Breaking free from a toxic relationship can be one of the most challenging excursions you'll ever embark on. Whether it was a toxic friendship, romantic partnership, or family tie, the aftermath often leaves you feeling broken and your self-esteem in tatters. But remember, you are not alone, and you can rebuild yourself and your self-esteem. Here are 20 effective ways to help you regain your confidence and love yourself again.
Self-Reflection: Take time to understand your worth. Reflect on your strengths, values, joys, heartbreaks and what makes you unique.
Surround Yourself with Positivity: Seek out supportive friends and family who lift you up and remind you of your worth. Be picky here, the people we often turn to can be really bad for our mental health. Evaluate how you feel after each interaction, seek those who make you feel calm, reassured and empowered.
Set Boundaries: Learn to say no and establish healthy boundaries to protect yourself from toxic people. Even small things like establishing how you will respond to negative comments about yourself can help you feel stronger.
Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you'd offer a friend in a similar situation. It's so easy to let this one slide. We need just as much love as the next person, here's your sign its OK to put yourself at the top of the list.
Therapy or Counseling: Consider professional help to process your experiences and develop coping strategies. I love coaching people, but that is not the same as therapy. A professional therapist can help you to deal with the reason why things are the way they are and where behaviors come from. Coaching helps you set goals and overcome obstacles for where you are going in the future.
Positive Affirmations: Repeat affirmations daily to counteract negative self-talk and reinforce self-worth. It may sound cheesy, but don't knock it until you've tried it.
Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings as a therapeutic way to process your emotions. For those of you who process out load, this is an excellent choice. Make sure you have a safe place to store you information.
Physical Health: Exercise and nourish your body with nutritious foods to boost your physical and mental well-being. Exercise is a proven strategy for dealing with trauma, anger and sadness. It is like moving all those feelings out of your body so they can't cause more damage. Fueling yourself with clean food just makes good sense.
Creative Outlets: Explore hobbies or creative pursuits that make you feel accomplished and proud. Art therapy, walking your dog, anything outdoors just makes us feel better. We feel more productive and connected when we engage.
Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices can help you stay present and reduce anxiety about the past or future. Just try it for 6 weeks and tell me that 5-10 minutes a day of quiet breathing and just being present doesn't help you feel less stress.
Educate Yourself: Learn about the psychology of toxic relationships to gain insight into your experiences. There are so many great resources out there...check out You Tube for anything on Narcissism.
Forgiveness: Forgive yourself for any mistakes and let go of resentment towards those who hurt you. A proven tactic of a narcissist is to cause you to feel out of control. They are masters at making everything your fault and helping you take full responsibility for their lack of effort. Make sure to dig deep here. It always falls back on them. Gaslighting, manipulation and mind games are their specialties. Don't fall for it.
Goal Setting: Set achievable goals and celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Baby steps here, every small thing helps us gain confidence. Clean a drawer, brush your teeth, take a 10 minute walk. Anything.
Positive Role Models: Identify people you admire and draw inspiration from their journeys. This goes back too surrounding yourself with positivity. Find friends who have been where you are at. They know what you are going through and can help you feel less alone.
Support Groups: Join support groups or online communities of survivors who understand what you're going through. Here's a link to the Trauma Bond Group Coach Kellie manages https://www.facebook.com/groups/489776029537622/
Self-Care: Prioritize self-care rituals like bubble baths, reading, or meditation to pamper yourself. Self-care also means talking kind to yourself, pushing yourself a little and being honest with yourself always.
Volunteer: Helping others can boost your self-esteem by making you feel valuable.
Challenge Negative Thoughts: When negative thoughts arise, challenge them with evidence to the contrary. You can be your own best friend.
Seek Closure: If possible, seek closure from the toxic relationship or find a way to let go.
Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how minor they may seem.
Recovering your self-esteem after a toxic relationship is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself and remember that healing takes time. Surround yourself with love, positivity, and support, and never forget that you are worthy of happiness and self-love. You have the strength within you to rebuild your self-esteem and create a brighter, healthier future.