The last few months of the current crisis took many people by storm. You’ve been trying to work from home, take care of your children, and try to unwind from the chaos that was distance learning before your children go back to school and start the post-lockdown learning process, which for many of us is known as hybrid learning. You might still have your children home half of the week because they can only be in school for a couple of days every week. This concept doesn’t mean they’re not learning – they’re learning on the kitchen table or a desk in their bedroom.
Then, there are the changes you’ve had to make in your life. Maybe you had to leave your job to take care of your children while they were in school. Now, with the changes, you still can’t go back to work, but you’re trying to get into the new normal – for you and your family. Needless to say, the last few months weren’t kind to your confidence. You might feel like you were drug through the mud. Maybe you’re just emotionally and mentally exhausted. You’re asking yourself how you can put up with a whole school year of hybrid learning when you barely handled a couple of distance learning months. Plus, the summer was spent at home trying to keep your family busy with crafts, binge-watching Netflix, and so much more. It’s time to take a step back and focus on rebuilding your confidence so you can walk into the new normal with less worry and more of an “I got this” attitude.
Understanding the Psychological Impact of the Current Crisis
When you are going through the motions, it can be a lot to deal with at once. You are handling the current crisis while doing your best to keep your children from too much worry and stress; you don’t think about what it’s all doing to your mental and emotional state. It might be because you felt that you didn’t have time to stop and think about yourself. Maybe you just kept going because you were an essential worker and it’s what you had to do. It’s also possible that you don’t understand the psychological impact that these last few months had on you because your mind doesn’t go that route.
Take a moment to think about where you are sitting emotionally and mentally right now. Yes, you can do this. It’s essential to take time to focus on you. Did you fear that the current crisis would turn you into a boring person or that you became easily frustrated and angry at people around you? Are you currently beating yourself up because you didn’t achieve everything you planned, mainly because you had months? Do you feel generally anxious about what is to come?
One of the first steps you need to take when it comes to rebuilding your confidence and self-esteem is that it’s okay not to be okay. Many people struggle with this because they feel they need to “stand strong” for their family, or they are afraid to be seen as “weak.” The truth is admitting that you aren’t in the best spot psychologically is a big step that you should be proud of.
You’re not weak for admitting that you’re struggling. Every person in this world had moments where they’re carrying so much emotional and mental stress that they don’t know how to carry on. These are the moments when you need to take a step back, a few deep breaths, and realize it’s time to focus on you. It’s time to tell yourself and the people around you that you’re not okay. It’s time to talk to your family, friends, or even a therapist if you feel the need.
Sometimes you’ve lacked self-confidence for so long that you don’t remember what confidence feels like. When you’re confident, you believe that you’re good at something, such as a job or hobby. For instance, you know you’re good at playing the piano or a great singer. You’re not afraid to show off your skills to other people because you know that they can depend on you for this particular situation.
To help you find your confidence again, you need to think back to a time when you were confident, and everything was at ease. For example, creating a project that you were passionate about or winning an award at work. Take a moment to bring yourself back to that time and do your best to feel what you felt. Why did you feel confident at that moment? Were you surrounding yourself with people who cared about you? Recreate as many of these sure moments as you need to while you’re rebuilding.
One of the best ways to rebuild your confidence is to focus on your health, but this isn’t just your physical health. For instance, it’s great that you want to keep up on your doctor appointments and get a checkup when you’re feeling under the weather, but there is more to your health than looking at how you physically feel. You also want to analyze how you feel emotionally and mentally, as well.
For example, if you feel like you’re a bit “down in the dumps,” then it’s time to look at why? Do you need to see a therapist, or do you need to spend more time outside of your home because you feel like you’ve been stuck indoors for months? If you notice that you’re mentally in the form of chaos and can’t get out, you want to take steps to declutter your mind.
If there is a stay-at-home order that your family had to follow because of your state guidelines, you are not alone. This time affected you — and your neighbors. It affected everyone, whether they show it or not. You might even see people looking at you and believe that you’re handling the current crisis well when you feel like you’re falling into pieces. The truth is, no one knows how someone else truly feels, and this idea is what we need to remember during this time as it will help us during this time.
When you’re sitting outside and see someone laughing, or you know a family was going hiking, talking about how the current crisis helped them spend time together. Hence, they established a more robust family routine, remember that they have their challenging moments too. Maybe the parents are just trying to be strong in front of their children. Perhaps they’ve been in counseling during this time. They might even feel that they’re falling apart inside and struggling just as you are.
The person you were before the current crisis – that is still you. You might not think it is because when you think back to last year or even the beginning of 2020, you see a confident person who felt like they had it all together – even if you struggled to balance your daily schedule with your career and family life. You had a system down that worked for those you love the most. But, now you feel like you don’t have a strategy. Alternatively, you might feel like you finally figured one out, and now it needs to change again because school is starting back up, and you’re going back to work.
It’s easy to lose sight of your confidence when you need to change your routine or figure out a new system that will work today because you never know what tomorrow will bring. It makes you feel that you’re just going through the motions and barely keeping it all together internally, but you’re doing better than you believe. You are still that confident person; you need to let that light shine again.
One reason why you are struggling with your self-confidence is that most of the things you liked to do were taken away from you. You got up one morning and learned that you couldn’t go out to eat with your friends until the crisis was over. At first, people predicted about a month, but that turned into two. In turn, it became the rest of the summer. Now, fall is around the corner, and you’re still adjusting to the new normal.
Now is the time to start remembering what you liked to do. What did you want to do on the weekends? Where is your favorite beach to visit? What is your favorite restaurant that you haven’t ordered from in months? Where are your favorite stores to go shopping? Where is your favorite outdoor location to spend a little time alone? Write down all of these answers and anything else that you enjoyed doing before lockdown and take time to do them as they will help you build your confidence.
A mantra is a saying or a short assertion that we connect with and repeat over and over. It helps you believe in what you’re saying. For example, if you repeat “I am full of compassion for myself and those around me” you will start to feel this way internally. You will begin to feel your heart become full of compassion and speak kindly to yourself and other people around you.
Mantras are also known to help you visualize what you desire. This chant makes it easier to focus your energies on achieving a specific goal, any goal that you’ve set your mind to, such as rebuilding your self-confidence. Mantras are backed by science, with studies proving that repeating a positive saying over and over will soothe you and give you a sense of calm. If you need help creating a mantra for you, think about what you want or start with, “I am in the process of loving myself.”
It’s not easy to stop comparing yourself to other people, especially in today’s world, where it seems like some people are perfect. They have large homes, new cars, always seem happy, and never lose patience with their children. They post all their happiness on their social media accounts, and you wonder what they did to get everything right and what you did to get mostly everything wrong. You can’t help but read their posts and see how everything seems merely perfect for them, even if you know in the back of your mind that it’s not true because no one is perfect.
It’s time to push aside the comparisons you make between yourself and other people. Make a mantra that you will repeat, so you will start to decrease this behavior. Promise yourself that you won’t worry about what other people are doing, how well things are going for them, or how they look. Instead, you will focus on your life and how wonderful it is.
If you have children and find yourself watching the “Care Bears,” you will meet a carebear named Laugh-a-lot. You want to spend your time noticing how much this bear laughs and incorporate this step into your life. While you might not think that laughing boosts your confidence, it does. It works in this way because it makes you feel happier and content with yourself, the people around you, and your life.
Laughter is truly the best medicine, but you will only learn this by laughing as much as possible. Of course, you also only want to laugh when it’s appropriate. But, you also want to spend time laughing with other people in almost any circumstance because this will brighten your day and their day. Sometimes you get tricked into thinking life is always serious, but it’s only this way when you allow it to be.
Like so many other people, you started sitting in your most comfortable clothing or even pajamas all day. You figured you weren’t going anywhere special. Maybe you didn’t go outside much because you live in a crowded city and couldn’t stick to staying 6 feet apart from other people. Maybe you started working from home, so no longer needed to worry about dressing to impress.
While this seemed great at first because you never really cared for your office attire, it also caused your self-confidence to decline slowly. You started focusing less on what you wore and maybe even let your hygiene fall to the wayside. If this sounds like you, it’s time to pick up the pace again. Take a shower, brush your hair, and get dressed to impress. You will feel better, and your confidence will start to come back to you. By taking this step, you will be amazed at how much confidence you gain quickly.
How many times do you lay awake at night and think about the mistakes you’ve made. You might go through the day and notice every error, or you might even think about something you did months or years ago. Suddenly, you find yourself thinking negatively. You may tell yourself that you need to be kind to people or have more patience for your children.
One of the best ways to start rebuilding your confidence is to not be hard on yourself. Remember that people – everyone- makes mistakes, usually daily, and there is nothing wrong with this. The key is to learn from your mistakes and focus on forgiving yourself. No matter what you’ve done, tomorrow is a new day. Take it as a new beginning and focus on living your best life by being kind to other people and you. It’s always important to be kind to yourself because your confidence starts with you. From there, people around you will see your spirit.
One of the best investments you can make in your life is investing in yourself. This concept is when you put effort into building on your skills and abilities. It helps you realize what you indeed are capable of and allows you to continue to blossom in ways that you never imagined. You have many skills, such as crafts, art, writing, music, filming, science projects – the list goes on. Take a moment to make a list of skills where you excel.
Now, it’s time to focus on ways to develop these skills. You don’t need to work on them all at once. Pick one or two skills and look at how they can grow. For instance, could you take a class? Could you practice your talent to increase? Maybe you will invest in becoming healthier by exercising and eating right. You might even develop an exercise routine and create a weekly meal plan.
Have you ever heard that the way you sit and stand can make you feel a certain way? One scientific study in 2018 found that students taking a math test felt less anxious when they didn’t slouch and instead sat erect in their seats, helping them perform better on the test because they felt more confident. This idea means that you can give yourself more confidence by doing the same thing – not taking a math test- but sitting straight and standing tall.
Focusing on your posture is an easy way to build confidence. The key is you need to take time to notice how you’re sitting and standing so you don’t end up slouching over time. Don’t worry if this action happens; just sit up or stand taller. Over time you will notice your posture becomes better without you thinking about it.
This notion is probably one of the most essential tips on this list. You haven’t seen your friends and maybe individual family members for months. Sure, you’ve talked on the phone, did a few Zoom video calls, and text, but this doesn’t mean you’ve seen them. You haven’t felt their presence or touch in months, which can bring anyone down in many ways. Think of it this way: if you feel withdrawn from the people you love and care about the most, your confidence will decline because your emotional needs and wants are all tied together.
Work out how you can re-connect with people close to you. If they’re comfortable with you coming over, then go for it. If you’re comfortable inviting them over, then get together. Maybe you will meet someone at a park or outdoors where you can stay farther apart but communicate.
You worked on building your skillset at work and then laid off for an undisclosed amount of time because of the current crisis. You were heading to a conference to give a presentation, but it’s canceled; now, you’re starting to feel like your accomplishments are taking a back seat. This task is challenging for everyone because there is a human psychological need to feel influential and accomplished.
Start by jotting down a task or two that you’ve wanted to accomplish over the last few months but haven’t yet. It doesn’t matter if it’s painting the living room or creating a vision board. Make a plan to complete the task and then focus on how accomplished you feel. Don’t think about how long it took you – focus on the finished product and how great it is.
“How to rebuild confidence post-lockdown.” Kathryn Wheeler, Happiful. June 2020.
“How to rebuild your post-lockdown self-confidence.” Jacqueline Hurst, GQ Magazine. June 2020.
“Building Your Self-Esteem After Lockdown.” Karen Dempsey, The Awareness Centre. June 2020.
“Six Ways to Rebuild Your Confidence Post Lockdown.” Ase Anderson, the British School of Etiquette. June 2020.