Clients who struggle with low self-esteem will find that dealing with these unsettling times can rock their sense of confidence even more. Isolation, health and safety fears, and economic challenges can wreak havoc on an already fragile sense of self. ?
The following are tips to offer clients to help them soothe themselves during these difficult times with self-kindness and self-compassion:
1. Although it is often believed that achievement and being better than average puts you on the fast track to self-esteem, the most important ingredient to self-esteem is our ability to treat ourselves kindly and treat ourselves like a good friend.?
2. Although our clients might find themselves with more free hours in this time of quarantining, encourage them to be easy on their expectations of themselves to be productive and get things done. Encourage them to give themselves some slack while they digest what is happening to their world, and allow emotions to change minute to minute, day by day. After all, they have never been through this before.
3. Encourage clients to limit their “shoulds” on how they think they “should” be reacting. This time of self-reflection can be a time to learn the art of nonjudgmental self-acceptance—noting feelings and reactions without judging them.
4. Encourage your client to speak to themselves as a friend, not a foe. Help them identify all-or-nothing thinking in critical self-statements such as, “I didn’t do anything today,” and change them to kinder self-statements such as, “I had a hard time getting motivated today.”
Helping our clients use these difficult times to nurture themselves and treat themselves kindly will help them be more empathetic and forgiving of themselves moving forward. This truly can be a time when they learn to embrace their greatness.
Judith Belmont, MS, LPC, has been a psychotherapist, motivational speaker, workplace wellness consultant, and mental health coach. Her message of positivity, healthy communication, stress resilience, and self-empowerment has reached thousands nationwide through her books, consulting, and interactive presentations.
She is author of seven mental health and wellness books that offer therapists and their clients, as well as self-help readers, practical solutions to deal with common problems such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and relationship issues. In her books, she offers practical skill-building resources using experiential activities, visualizations, handouts, and worksheets.
Belmont is founder of Belmont Wellness (www.belmontwellness.com) where she offers a variety of mental health and wellness presentations, as well as personal and professional coaching. Her mission to share important life skills and promote self-empowerment and positivity is followed by a wide audience due to her active social media presence on various sites, such as Facebook and Pinterest.