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It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, so we thought we would bring you a whole bunch of super important stuff you need to know about eating disorders. Did you know that approximately 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder (Beat, 2020)? Well we think it’s super important that anyone going through something like this deserves respect and understanding, which is why we have decided to tackle the top 6 myths about eating disorders, and why they are wrong. 

1) “Only girls get them”

Not true. Anyone of any age, race, gender, or background can develop an eating disorder. In fact, about a quarter of all people who get one are guys. Sure, there may be more girls that get them in the statistics, but that could be down to many things, including the fact people notice them more in girls anyway.  

2) “They are because of skinny celebrities and influencers” 

Sure, societal factors might play a role in disordered eating for some people, but not everyone’s disorder is caused by the same factors. Also, disordered eating can be caused by serious mental wellbeing issues that are much more complicated than looking at photos of slim people on Instagram. Again, these can be triggering, but not necessarily the entire reason. 

3) “It’s only for attention” 

A lot of the time, attention is the last thing on someone’s mind when they have an eating disorder. There can be so many reasons to develop disordered eating, but one thing is for sure: being desperate to be centre of attention is not one of them. 

4) “You have to look a certain way to have an eating disorder” 

This one is a big one. Eating disorders can literally come in so many different combinations that someone could potentially have an eating disorder for years without ever “looking like they have one”. In fact, it’s pretty likely that the numbers of people suffering with an eating disorder are actually much higher than we think, because of the number of people living with one that has gone undiagnosed.

5) “Only teenagers get eating disorders”

Like we said above, anyone of any age, race, gender or background can develop disordered eating patterns. Whilst the majority of those diagnosed are in the 14-25 age bracket (Anorexia and Bulimia Care, 2020), this doesn’t mean that these are the only people who can develop one. 

6) “Eating disorders are a choice”  

This last one might be one of the most important to remember, especially if someone you love is currently living with an eating disorder. They are absolutely categorically positively NOT a choice. Sometimes, when someone we love is living with disordered eating, their behaviour can change dramatically, and they can often be aggressive, withdrawn, or manic. This is their eating disorder talking, and they are not actually making these behavioural choices. They just might need a little help, and that’s OK.

If you need to talk to someone about this or anything else that might be bothering you, reach out to our community here for confidential support and advice.

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, characterised by disordered eating behaviour that might include restricting the amount of food eaten, eating very large quantities of food all at once, countering food eaten through purging or excessive exercise, or a combination of these.

It’s important to remember that they’re not really about the physical behaviour, but rather about the thoughts and feelings behind the behaviour – eating disorders may be a way to cope or to feel in control. Anyone can have an eating disorder, no matter what their age, gender, or background.

Perhaps you’ve noticed something about your eating behaviour that worries you, or perhaps someone else has. Regardless of how you came to consider the possibility that you might have an eating disorder, realising that there’s a problem is a really important step. But what about the steps after it? Here are some things that you can do or just keep in mind:

1. Speak to someone that you trust about your concerns

Breaking the silence around eating disorders is vital, because these illnesses thrive on secrecy. You might want to talk to a close friend or family member, a teacher or a therapist. Try noting down beforehand some of what is worrying you, whether that’s your actions or the thoughts you’re having, so that you have some things to centre the conversation around. If there’s information somewhere, such as a list of symptoms, that has caused you to worry, you could show them this so that they understand why you’re concerned. It may be that they have noticed the same things you have and will be very glad that you’ve spoken up.

“Breaking the silence around eating disorders is vital, because these illnesses thrive on secrecy”

If the person you speak to doesn’t react as sensitively as you’d hope, don’t be disheartened. If they don’t understand or are dismissive, that doesn’t mean that your concerns aren’t valid. You deserve support, and you’ve taken the brave and positive step of reaching out, so try speaking to someone else.

2. Seek treatment as soon as possible

Research is very clear that the sooner someone gets treatment for an eating disorder, the greater their chance of a full and sustained recovery. Speak to your GP about your symptoms, and write down some thoughts and questions beforehand so you have something to refer to if you forget anything. You could ask someone you trust to go with you to your appointment to support you. Your GP should be sensitive to your needs, but if you don’t feel that you’re getting the help you need, you can ask to see a different GP.

3. Don’t feel that you have to tick every box on a list of criteria for your illness to be real

Eating disorders are very complex, and while there are lots of symptoms that might be associated with specific eating disorders, not everyone with an eating disorder will have all of them. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are not the only diagnoses – a high percentage of diagnosed eating disorder cases are “other specified feeding or eating disorder” or “OSFED”. These are every bit as serious as any other eating disorder, and it is just as important that you get the treatment and support you need.

“Don’t feel that you have to tick every box on a list of criteria for your illness to be real”

[full-width-figure image=”https://www.ditchthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/verne-ho-26301-unsplash-compressor.jpg”]

4. Don’t feel that you have to figure out the cause of your illness or an exact reason to be feeling the way that you do.

It’s thought that eating disorders are a combination of a biological predisposition and a social or environmental trigger, and sometimes people can point to an exact moment that their eating disorder started. But sometimes they can’t, and that’s okay.

Remember, eating disorders are very complex illnesses, and anyone can have one, regardless of their background. If you can’t explain it, or if the cause of your eating disorder doesn’t seem as “serious” to you as the cause of someone else’s, that doesn’t mean that it’s not just as real. You should still seek the support you deserve.

5. Consider keeping a journal to keep track of your thoughts and feelings

This is something that you can share with your doctor or therapist depending on your treatment, as well as use to identify any patterns and potentially learn about what things might help or hinder your recovery.

“No two people with an eating disorder are the same, except for one thing – they are all absolutely deserving of help and support”

6. You could also keep a “go-to box”

This is a collection of things that can provide a distraction from negative thoughts and feelings or help calm you if you’re feeling anxious.

It could be a physical box with activities in it, or something like a collection of apps on your phone. You might be someone who prefers to read your favourite book when you’re struggling, or have a particular game that you find takes your mind off things. No matter how you cope best, the important thing is that you never have to look too far for things that you know will be helpful.

No two people with an eating disorder are the same, except for one thing – they are all absolutely deserving of help and support, and the sooner they get it, the better.

If you feel like you need to talk to someone about eating disorders, or anything that might be bothering you, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

For more information about eating disorders and what to do if you’re worried about yourself or someone you know, go to www.b-eat.co.uk

As Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2020 is upon us, we caught up with body positive Instagram star and advocate for eating disorder recovery, @_nelly_london.

Tell us a bit about yourself

So my name is Nelly and I am a body positive influencer. My content mainly focuses on lingerie and fashion but I also talk a lot about eating disorder recovery and my personal journey.

When did you realise you had an issue with food?

I struggled to realise I ever had a problem because my issues started so early on, essentially I grew up with a very skewed view on food, eating and body image. From as young as I can remember I know I hated by body and I thought that food was the reason for that, so there was never a specific moment I realised I had a problem, I guess I just always had.

What was your experience of eating disorders?

Eeesh good question haha. So I started to experience disordered eating behaviours when I was about 12, these developed from there and at my worst stage of disordered eating I was suffering from 3 eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) concurrently and my life was controlled entirely by food and thoughts about food. I was also periodically abusing laxatives, something that has unfortunately caused permanent damage to my digestive system.

Woman standing in Ditch the Label T Shirt that says 'Woman Up'

What was your experience of recovery?

Finding help was the hardest part. I had been to my GP multiple times and received no help whatsoever. I had so many setbacks, so many doctors telling me that they didn’t think I had a problem because I was actually overweight and didn’t meet their criteria. When I think about that now I honestly feel so sad, I was suffering an indescribable amount and was extremely unwell, both mentally and physically, but at least 3 doctors told me I was fine. After years or trying, I was lucky enough to find an amazing eating disorder specialist who honestly saved my life. I was in an incredibly privileged position as when I finally asked my parents for help, they were able to take me to a private clinic. If it wasn’t for the help I received there I don’t know what my life would be like today.

What helped you most in your recovery?

Learning that recovery is not linear was a really important lesson that I learned. I used to really beat myself up if I had a setback or slipped back into dangerous habits, but when I finally realised that healing would involve a lot of ups and downs I was able to be a lot more forgiving of myself. There definitely were a lot of ups and downs, but I was supported throughout them all.

How have you found life since? What’s the best thing about your life since recovery?

When I was at my worst I honestly and truly believed that that would be my life forever. I thought I would spend my entire existence trying to lose weight and being controlled by food. I accepted the fact that I would never see my friends, I would never experience fun or exciting things, I would never have any meaningful relationships with partners because the only committed relationship I was ever capable of having would be with my eating disorder. So the fact that I now have an incredibly fulfilling life is the biggest blessing I could ever ask for. If 18 year old me saw the things I was doing now she would never believe it.

Woman in body positive social media campaign

Your social media is very body positive, how has the bopo community helped in your recovery?

I think discovering the bopo community completely changed my outlook on life (honestly!). I had no idea that there were men and women out there genuinely embracing their bodies and celebrating their “imperfections”. It was such a breath of fresh air to realise that not everyone is a perfect size 8, hourglass figured, smooth skinned, perfectly dressed goddess. I now no longer compare myself and my body to everyone I see on Instagram, instead I admire the beauty and uniqueness of all different bodies. Again, something I never thought would be possible.

So do you think you are truly recovered and your eating disorders are behind you?

This is such a tricky one. Whilst I now live an amazing life that I am completely in love with, I know that I will be working on my behaviours around food for the rest of my life. I still have days where I need to consciously make an effort to not let problematic thoughts control me, but other days I forget I even ever had an illness.

Is there any advice you can give to someone in recovery now?

Know that it won’t be a smooth road to recovery, but that’s totally okay and you will get there.

Use your support system whenever you need to, don’t feel like you are a burden to anyone and asking for help or just a bit of support is really important.

Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s, everyone is different and your journey is yours and yours alone, don’t feel bad if you think your progress is slower than others.

Look forward to the future but experience the present. Although you might not be exactly where you want to be, right now is important, don’t wish it away.

You’ve got this.


If you think you are suffering from an eating disorder, or know someone who is, you can get help and advice at Beat Eating Disorders here.

At Ditch the Label, we can also offer help and advice regarding this or any other issue you are concerned about. Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.

Sometimes, social media is really sucky. With images of the perfect body, perfect hair, dream holidays, couple goals and bedrooms so immaculate they put your laundry covered floor to shame, it can be exhausting to keep up with how we are supposed to be living our best lives. Not only can it be simply annoying, it can actually make you feel pretty crap about yourself, and even be a contributing factor to issues such as anxiety or depression. That’s why we have compiled a short list of some of the best accounts you can follow to give your social media a mental wellbeing makeover. 

1) For some visual meditation @satisfyingvideo 

This account posts some seriously satisfying videos of all kinds of arts and crafts. From pottery to paint swirling, these guys post videos from across other super satisfying Instagram accounts that will make you feel weirdly calm inside. 

2) For the warm fuzzies @cuteanimals

This account will give you all the warm fuzzies you need to make it through the day. Trust us – this adorable array of puppies, kittens, ducks and others is sure to take the edge off any stress-filled situation. Can anyone say ‘emergency cuteness’?

3) For body positivity @bopo.boy

Body positivity knows no gender. With fitness influencers, sports stars and supermodels dominating the media with standards that are so often out of reach, injecting a bit of positive diversity into our Instagram feeds is something we can all benefit from. @bopo.boy, a.k.a Steven Blaine is leading the charge in male body positivity, and we are here for it! 



Instagram


4) For us @ditchthelabel 

How could we do a list like this without sneaking ourselves on here? Our feed is packed full of inspirational quotes to get you thinking positively about all aspects of life, love and friendship. Check out our stories for tips and tricks on dealing with the big issues, whilst our feed will give you all the best quotes, cuteness and memes to keep your social media more looking positive than ever before.



Instagram


5) For some colourful positive vibes @scarrednotscared

This super cute account will give you all the female empowerment body positive vibes that you never knew you needed to brighten up your newsfeed. Michelle Elman, the woman behind the insta @scarrednotscared, is serving looks, self love and body positive memes that will give you the BDE of the gods. 

6) For slime @slime

Sometimes after a stressful day, the only thing that will do it is watching someone play with slime. This account will give you just that, with satisfying AF videos of people playing with the squidgy stuff. 

7) For some inclusive beauty blogging @jakejamie

Make-up knows no gender just like body positivity. When beauty bloggers’ perfect faces illuminated by even more perfect lighting gets old (and it does) Jake is the perfect antidote. With skincare tutorials and product testing soundtracked by some adorable tunes, the Beauty Boy is all about the pretty, but honestly. 



Instagram


8) For daily inspiration @thegoodquote

A one-stop-shop for all your inspirational quote needs, this account will be throwing some motivational moments into your feed daily and is always ready with something that will remind you that any bad day can be turned around in a heartbeat, and that negativity doesn’t have to last forever.

If you feel like social media is getting you down, or you need to talk to someone about cyberbullying, mental health, body image, or anything that is bothering you reach out to our support community here

It’s a brand new year and we think 2020 should be the year that everyone gets to be their most confident, comfortable, authentic selves. Our CEO Liam Hackett is helping everyone to do just that with the release of his new book ‘Fearless’. We caught up with him to find out all about the book. 

Ditch the Label: Hey Liam, congratulations on your new book! Tell us a bit about it.

 Thanks! So the book is all about finding the confidence to be your true authentic self. It covers all kinds of things, from the fear of being judged and not fitting in, to conquering your fears of being a failure. There’s some incredible colourful illustrations in it, as well as loads of expert quotes and tips and tricks to dealing with life as a young person today.

Basically, it’s there to help all young people break the labels that might be holding them back or keeping them in a box, smash through gender stereotypes, and overcome the fears that stop everyone from being unashamedly themselves. 

Ditch the Label: That sounds awesome! What made you want to write a book about this? 

When I was younger, I was badly bullied. That’s why Ditch the Label was born, to tackle bullying in all its forms to help anyone else going through it. What I went through really affected how I saw myself and my confidence was on the floor. One day, my Grandma asked me why I always walk with my head down. I told her it was because I wasn’t confident. She said something I will never forget which was “confidence is in all of us, but sometimes you have to fake it until you make it”. 

Through Ditch the Label, I have seen so many stories of young people battling with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, and I remember exactly how that felt. I just want to help them become the confident versions of themselves that they can be.

Ditch the Label: What was it like writing a book?

It’s been an amazing experience. It really has been a long term dream of mine, so to have something actually out there is incredible and I still can’t quite believe it. It’s the product of years of hard work, so I’m really excited to have something on the shelves that can really help young people to feel good about themselves and be able to cope with the issues and emotions that so many of us navigate growing up. 

Ditch the Label: How important do you think it is for young people to read something like this?

I think it’s really important. Young people today are up against so much. At Ditch the Label, we’ve seen time and again how much issues such as being judged, coping with emotions and a fear of fitting in can have an impact on their mental health and general wellbeing. This book is designed to break everything down that could be holding them back and then leads them through how to tackle it step-by-step.

The aim is that by the end of the book, they will be equipped with all the tools they need to face the world exactly as they are – and be rightly proud of themselves. And it’s always there for the tough times, they can dip in and out of the book when they need a boost or further support. 

Ditch the Label: What’s your favourite bit? 

Haha – tough question! I’m not sure I can say any one bit of it is my favourite because the whole point is that different parts will help different people in different ways.

It’s basically there to help whenever anyone needs it, whether that be in everything it covers as a whole, or just one or two hints and tips on gaining confidence, being kinder, or expressing themselves. 

DTL: We can’t wait to read it! Is there anything else you want to tell us about it? 

I learned so much myself in writing this book; I had to face my own fears: Was it good enough? Would anyone want to publish it? Scholastic (my publisher) have been amazing through it all!

Finally, I really wish something like this was around when I was growing up. 

The book is available now from all good book shops including Amazon, Waterstones and WH Smith. You can support your local independent through Hive.co.uk #Fearless.

If you need support, join the Ditch the Label Community here. 

Attitudes towards appearance are one of the main reasons why people are being bullied. In fact, in our 2019 Annual Bullying Survey, 59% of young people said that their appearance was the reason they were bullied.

It comes as no surprise then, to find out that one of the most popular questions entered into our search bars on our phones was ‘Am I Ugly?’

In fact, if you type “am I” into Google, the first suggestion that is offered to you is “am I ugly?”

This is not a new question. Unobtainable beauty ideals have us questioning our self-worth, based on our appearance, on a daily basis probably since the beginning of time.

In 2013, a YouTube trend emerged called “Am I Ugly or Pretty?” whereby, teen girls uploaded videos of themselves asking viewers exactly that. Following this, the internet answered the question in all its force and pulled no punches. Even in 2020, these questions are often asked on places such as Instagram, Reddit and TikTok.

@davidpostman

♬ original sound – sidthesciencedik

This question is one that matters and is something that nearly all of us will ask ourselves at some point during our lives.

So, let’s answer it!

Are you ugly or pretty?

Am I ugly because people keep saying it to me?

No, the danger is when you are called ugly enough times you start to believe it might be true.

Am I ugly because I’m single?

No, you are not single because you are ugly, and being in a relationship doesn’t make you beautiful.

Am I ugly because I keep thinking about it?

No, so please stop telling yourself you are, our thoughts very quickly become our reality.

Am I ugly because I was dumped?

No, you were NOT dumped because you are ugly, the relationship ended and that’s ok – give yourself some time and space to heal.

Am I ugly because I’m looking different?

No, your body is just changing and you are still growing into it.

Am I ugly because I have bad skin?

No, having bad skin does not make you ugly and is totally normal.

Am I ugly because I don’t look as pretty as a model?

No, it’s ok to not look like a model. Turns out they are the only ones that do and they make up a teeny tiny amount of the population.

Am I ugly because I’m big?

No, your dress size does not determine your beauty, case in point: Tess Holiday.

Am I ugly because my friends keep saying so?

No, they are telling you that because they are scared that they aren’t good enough and have their own fears of being ugly, this doesn’t have to be your fear as well.

Am I ugly because I feel it?

No, your self-esteem has just gotten a little too low and needs rebuilding, have a look at our support guide for tips on how to begin rebuilding your self-confidence here.

Am I ugly compared to everyone else?

No, when we compare ourselves we always come off feeling worse, to compare is to despair so stop comparing.

Am I ugly because I am fat?

No, your weight is how much your body physically weighs full stop. Every single object, mineral, plant or animal on this planet has a weight. It is what we as humans equate with this number that forces us to connect beauty with weight. There is no such thing as a ‘beautiful weight’ or an ‘ugly weight.’ There is a healthy weight and that is different for everyone.

Am I ugly because I was rejected?

No, everyone experiences rejection in all its painful forms and it does not make you ugly. Looking for ways to deal with rejection?

Am I so ugly?

No, even if you have never ever felt anything but ugly your whole life right up until now that is still not proof that you are. Here’s the secret and I know because I am talking from experience, just like happiness it is all an inside job. So if you want to start changing how you feel we have some tips to help you start here.

If you aren’t feeling great about your appearance right now and need someone to talk to, Ditch the Label is here for you. Join our community and talk to us here

So the Christmas madness is over and thoughts are turning to the new year. We know most of the country is sad about how many mince pies they’ve eaten, and so a million gym memberships will be bought before January 2nd. Sometimes, the new year new you mindset can be a great way to reset old habits that made the last year harder for you, but it can also be a pretty toxic way to look at your life, when we all know our problems can’t be fixed overnight. So here’s some reasons why we don’t think ‘new year new you’ is all that great, and some other ways you can make a change for 2020. 

1) You don’t need a new year to make changes 

It’s one of those things that everyone feels; like a new year needs to be the time to become better people. Whether that’s in the way we look, the money we spend or the habits we try to give up, we all seem to think that as soon as the clock strikes midnight, we’re all going to have our reverse Cinderella moments and become our ideal selves. 

The thing is though, you can absolutely make these changes any time throughout the year. If there is something that is upsetting you about the way you are living your life right now, take a moment to really think about it and try to make a few changes throughout the year. Midnight on NYE is not a magic wand. 

2) Diet companies make a fortune off poor self image after the festive season 

Most people will use the ‘new year new you’ moment to make major changes to their diet and lifestyle, and trying to lose weight is, year on year, the most popular New Year’s resolution. Lots of people and companies will be bombarding the public with messages almost as soon as Christmas is over, designed to make you feel guilty for polishing off that tin of Quality Street with your Nan a few days ago, despite the whole run up to the festive season telling you to consume more. We know, it’s a confusing nightmare.

3) And you are so much more than how you feel about your body after winter 

But, you are SO much more than all of that. You are 360 degree person with interests and people that love you and things to do. For some awesome hints on how to improve your body image, check out this article on practical things you can do. Because you are a warrior with a lot going on, thinking about how you look every minute of every day can be completely exhausting.  

4) Trying to change everything overnight will never work 

Some of us will roll into the New Year with a list longer than the Dictionary of everything that we want to change about ourselves and our lives. But, trying to change everything about yourself will never work. For one thing, even if you do somehow manage to get a new haircut, new style, new attitude ad brand new personality in less than 24 hours, it will never be you. You are who you are, and trying to change all of it is never going to stick.

5) Remember, you are amazing for making it this far

If we are being constantly bombarded with stuff that basically says we are not quite good enough, it’s easy to start to believe it. At this time of year, though, it’s super important to remember that you have battled your way through the entirety of 2019 and have done amazingly well to get this far and be looking forward to doing it all again. 

6) So try making one little change if you feel like you need to 

We aren’t saying you should sack off new year’s resolutions altogether. If you feel like you need to make a change, then do it. Our best tricks are to keep it to one thing that you can actively track or plan for, and make it something that will bring you joy all year round. That way, you can really notice a positive difference which should make it stick.

7) Like keeping track of your mental health… 

So, if you want to make a change, make it something that’s going to be good for you. You could try tracking your mental health with a bullet journal or other way that works for you. You can find some great ideas for keeping track of your mental health here. 

8) Being a better friend… 

Maybe 2019 was the year you jumped head first into a relationship, moved around the country, or just really committed to nailing your exams. Whatever you did that means you might have drifted a little from your friends, spend 2020 making sure those connections are as strong as they ever have been. Suggest a New Year’s Day walk or chill time and get off on the right track. 

9) Or taking care of yourself more… 

2020 could be the year where you put yourself first for a change. Work in some self care time each week or plan something you can do every month that you’ve always wanted to try. Whatever it is, taking care of you might be exactly what you need 2020 to be about. 

10) Whatever you decide to do for 2020, you are already a warrior

No matter what you decide to do, if anything, this is going to be a great year. And whatever happens, if you need a bit of help, we’re always gonna have your back. <3 

Do you feel low on confidence and self-esteem today? There are simple ways to help you increase your self-esteem and build confidence in yourself.

  • Challenge bad thoughts about yourself
  • Take care of yourself
  • Be sure to relax
  • Set goals for yourself
  • Help somebody else out
  • Take a different perspective
  • Try new things
  • Surround yourself with people who make you feel good
  • Accept yourself
  • Keep visual reminders of things that make you feel good

What is the meaning of self-esteem?

Each and every one of us have self-esteem. Self-esteem is made up of the thoughts we have about ourselves and plays a role in almost everything we do.

Having healthy self-esteem is really important as it helps you make positive choices in your everyday life, gives you the courage to be your own person, have good relationships and helps you deal with difficult situations.

Did you know that 87% of those who have been bullied felt it had a negative effect on their self-esteem…

Low self-esteem can have harmful effects on your mental health, your decisions about your appearance and ultimately, your future.

It’s not easy to like every part of the way you look, but getting stuck on negatives can really bring down your self-esteem.

Other effects of low self-esteem include:

  • You avoid difficult situations
  • Sensitive to criticism
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • You are reluctant to trust yourself

It’s important to believe, deep down that you can change. Change doesn’t necessarily happen easily or quickly, but it can happen.

lion king, gif, change is good, not easy

Here are our top tips and the best ways to build and improve your self-esteem.

1. Challenge bad thoughts about yourself

Replace them with more positive thoughts which celebrate things you’re good at. You can do this by writing down a list of at least three things you do well.

Remember this list when you start feeling low, this will help bring yourself back to reality.

2. Take care of yourself

Eating well and exercising boosts endorphins, the body’s natural opiates, which make you feel good on the inside and stimulates a more positive mood.

When you exercise, you’ll ease stress and feel better about yourself. Having a cheesy dance in your bedroom, or going for a jog around the block are great ways to boost your self-esteem.

3. Relax

The constant feeling of stress can play a huge role in low self-esteem. It makes you feel negative thoughts more often, it reduces your confidence and you’ll probably feel too tired to exercise, be social or do a lot of the things you love.

Reducing your stress by taking time out to do something you find relaxing is a great starting point to making yourself feel better.

This can be anything from taking a bath, meditation, gaming, indoor dancing, singing… you name it; if it works for you, it works!

4. Set goals

Take the time every day to think about what you’d like to achieve. Then set yourself realistic goals for each day and keep track of your progress by writing down all your accomplishments.

This can be as simple as finishing off a piece of work or tidying up (and we all know how challenging this can be!)

You’ll feel an enormous sense of accomplishment when you’ve ticked off everything on your list for the day.

The trick is to not get bogged down by the list; some days you won’t manage to get it all done and that’s OK too! We all have off days, maybe make a shorter list for the next day and see how you get on?

5. Help someone out

This can be a friend, family member or even a classmate who is struggling with their work or having a tough time at school. You could give them some advice or just be there to listen to a problem.

It’s amazing how much our confidence is boosted when we do selfless things – do one thing a week to help someone else without expecting anything in return.

6. Take a different perspective

Look at tricky situations from alternative angles. Try to replace thoughts like ‘why should I bother?’ with ‘I won’t know unless I try’.

By looking at a situation through a more realistic lens you’ll realise that you actually can do what you want – you just need to apply a bit more positivity!

By doing this every time you have a negative thought, you’ll eventually default to this kind of positivity on the regular, and who doesn’t love a go-getter? Sometimes we just need to think and try different things to overcome having low self-esteem.

7. Try new things

Our brains are really good at learning new stuff and the more new stuff you learn, the better you get at learning it and the more likely you find things you can be passionate about.

Everyone needs a creative outlet; music, art, dance, games, sewing, cooking, web design – all you need to do is get on YouTube and find some tutorials. All the information you need is out there – it’s just waiting for you to watch it.

DM us on Instagram the best YouTube tutorial videos and let us know you were inspired by this article!


8. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good

Sometimes our friends don’t make us feel good, and that’s okay. You just need to spend your time with other people who appreciate and care about you more. This doesn’t even need to be your friends, but they could be family members, online friends or neighbours.

And those friends who aren’t helping your mood? Learn whether they are a toxic friend and think about trying to distance yourself from those people who make you feel bad about yourself.

It can be a little tricky at first, but even if they’re the most popular kid in school or the coolest person you know, it’s really not worth hanging out with them if they make you feel rubbish!

If you need help, we’ve written an article with 8 steps to help you break up with a toxic friend.

Strengthen friendships and relationships and you’ll most certainly feel better about things in the long run!

9. Accept yourself

Nobody is perfect. We all have issues and we all have flaws. Learn to accept your ‘flaws’ or imperfections and love them, because they are what make you unique. So, work it honey!

Self-acceptance is the key to feeling confident. When people pay you compliments, simply say ‘thanks’ rather than brushing them aside or countering them with a negative.

10. Keep visual reminders of things that make you feel good

Mementoes are a great way to see all the cool things you’ve been doing. How about making a ‘wall of fame’ in your bedroom with snaps of you and your friends?

We are living in an age where we have a camera in our pocket at all times…take more pictures!

Capture those memorable moments and when you look back at them, you’ll realise how many awesome things you’ve done this year!

Still not sure if you have low self-esteem?

It is completely normal to feel negative about yourself from time to time but if this feeling is long-lasting, then you may have low self-esteem.

Picking up on the signs is important so you can build your confidence back up to where it should be.

Take this easy to finish quiz to find out if you need a bit of a boost:

The link doesn’t work? Try the quiz here: https://www.qzzr.com/c/quiz/410901/hows-your-self-esteem


Need a lil’ boost to your confidence?

Join our community for anonymous answers from our digital mentors or other people going through similar issues as you. Let’s overcoming low self-esteem together!

Or hit us up in the Brag Box on Community and tell us one thing you’re proud of!


Self-Esteem & Confidence FAQs

What are three tips for improving your self-esteem?

Make sure to look after yourself, and find people who make you feel good and happy. Challenge any bad thoughts that come into your head. Understand the things triggering these bad thoughts and make changes to deal with them.

How do I build my confidence?

One of the ways to do this is to stop comparing yourself to other people, especially on social media apps like Instagram. Challenge your internal negative thoughts and try new things. Confidence will build from doing things just as much as learning about them.

What are the signs of low self-esteem?

You avoid difficult situations, you are more sensitive to criticism that normal, you feel more anxiety than normal, you are withdrawing from social situations and you feel reluctant to trust yourself.

We’ve all done it from time to time, sometimes more than a little often. Judging other people based on appearance alone can become second nature to most of us, even when we don’t mean it to. It can often come down to a thing we all have called unconscious bias, meaning our brains make snap judgements about people without us even noticing. What you might not know though, is that making snap judgements about other people based on their appearance is actually probably more down to how we feel about ourselves than anything else. That’s why we put together this list of 8 things you can do to stop judging others and feel better about yourself. 

Think you need to train away your unconscious bias? Click here

1) Recognise comparison 

We are pretty much always comparing ourselves to others. All day, every day. But especially when it comes to how we look. It’s the easiest way to compare right – without knowing anything about all the people you are sat near on the train, how they look is all the information you have on them to measure yourself against. The thing is, comparison is judgement, and it serves literally no other purpose but to make you feel bad or to put that negativity onto others. Stop it in its tracks next time you find yourself comparing by distracting yourself with something else to do, or humming your favourite song. Soon, you’ll break the habit. 

2) Practice giving others compliments

It’s definitely true that the more positivity you put into the universe, the more it comes back to you. So practice thinking nice things about other people. If you see someone walking down the street and you don’t like the way they look, stop your judgement in its tracks and think of a positive thing instead. Similarly, actually compliment friends and family – even tell a stranger something nice. The more you get used to being positive, the less likely you are to judge people. 

3) Practice giving yourself a compliment 

Just like we said above, the more you get used to being positive, the more you’ll just do it out of habit, and slowly stop judging. The thing is, you need to do this for you as well as everyone else. The kinder you are to yourself, the less likely you are to compare, and therefore the less likely you are to make judgements. 

So, for every compliment you give to someone else, give yourself one. It could be something like “I am clever and kind” “I am fun to be around” “I love my hair today” “my skin is looking great” or anything else that you need to hear. If you had someone in your life that said as many negative things to you as you probably say to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be keeping them around. So it’s time to get kinder. 

4) Clear out your social media

There’s a pretty simple rule to live by when it comes to social media. If you see something on your social media that makes you feel bad about your life, you appearance, your clothes or your body, unfollow them. Just like if you follow people and regularly judge them – whether they are people you used to know IRL or a celeb on IG, unfollow them too. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s not worth giving yourself the excuse to be negative or to compare yourself against them all the time. 

5) Or even take a break from it completely 

Even though we all love to scroll through IG, it definitely makes judging people part of our everyday lives, even when we are completely alone. Check out this list of ways you can take a break from social media. By putting a bit of a buffer between you and social media, you might find the amount of time you spend judging people drops pretty quickly, and you have plenty more time on your hands to do some stuff just for you. Win win. 

6) Take care of yourself 

It’s important that you take care of you. It can be easy to be super self critical, especially if you are trying to stop judging others. We are all our own worst enemies, and every time you find yourself making a snap judgement it can be pretty easy to beat yourself up about it. But, you are making real efforts to change, and that’s a big deal. Make sure you give yourself the space to breathe and the time you need to make these changes. 

7) Remember that not everyone’s the same and looking different is not a bad thing 

So it seems pretty obvious, but we judge people because they differ from us in some way. But the world would be a really stupidly boring place if we were all the same right? Humans are made to be different from each other, so people are meant to be fat, skinny, tall, short, of different races, ethnicities, genders and have different senses of style.

Have you been affected by bullying? You can talk to one of our trained Digital Mentors for confidential support and advice here.