This article is brought to you by CFG Health Network, a company that provides a range of behavioral and mental health services.
We’ve been on lockdown for around a year now. Maybe you’ve gotten used to wearing sweatpants and staying in bed all day. Perhaps your only social interaction has been conference calls for your job or the occasional zoom meeting with family. But now that everyone has access to the vaccine for COVID-19, things are easing up.
Soon, you’ll be out and about again. After spending so much time cooped up in your house, this might sound scary. If you’re feeling nervous about socializing again, you should work on building up your confidence. Here are a few tips for how you can start feeling more confident about yourself before you re-enter the world.
Find a Hobby
If you don’t already have one, finding a hobby can help you gain self-esteem. Taking on a hobby is a good way to either learn a new skill or perfect a skill that you already have. According to Well+Good, we are typically drawn to hobbies that fit our natural talents. If you haven’t tried any hobbies before, you might not know what your strengths are.
There’s a wide variety of hobbies that you can pick from: painting, sculpting, photography, woodworking, soap making, automobile restoration, playing an instrument, and more. Not only will practicing a new skill give you confidence, but it could also be something interesting you can discuss with friends. Depending on what you choose to do, you might even be able to find a club near you. That way, you can connect with like-minded people.
Give Your Smile an Extra Sparkle
Having healthy-looking, straight teeth can both improve your smile and make it easier to interact with others. If you’ve always been insecure about the appearance of your teeth, this could be the best time to give them an upgrade. Braces or aligners can gradually straighten your teeth, enhancing your overall appearance and making it easier to clean and floss them.
You’ll need to decide which treatment to go with: braces or aligners. This depends on what type of misalignment you’re treating and how severe it is. At-home aligners are usually used to treat crowding, spacing, and tooth gaps. If you have issues with your bite, such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, the less severe cases can be treated with aligners, but usually, it’s best to go with braces or in-office aligners. Before taking any action on boosting your tooth appearance and health, consult your dentist or orthodontist.
Meditating can help you be more mindful and stop negative self-talk. Mindful explains the basics of meditation: “We’re learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task.” This cuts off the racing negative thoughts that you have about yourself. As you meditate more and more, you’ll be able to apply this way of thinking during social situations. Meditating can improve your overall mental health by making it easier to focus on positive things. To top things off, there are even meditation apps that will guide you through it.
If you’ve been spending your time on the couch all day, you probably gained a few pounds. Being a couch potato also drastically increases the effects of depression. Exercising every morning can get you back in shape, both mentally and physically. It boosts the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in your brain, making you feel relaxed and happy. After exercising for a while, you’ll be noticeably more physically fit. This will help you feel more confident during social events.
Now that things are starting to go back to normal, you’ll finally be able to socialize in person again. With these tips, you’ll feel more confident than ever. Having a straight smile, a calm mind, and new passions will make it easy to connect with others without worrying about your worth.