If there is one thing I am very sure of, it’s that dealing with ill mental health can strip you of every ounce of self-confidence you once possessed. It also affects the families of those supporting someone with ill mental health leaving everyone involved with a sense of loss. Many people struggle with feelings of shame and guilt surrounding mental health issues. We may find that situations that were once a walk in the park for us are now a monumental struggle. Often our thought process becomes frantic and confused, leaving us unsure of everything we thought we were. Avoidance and isolation ensue which adds to our already vulnerable state. Taking small steps to restore your self-confidence and love for life can be difficult but it’s not impossible.
Take it one step at a time.
Recovering from ill health of any kind is a process. If you’re like me, patience with myself is not a virtue I possess. I push myself to breaking point and then usually fall on my face only to begin again worse than when I started. A bit of soul searching and organization is required here. The first step is usually seeking some help and perhaps treatment to help manage your condition. Once that is in place you can then decide how you would like to proceed. Everyone’s recovery is different. Some will find they need to start by just getting out of bed every day. If so then that’s where you start. It’s really important to focus on yourself and not compare your starting point or progress with anyone else’s. This is your journey and only you know what you are capable of. Making slow and steady progress will help boost your confidence.
Manage your thoughts.
Rambling thoughts can take you to very dark places, especially when your mental health is under pressure. Being able to control your thoughts can really make a difference to your motivation and progress. How many times have you decided to take positive action such as taking a walk or calling a friend, only to find yourself talking yourself out of it? Deciding on something and taking action towards it, teaches you that you can rely on and trust yourself. It gives you a sense of achievement which in turn boosts your self-esteem and self-worth. There are several things you can do to help quiet your mind and steady your thoughts. Including meditation and mindfulness in your treatment plan can be powerful tools to help you focus. There are lots of readily available and free guided meditations to be found online to get you started. Talk therapy can also be hugely beneficial in helping you dispel negative self-talk and improve how you see yourself.
Accept your reality….
and know that you are definitely not alone. In my own experience feeling guilt and shame about my past mistakes kept me stuck in isolation and fear. I know that lots of people feel like this, but here’s the thing; everyone makes mistakes big and small. Accepting your humanness and realizing that perfection is a myth, is a top priority. Somewhere along the line, humans became consumed by the idea that anything less than perfection is not good enough. We also became highly judgemental of each other because of this twisted perception. All humans are flawed and making mistakes is our biggest learning tool. All humans struggle too – in case you didn’t know. We each have our own private demons we deal with daily so you are definitely not the only one struggling. Understanding this can really take the pressure off and help you cut yourself some slack. Accepting where you have been and where you are now is the starting point to a brighter future.
Be kind to yourself.
Really, recovery from ill mental health and restoring your self-confidence is all about kindness. Of course, it also means taking action. However, within those action steps, you must be kind. There will be days when you can take small steps to recover your self-confidence and there will be days when you can’t. The important point is that even the days you can’t are a vital part of the process. It gives you a chance to take a breath, reflect and try again tomorrow. Every day that you are upright and trying is a day of progress.
Remember, one step at a time, manage your thoughts, accept your reality and be kind to yourself. You can restore your self-confidence and be better than every!