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Counselling Vaughan Self-EsteemThis page contains useful strategies that you can use to help relieve or prevent feelings and symptoms of low self-esteem.  You may use this on your own or with the help of your therapist.

Generally, people feel bad about themselves every now and again. When we experience difficulties with low self-esteem, the feelings and symptoms can sometimes haunt us. This is particularly relevant for those who may experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobias, psychosis, and delusion. Having low self-esteem may keep you from enjoying life activities and setting personal goals.

Activities That You Can Do Every Day to Raise Your Self-Esteem

  • Pay attention to your own personal needs and wants - It’s important that you listen to your mind and body. If your body is expressing exhaustion and tiredness, consider giving yourself time to rest. If your mind is telling you to complete a task (i.e., an assignment or chores), consider completing those tasks.

  • Take care of yourself - Write out a list of activities that you could do to better take care of yourself. Consider completing some of the activities you listed. This may include: eating healthier food, avoiding junk food, participating in an exercise activity, practicing good personal hygiene, having a physical examination completed, or playing a fun activity.

  • Take time to do activities that you enjoy - We recognize that our busy schedule doesn’t permit us to do all the activities that we’d like to do, but taking time to participate in activities you enjoy or used to enjoy is important for improving/repairing your self-esteem. You may consider playing an instrument, going for a walk, painting, or playing a sport. Consider making a list of activities you enjoy and completing one activity each day. Add anything new that you discover you enjoy.

  • Complete an activity that you’ve been putting off - Get it out of the way so it’s no longer on your mind. If you feel that it’s something that can’t be done right away, write it down and set a deadline to ensure that it gets completed.

  • Do things using your own special talents: If you’re an excellent writer, perhaps you can write a piece for the local newspaper. If you’re good with your hands, try building something.

  • Dress to impress…yourself: It’s important that you dress in clothes that makes you feel good about yourself. If you have little money to spend on clothes, try visiting your local thrift store.

  • Prepare rewards for yourself: You may consider buying yourself a gift or going for a massage.

  • Spend time with new people, friends and family: Consider spending time with people who treat you well and honour your presence.

  • Create the living space that you’d like to live in: It’s important to create a space that is comfortable and peaceful. This place could even be your bedroom. Make sure that this place provides you with the security to store items that will not be disturbed. Create time to decorate or redecorate, this can be a powerful motivator.

  • Create displays that you find attractive: create a space where you can have items that represent your accomplishments. This may be a wall with awards, plaques, pictures, or paintings. If you find it difficult creating this space, try to reflect on all your accomplishments in life, including friends, family and goals. Collect and display items (i.e., pictures) that represent these accomplishments.  

  • Savor your meals: Turn off all your electronic devices and allow for some time to be mindful of the meal you’ve ordered or made. Consider inviting friends and family over to enjoy.

  • Learn something new or improve your skills: Take time out to go to a seminar or class. You may meet a new friend.

  • Do something nice for another person: Performing an act of kindness (i.e., writing a card to a loved one, doing a chore for someone, preparing a meal for a friend, or volunteering) will help bring more joy to your environment. 

  • Make it a point to treat yourself well everyday! Before retiring for bed, write out what you’ve done to treat yourself for that day.

Curie, Charles. Building Self-esteem: A Self-Help Guide. SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center. Rockville, MD 

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