Seniors and Self-Esteem
Part 1 Positive Aging
Health News from Senior Healthcare Advisors
Low self-esteem can affect your mental health and overall health and wellness. People are troubled by low self-esteem at all ages. When you lack confidence in yourself, you may avoid trying new things and meeting new people and fall into negative thinking. This can be especially challenging in your later years as this is a time where you should be enjoying your life to the max.
Low self-esteem is all too common in the senior population. Some seniors begin to lose their self-confidence because their physical appearance has changed. Others struggle with a lack of self-esteem due to mobility issues, loss of hearing, and other health problems. Sometimes, seniors’ self-esteem declines because they are socially isolated and feel disconnected from the rest of the world.
While some people may be prone to issues with their self-esteem, anyone can boost their self-esteem by making some easy, yet impactful lifestyle changes. These changes don’t have to happen overnight, instead, you can take baby steps to gradually raise your self-esteem until you regain your confidence.
Here are some helpful tips on how to increase your confidence and boost your self-esteem:
- MAINTAIN GOOD HYGIENE
For many older adults, good personal hygiene can be hindered by mobility issues or a lack of energy. Everyday activities can become increasingly more difficult as we age. Dementia, isolation, depression, medication side effects, or fear of falling can all be reasons for seniors to begin to neglect their personal hygiene and grooming. It comes down to when you don’t feel good about your appearance; you won’t feel so good about yourself.
Establishing a daily hygiene routine can help you to get into the habit of bathing/showering, brushing your teeth, combing your hair, etc. It is understandable why you may feel it is a chore. Help yourself by making it just an ordinary part of your day, rather than a big task. Seniors with chronic pain and weakness can get winded just getting in and out of a shower or bathtub. Shower chairs and safety bars are incredibly important. Try putting on your favorite music, and have comfortable clothes waiting for you as soon as you get out. Throw a towel in the dryer so that it is warm when you step out of the shower.
2. KEEP ACTIVE
Staying active is crucial to maintaining your overall health and wellness, and it is even more critical for seniors. While you may be concerned about exercising and the potential for injury, an active lifestyle far outweighs the risks and will give your self-esteem a much needed boost. Make sure to always ask your doctor for best practices.
Staying active will also lower your anxiety level and help prevent depression. It will improve your self-image and make you feel good about participating in life. It is also a great way to keep a social life. Social connections can increase your motivation and remind you that you are still fun-loving.
Call Senior Healthcare Advisors at 855-824-6618 TTY/711 to see if you have coverage for one of the many Senior exercise programs, such as Silver Sneakers.
The human body is a unique and fascinating organism that functions best when walking is part of our everyday exercise routine. In a very short time, walking enhances your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being and boosts your metabolism. But, that’s not all. Walking also helps lower your potential for anxiety and depression while increasing your self-esteem!
3. SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS
Friends can always make you feel better. They remind you of your value and let you know they enjoy spending time with you. Get better acquainted with your neighbors, or find other ways to have meaningful social interactions. If your circle of close friends has dwindled over the years, go out and join a card club, chair-yoga group, or any other type of social group. You are never too old to make new friends.
4. DRESS IN CLOTHES YOU LOVE
Some seniors think they are past the age of enjoying fashion, but dressing in clothes you love can dramatically boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. We all deserve to feel good about how we look. You have the chance to express yourself, feel good, and improve your mood, all by the way you dress.
Pick out the clothes you love, rather than clothes you believe you are supposed to wear as a senior. If you love bright colors or solids, go for it. If you’re unsure if you like a particular look or want some feedback, ask a friend or family member what they think.
5. INSTALL HOME MODIFICATIONS WHEN NEEDED
If you’re struggling with your confidence because of mobility issues, installing home-health modifications could improve your mental health. Almost all seniors experience some decrease in their independence and mobility, but home modifications help you to conduct your activities of daily living on your own safely. You could install a raised toilet seat, use long shoe horns, and handrails in the shower, and invest in kitchen utensils that are easy to grip or reorganize your home so that the items used most are easy to reach.
Volunteering, if you are able, provides a deep sense of fulfillment. It is a great way to meet new people and a great way to expend your energy on a worthy cause. Knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s day is uplifting and will boost your self-esteem.
7. SET GOALS
It doesn’t matter what age you are, there are always opportunities to improve yourself and your skills. By setting practical, attainable goals and reaching them, you boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Suppose you are still participating in your favorite hobbies, set small goals to improve upon them. For instance, you may add one extra book to your reading list, or plant a new row of herbs in your garden.
8. TALK TO A COUNSELOR
While eating right and exercising can help improve your confidence, you may need counseling to break free from habitual negative thinking. Sometimes, negative self-talk or self-criticism can become so regular that it is difficult to overcome on your own. Professional counseling might be the answer if your low self-esteem is interfering with your-interferes function or your happiness. A trained therapist can help you learn how to remap your thinking to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.
Self-confidence is something you build over time. It can open up a whole new life of possibilities. With high self-esteem, you are more likely to put yourself out there and make new friends, and feel proud to share your talents and knowledge with the world. High self-esteem empowers you to improve your physical and mental health, social life, and all other aspects of your well-being.
If you are struggling with low self-esteem, know you are not alone, and that there is help out there.