Overcoming Low Self-Esteem with PCOS
Self-esteem underpins your overall sense of self-worth and personal value – in other words, how much you love and respect yourself. If you have healthy self-esteem, you’re likely to value your achievements and hold yourself in positive regard. Alternatively, if you have low self-esteem, you can be overly critical and negative towards yourself, focussing largely on your shortcomings and mistakes. Due to the emotional and psychological upheaval, PCOS can trigger, you may fall into this latter camp at times. But it’s important to remember that your condition doesn’t and shouldn’t define you. And there are many ways you can reclaim your confidence and walk through life taller than ever.
Acknowledge and embrace your attributes
It sounds simple, but reminding yourself of your brilliant talents and qualities is a guaranteed confidence booster. So, prepare to take note (literally). Grab a pen and paper, and make a list of all your best assets detailing your skills, characteristics, social resources and experiences – ultimately, anything that makes you smile about yourself. You can also add any compliments that others have paid you because we all know how good they can make us feel!
Practice positive affirmations
When you’re dealing with PCOS, feeling positive and upbeat can be hard at times. One way to challenge some of the pessimistic thoughts the condition can spark is practising positive affirmations, which can reinforce feelings of self-love and belief. Here are some affirmations you could say on a daily basis:
I believe in myself.
I acknowledge the many brilliant qualities and talents I have.
I surround myself with positive people who bring the best out in me.
I let go of the negative feelings and opinions I have about myself.
I love and cherish who I’ve become.
If there’s a hobby or activity you’ve always wanted to do, now is the time to take that leap of faith! Yes – this can seem scary if you struggling with confidence, and yes – it’s easier to find a million and one excuses not to do it. But the simple act of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can work wonders for your self-esteem. It will demonstrate that you can achieve extraordinary things once you put your mind to it. Why not take up that one sport you’ve been dying to try out? We’ve got some great tips for getting started.
Doing something productive such as paid work, studying or volunteering can, unknowingly, bolster your self-confidence. Productivity can bring positive value to your life by instilling purpose, routine, structure and an opportunity to socialise with others – key components that will help strengthen your self-worth.
Connect with people who love and respect you
In life, people can fall into two camps – radiators and drains. As you can imagine, radiators ooze kindness, love, enthusiasm, happiness and warmth. Conversely, drains are toxic and zap your energy with their incessant need for reassurance. We know who’d we prefer to spend more time with – don’t you? Analogies aside, try to nurture relationships with positive people who support you and understand your condition, as they will help carve out your confidence.
Mindfulness therapy involves accepting whatever feeling arises – anxiety, stress, or frustration, which can often be triggered by having PCOS. Instead of avoiding or recoiling from these feelings, you should try to remain as present as possible. It may seem counterintuitive, but accepting and processing these sensations may break your obsession with negative thoughts and help you to see how mundane they really are. Take a look at our guide to mindfulness for more advice on how to deal with stress and overcome your anxiety.
The simple of act of carving out time for self-care rituals will make you feel happier and more positive. Self-care has a different meaning for everyone, but its core is firmly rooted in practising self-love. It can be as simple soaking in a long, hot bath, relaxing with meditation, unwinding with aromatherapy, or going for a walk. Try allocating some ‘you time’ every day – it doesn’t have to be hours and hours, just enough time to give your body and mind some respite from PCOS.
If things are getting tough, don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it. Here are some avenues you might consider exploring:
Peer support: talking to others with PCOS can provide some reassuring guidance and advice. Online communities and forums can be an excellent place to gather support.
Speak to a professional: you can discuss any concerns you have with a health or medical profession such as counsellor, psychologist or GP.
The emotional and psychological implications of PCOS can be extremely testing at times, but with daily attention and care, your confidence will soon flourish. These holistic lifestyle hacks are simply a moodboard of inspiration – find a couple that work for you and stick with it!
Overcoming low self-esteem is an important element of self-care if you have PCOS, for more information on how to deal with your condition take a look around our hub.