Get involved in your community through volunteering and you'll reap the benefits, too. An effective way to boost self-esteem is to give back to others, and what better way than to participate in improving your own neighborhood? Local churches, schools, park districts and non-profits are always looking for eager, capable volunteers...just like you.
Are you caring for someone with an illness? It's important to take care of your health, too. Look to organizations like the Alliance for Caregiving for resources on getting the help you need, meeting others who understand and learning about local caregivers' organizations in your area.
Have you heard the phrase "fake it 'til you make it?" Sometimes you have to dress the part - even if you're not feeling terrific about yourself. Try putting on your favorite outfit or spending a few extra minutes on your hair or makeup. You might be surprised how good you feel when you look in the mirror and see your gorgeous self.
Create a talisman. When you're learning new habits or struggling with personal issues, sometimes it helps to have a physical reminder of your worth, abilities, strength, beauty...whatever you need at that moment. Choose a favorite piece of jewelry and when you put it on, remind yourself that it's a symbol of all that is good in you.
Get limber! Stretching - both before and after a workout - is an important part of a good fitness routine, helping to boost your flexibility, improve your circulation and reduce the risk of injury
Get limber! Stretching - both before and after a workout - is an important part of a good fitness routine, helping to boost your flexibility, improve your circulation and reduce the risk of injury. When stretching, make sure to breathe deeply and naturally to supply your muscles with plenty of oxygen.
Do what you love. It's tempting to try the latest workout featured in your favorite magazine, and that's fine...but if it doesn't feel right, don't force it. Find an exercise style that is challenging and enjoyable and you'll be more likely to stick with it - and get the results you're looking for.
Hydrate! Before, during and after exercise, it's important to stay hydrated. In fact, the American Council on Exercise recommends drinking two cups of liquid before working out. Grab a water bottle and keep it filled up. (Skip the sugary sports drinks and seek out low-cal options if you're looking for flavor or nutrients.)
On vacation? There's no excuse for skipping exercise! At a tropical locale, take a walk down the beach; the moist sand will give your feet, ankles and calves an extra challenge. In the mountains, take a romp in the snow or try a winter sport like snow-shoeing. Bad weather? Check out your hotel's gym or walk a few flights of stairs.
Create your own Top 20. Listening to your favorite music is a proven way to boost your spirits, so burn yourself a CD or create a playlist on your MP3 player - or both - so you'll always have your personal radio station ready.
Learn to say no. It's challenging to juggle the demands of work, home life, family, relationships, church...you get the picture. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you always should, so practice saying no sometimes. Use that time to do something nice for yourself instead.