As we slowly start to emerge from lockdown, how can we rebuild confidence and self-image?
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Covid-19 pandemic will possibly change us for life. We’ve all been through unprecedented challenges. The way that we work, socialise, and go about our daily lives has been deconstructed as we’ve been forced into a new way of living.
With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that our confidence has taken a knock, be that related to body-image, socialising with others, or rising to challenges in the workplace. Like any habit, our confidence can waver when we’re out of practice – throw in the stress of coming out of lockdown with fears around what life is going to look like, and it makes sense that many of us will be feeling unsteady at the moment.
If you’re anxious about returning to normal and you want to start building up your confidence again, follow these tips:
Think about a time when you felt most confident
Perhaps it was being ‘hostess with the mostest’, wining and dining your friends from the comfort of your home. How about getting stuck into a project that you’re passionate about? Or maybe it was one-on-one with someone you’re really close with.
Think back to a time when you felt most at ease – confident in your abilities and the person that you are. Ponder on what it was about this situation that made you feel this way. Was it surrounding yourself with supportive people, or getting lost in something you really care about? As you start to ease yourself back to normal, try to recreate these moments.
Say it out loud
A mantra is a short assertation that we connect with and repeat to ourselves. Mantras help us to visualise what we desire, making it easier to focus our energies on achieving a certain goal. And the science agrees.
A study published in Brain and Behavior found that silently repeating things to yourself soothes the system responsible for letting your mind wander – prompting you to stay in the moment.
Your mantra should be personal to you, so think about what it is that you want to achieve, or the things that you need to remind yourself of. Repeat your mantra to yourself in the morning before you begin your day, or in quiet moments when you need a bit of a boost.
It’s really worth meditating on what you need from your mantra, but to get you started, try:
- I am worthy of love, support, and respect.
- I am capable of overcoming the challenges that come my way.
- I am in the process of loving my body.
- I believe in my ability to achieve my goals.
- I am enough.
Dress to express
Forget trends and ‘fashion faux pas’ – it’s time to dress to express yourself.
What makes you feel good? Is there an item of clothing that has particular sentimental value to you – perhaps the outfit you wore when you first met your significant other, or when you shared happy times with friends and family? Maybe there’s a colour or print that perfectly captures your energy, and the energy that you want to give out into the world. Find what it is, and strut your stuff.
But if you’re not quite sure where to start, we spoke to a fashion psychologist about how to discover your personal style, and what it means to dress for yourself.
You’ve got to see it to be it
Self-love and confidence is a journey, and it’s not something that will come easily for all of us. But by sharing the good times, and being honest about the hard times too, we build each other up.
Fill your social media feeds with joyful, compassionate, self-loving individuals. Make sure that your online sphere is a place where you feel seen and inspired – not drained or self-critical. Unapologetic, unconditional self-love is contagious, trust us.
Start your feed of positivity by following:
Go easy on yourself
The hard truth is that confidence doesn’t happen overnight, as much as we wish it would. It takes time under normal circumstances, let alone what many of us are going through at the moment as we emerge from what has been an impossibly trying time.
So go easy on yourself, don’t push too hard too soon. Understand what you need to feel supported, whether this is having someone to check in with when you are feeling anxious, or not overwhelming yourself with commitments.
However you do it, and whatever it takes, do it your way. You’ve got this.