to cut back to every other day for a couple of weeks. Then, keep backing it down until you’re at 1-2 a week. Or you can just stop drinking them altogether. That’s your choice.
  2. Move it! – Many jobs nowadays require us to be sedentary, and it’s just not good for our bodies. At minimum, get up and move around once an hour. Walk to the bathroom or walk outside and take a few breaths of fresh air. Try to work in some type of exercise into your week. It doesn’t have to be every day but strive for 3 times a week. I’m a big believer in trying different things until you figure out which type of exercise you love. If nothing else, try to walk for 10-15 minutes a day. Again, choose a small goal, one that you can achieve, and build on that. You can do it.
  3. Sleep – This one I believe is especially tough for adults just because “adulting” is really hard. You should strive to have a sleep routine. This means you should go to sleep around the same time and wake up around the same time every day in order to feel your best. I know on weekends you may want to sleep in a bit instead of getting up at 6am. Try to sleep until 7 or 8am instead of 9am. Same thing with staying up. It’s okay to stay up some, but just know, the later you stay up past your normal bedtime, the rougher it will be to bounce back. Stay up until midnight if you usually go to bed around 11pm. Just be mindful that a lack of sleep affects our thinking and our emotions.
  4. Next, is your appearance. This one may resonate more with some than others. I’m a big believer in getting dressed and ready for the day in the morning. This means out of your pj’s or lounge clothes. Do your hair, and if you’re a makeup wearer, then put some on. I believe this helps to be more productive because you feel more put together. I don’t mean you have to have a perfect hairstyle and makeup as if you’re going to be on camera. It’s about how it makes you feel inside, not that you have on expensive, name brand clothing. Whatever makes you feel put together and good about yourself is key. 
  5. Lastly, is goal setting. Choose 1-2 goals for yourself. Make sure they are achievable. Sometime we set a goal but have no idea how to reach it or we have crazy expectations that just aren’t realistic. What’s something you want to improve about yourself or your life? Then break that goal down into 3-5 steps. Pick one step to work on at a time. Make sure each step is realistic and that you can actually achieve the step if you put reasonable effort into it. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes more time to achieve each step and the overall goal. The fact that you are striving for better says such great things about you. You’re amazing!

In conclusion, we’ve talked about our physical health and how it relates to our self-esteem. We’ve focused on the main things we do that negatively affect our physical health, which as a result, hurt our self-esteem. Then we talked about how fueling our bodies with the right food, moving more, having a sleep routine, looking put together, and goal setting are important ways to boost our self-esteem and steps to take to achieve a better balance in our lives.

Ladies, if any of this resonates with you or you just want to work on letting go of the past and loving yourself more, get moving with your first session (see what I did there) . You can reach out to [email protected] or call me at 904-204-9308.

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woman. For a free phone/online consultation or to schedule a session with Maria, call 904-204-9308 or email her at [email protected]