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Self Care and Self Esteem

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
Updated: September 5th, 2020

meditate to build self esteem

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If you are looking to improve your life then one of the most important things you could do is to prioritize taking care of yourself. Self care and self esteem go together and in order to feel better about who you are, self care is essential. It is important to know what self-caring strategies will help you build your self esteem. This is exactly what I am going to help you with here.

Self care means being kind to yourself and ensuring your needs are met. Self care strategies build your self esteem because they help you to enjoy life and learn to love yourself more. Strategies include spending alone time, exploring a new hobby, self development and being creative.

There are many other ways that you can use self care to help you improve your self esteem. In the next section I am going to list fifteen different strategies you can use right away. These strategies will put you on a path to a happy and more confident life where you balance the responsibilities you have to others with your own needs.

15 Self Care Strategies to Build Your Self Esteem

The following list will help you to balance your life between your needs and the needs of others. Self care and self esteem are not selfish aims, they are your right. However, we all have responsibilities and need to spend time helping others too. To think only of yourself would be selfish but you deserve to have your needs met, and sometimes it is justified to put yourself first.

Maybe you are having trouble prioritizing your self care? Get your inner mind in order and consider getting therapy or counselling. Did you know that this wonderful service BetterHelp offers professional therapy and counselling online? It is worth trying! (The link goes to a page which discusses emotional development and relationships, all part of the self care that you need).

So let’s take a look at the 15 self care and self esteem strategies you can use today that will transform how you feel about yourself.

Spending More “You” Time Helps You Enjoy Your Own Company

Do you seem to be always be in a rush to get somewhere? Maybe you have so much to do with work and your other responsibilities that you can easily feel overwhelmed. If this is you, then you need to take some time out for you. Spend more time doing what you like to do. This is self love in action.

Some people never have a moment to themselves, I know how this feels as I have experienced it. But alone time is so important for your mental health. Never feel guilty about relaxing or spending a couple of hours being in your favourite place or enjoying your favourite activity, you need to believe that you deserve this.

Explore a New Hobby That You Love

Devoting time to a hobby you love enables you to escape your concerns or problems and rest your mind. If your mind is occupied doing something you love, you will be happy and this is so good for you because you know that you are being kind to yourself. Hobbies are great because they allow us to explore and get to know ourselves better. Do you have a hobby, and if not, why not?

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Hobbies are also great de-stressors and if you’re hobby involves learning it is good for your brain. If it involves sport it is good for your body and health. If it involves activity outside, it will put you in touch with nature and this is great for your mental health.

Hobbies are great for your self esteem. According to a study by Aline and Robert Kidd, hobbies such as owning an aquarium with fish offers a sense of self achievement. Not only that, but anxiety and stress are reduced when the owner watches the fish. Obviously, this is a specific hobby but other hobbies which involve learning or taking care of something, such as gardening or having a pet would offer the same benefits. These two hobbies would definitely benefit self esteem because of the achievement factor.

Sports are hobbies and can benefit self esteem as this study shows. The study focuses on disabled individuals but also states that sport boosts self confidence for able-bodied people too. Disabled people do not take part in sports activity as much as able-bodied people do, so the effect of sport on self confidence is more obvious.

Expand Your Mind and learn Something New

Developing your mind is probably the greatest way to build your self esteem and it is the best way to spend your time to improve your life. Expanding your mind can benefit you in so many ways. By expanding your mind, you will have many things to talk about and you will have more meaningful discussions and this will make you a more interesting person. You may also experience more self satisfaction when you understand a bit more about yourself and the universe you live in.

Learning is vital especially for our careers these days as technology constantly develops and changes. Learning will make you a more valuable asset wherever you go and open up new opportunities whether your aim is to work for others or for yourself. It makes success more likely and education can bring its own rewards and boost your self confidence and self esteem.

Learning for the enjoyment of it can be a form of self care because you are doing something to improve yourself. Self care and self esteem feed off each other. In other words, by taking care of your needs you feel about about yourself and this also makes you look after yourself more. So, don’t hesitate any longer, go learn something new right now!

Take a Journey of Self Discovery and Self Development

Self discovery is never wasted and is one of the greatest journeys you can embark on. Surely this is one of the many purposes of life.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”


According to this study, adventure educational programs have been successful at building self esteem because they encourage self discovery through completing challenges and solving problems. The study focused on how the self esteem of special needs students increased on such programs.

Self development is an important part of life and the self discovery it leads to can boost a person’s self confidence because they become more aware of any hidden talents or abilities.

Make Decisions For Your Self Care Needs

It is important that decisions should move you towards achieving your goals and satisfying your needs. Decision making is self care when positive choices are made for your benefit. Note that decision making can also be destructive when the opposite happens and choices are made under pressure or for negative reasons. Good decision making that benefits you is a logical process and can be learnt. If you make good decisions it will impact your self esteem positively (see

One piece of advice about making good decisions, never make them when you are in a negative frame of mind. Wait until your perspective changes. Never rush a decision if it is important. On the other hand, don’t put off a decision that needs to be made. Sometimes any decision is better than none.

Help Others Achieve Their Self Care Needs

self care and self esteem quote by Karl Perera
Helping others is important

Self care and self esteem is not just about focusing on you. There are other people to consider in your life. We are connected to those around us and those who are close to us. Never forget that! So, be sure to give to others and help them with their struggles too. What you give will return to you.

Doing good and helping others is not only helpful for your soul, it is beneficial for your mental health and your self esteem. By helping others you begin to see how needed you are and how powerful the kindness inside you can be. Opening up to others allows others to open up to you and your life will become richer and more worthwhile.

Knowing you have helped another will boost your self esteem and enable you to feel so much better about the person you are. Don’t hide yourself from others and don’t become self obsessed, this is a dark path that leads to low self esteem. Self care is about looking after yourself and one important way of doing this is to look after and help others.

Learn to Say No More Often

If you want to prioritize self care and self esteem is a problem for you, then becoming more assertive and saying no more often is necessary. We’ve just talked about the importance of helping others but others can sometimes demand too much of your time and energy and if you’re not careful, you may neglect yourself. So saying no is an important thing to be able to do.

If this is an issue for you, consider assertiveness training which will certainly help you be less stressed and under pressure from others. It will also help you gain some self respect, as you begin to value your time.

Spend More Time With Positive People and Friends

Spending time with positive people who generally encourage and support you would seem to be helpful for your self esteem. According to this article, which studied the connection between social interaction and its effect on self esteem, spending more time in the company of positive and helpful people increases your self esteem and the opposite is also true.

However, as mentioned in the same article, having higher self esteem may make it more likely that someone has better quality social relationships. Therefore, if you have low self esteem you probably need to make friends with more positive people and make an effort to spend less time with negative people.

Find a Job You Really Love

Work becomes easy and life becomes enjoyable if you like your job. If your job satisfies you, your self esteem will climb because you will believe your work is worthwhile and valuable. Your self respect will suffer if you work in a job you don’t like. So, as soon as possible, try to move to a better job for your own self care and self esteem reasons.

What is a good job for you? Anything that challenges you to use your strengths and skills and to grow as a person. Any job that you see as valuable to society and that helps others in some positive way is worth doing. It is also important that your job is a place that you enjoy being and that the people you work with are supportive. This goes back to our previous point about spending time with positive people. Your work environment is so important for your self care and self esteem.

Listen To Inspiring Music for Instant Self Care

I’ve been using music to change my thinking and inspire myself for years now, ever since I experienced severe depression and low self esteem. I still listen regularly to relaxing music and especially New Age Music. It is a fact that music changes your mood instantly.

So, if you want to break your negative thinking cycle or lift your mood then I recommend listening to the kind of music that I have found most inspirational. Here are some recommendations for the kind of music that can make you happier and is real self care.

Look After Your Body and Appearance

It’s easy to see that taking care of your body and your appearance is a form of self care, but it goes much deeper than just appearance. Looking after your body and keeping yourself clean and well-groomed sends out a message to the world that you respect yourself and others too. You want to look and feel your best which is a very positive statement. You will feel and look more confident.

Especially for men, hair loss can be a source of embarassment and really can damage your confidence. It is a common problem that many can identify with and can cause quite a bit of stress. The good news is that there is hope if you suffer because the signs of hair loss can be reversed.

In class, your appearance can make you feel much more confident if you have to do a presentation or if you need to speak in front of others as we often do in the classroom. Others will notice you more and be impressed. Looking your best is a great way to go and may even win you some admirers!

Do Something Creative

Creative activities give you an outlet to express your feeling and mood in a very positive way. Doing something creative is also very satisfying and can be very good for your mental health. Others may appreciate the creative element in your personality and admire the result which can give you added confidence. Being creative in class has the same affect and generally originality and creativeness are rewarded in education.

Challenge Yourself

Challenging yourself is a self development tool that ensures you constantly learn new things and improve as a person. A student in class who has the desire to challenge him or herself is much more likely to become successful and learn more than one who refuses to try new solutions or experiment.

Challenging yourself to do better will lead to more progress and self development than staying within your comfort zone. In today’s world those who challenge themselves to be better, are far more likely to stand out and be noticed. In class, a teacher will be very happy to have a student who has the self-motivation and drive to challenge him or herself.

Encourage Yourself with Positive Self Talk

Elsewhere on this website I have discussed self talk and how important it can be in building your self esteem. Negative self talk can stop your success before it even gets started. Self care and self esteem depend on you encouraging yourself with positive self talk. So stop holding yourself back in class by telling yourself you are not good enough or that you can’t, and start helping yourself by believing you can and by telling yourself so!

Be Honest with Yourself

I recently made a video which explains why being honest with yourself is so important. It’s not aimed at being honest with yourself so that you have more confidence in the classroom but it is very relevant. Go check out my recently posted video here:

Now that you’ve watched my video, you will understand that being honest about your ability in a subject you are studying, and in your ability as a student, is essential. So, being honest about your strengths and weaknesses and about what you can achieve in your studies is a valuable part of achieving confidence in class.

One Final Word on Gaining More Confidence in Class

One very successful technique that you should consider if you want to be more confident in class, is self hypnosis. I recommend you try these fantastic audios – the most powerful and natural way to increase your confidence. Get it today at a special low price.


  • Denissen, J. J., Penke, L., Schmitt, D. P., & Van Aken, M. A. (2008). Self-esteem reactions to social interactions: evidence for sociometer mechanisms across days, people, and nations. Journal of personality and social psychology95(1), 181.
  • Kidd, A. H., & Kidd, R. M. (1999). Benefits, Problems, and Characteristics of Home Aquarium Owners. Psychological Reports, 84(3), 998–1004.
  • Luckner, J. L. (1987). Enhancing Self-Esteem of Special Needs Students.
  • University of Groningen. (2011). Music changes perception, research shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 22, 2020 from
  • Valliant, P. M., Bezzubyk, I., Daley, L., & Asu, M. E. (1985). Psychological Impact of Sport on Disabled Athletes. Psychological Reports, 56(3), 923–929.

Website Author and Editor Bio

Photo of Karl Perera, MA, DipLC Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.