Be kind to yourself

The importance and benefits of self-care and self-appreciation


   It’s common for teens to dislike themselves. Although self deprecation may seem like the norm, it’s the students who treat themselves kindly who are able to enjoy their middle and high school careers.

   “I tell myself that it doesn’t always matter what other people think,” sophomore Clara Dowdy said, “As long as you love yourself.”

   Teenagers are often told “confidence is key” and to “believe in yourself.” They are  encouraged to be true and kind to themselves. Despite this stream of constant positivity, it’s common for teenagers to view themselves in a pessimistic light, negatively impacting how they see the world. By simply practicing self-love, teenagers can positively change how they see themselves and their surroundings.

Low self-esteem has been tied to both depression and anxiety, along with other mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, having low self-worth as a young adult sometimes leads to drug or alcohol addiction later on in life.

   Some students are reluctant to accept compliments from others. This may be due to low self-esteem, a common attribute of many teens. Low self esteem can come from students being worried about their appearance, criticized by peers, or being pressured by the future and the expectations for them. Students often place stress on themselves to succeed do they have the opportunity to attend a good college. At Trinity, future plans are a major aspect of the students’ lives. By freshman year, teens are told to work hard and begin to think about colleges. Added to a heavy workload, thinking about college at such a young age is stressful and can be discouraging for students who don’t have a plan set for them. When comparing themselves to their peers, some teens feel as if they aren’t good enough to succeed– their grades aren’t high enough and they don’t believe that they’re doing enough outside of class– which can be detrimental to their feeling of self-worth.

   “Because Trinity is very academically driven, I don’t feel smart compared to my peers,” senior Lena Kuhlman said. “When you’re in the moment [with all of the deadlines and pressure] it’s hard to see what you’ve accomplished.”

   Acknowledging one’s accomplishments helps to put things into perspective. Instead of focusing on every little things that needs to be done, congratulating oneself for completing both easy and difficult tasks helps increase pride. Being proud, to an extent, can positively benefit how the world is perceived. Instead of being upset about what hasn’t happened yet, there’s a chance to gladly reflect on what has been previously conquered and accomplished.

   Another one of the easier ways to improve overall confidence and self worth is to compliment yourself. Many psychotherapists tell their clients that the first step towards loving themselves is to compliment themselves daily.  Not only can this method be beneficial to mental health, but it’s a quick and easy method that doesn’t distract students from other tasks.

   However, being kind yourself doesn’t just come from looking in the mirror and saying “I look good today” or congratulating yourself for completing a task. There are other factors that can improve overall well-being, such as exercise, staying productive, and getting enough sleep.

   Exercise directly impacts your brain. Regular exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that improve happiness. In recent years, the benefits of exercise have been discussed worldwide, and its benefits have been proven by many researchers. By treating the body kindly, the mind follows. Through regular exercising, one can improve their mental haelth and positively impact their perception of the world.

   It’s also important to take a deep breath and relax. Although everyone experiences stress, it can cause problems if it is constant over long periods of time. Every student needs the chance to slow down and take a break. Although it may sound counterproductive, taking breaks and getting rest help to clear the head and reduce negative feelings.

   Improving one’s positivity is a major step forward towards becoming more confident, self-loving and happy. Confidence allows teens to showcase their individuality in a positive way.