Friday, July 12, 2013

improve your self-esteem

Tonight is my written national test to be an EMT and tomorrow are the practicals. I told myself I couldn't study at all today so that leaves me with cleaning the house, orchestrating kids' friendships or writing about something that's been on my mind for quite some time. So I'm writing...

Kiwi Loco with my three lovelies (just had to share)
During this past school year Ashley became distressed and then insecure because the girls in her class were wearing high heels to school. She desperately wanted to look like them, but I felt it was inappropriate to wear heels to school (especially in fourth grade and don't even get me started on the need for dress codes to address shoes also).

As Jesse and I watched her growing anxiety and increased feelings of self-doubt we talked about how we could help her develop a sense of security in her ability to make decisions. It's hard to explain, but she had me pick her clothes out every night because she didn't trust herself to choose well. She also constantly asked us simple questions like how many blankets or pillows she should sleep with. It was very sad to see.

In each of my children I see areas of their lives where they've developed a strong sense of self worth and other areas where they seem to flounder and seek constant confirmation and aproval. Like most parents, I want to help my children develop those skills that will enable them to cope with lifes' many challenges.

Recovering from a stroke has been a slow hard road for me, but I've learned some things about myself and how to become a stronger person. Not being able to talk well has been a challenge (I still stutter under stress and people are constantly asking me to repeat myself because I slur) but it has also taught me the need to cope with a changing body.

The most important lesson I've learned is that the greatest impact on my success or failure in this life lies within myself. My success is in the strength I have to overcome my weaknesses.

With that is my post on how to improve self esteem.

Self esteem is defined as "a confidence and satisfaction in oneself" and "the personal value, self-respect and self-worth that you place on yourself".

Symptoms of low self esteem are:

  1. indecisive
  2. perfectionist
  3. shame
  4. can't handle criticism
  5. negative thinking and self-talk
  6. critical of yourself and others
  7. worry
  8. don't care about your physical appearance
  9. exaggerate
  10. blame
  11. make excuses
  12. can't express feelings
  13. dependent on others
  14. no boundaries
  15. can't laugh
  16. isolation from others
  17. feel hopeless
  18. need material possessions
  19. fear change
I would like to suggest seven things we can do to improve self esteem.

Improved Self Esteem in a Week

Day One- take care of yourself. The very first thing Jaden was told to do to escape being bullied was to brush his teeth, comb his hair and look put together before heading off to school. Getting out of bed a little earlier can seem impossible, but looking good leads to feeling good.

Day Two- be true to yourself. As you live the life you want to live you will grow to respect yourself more. There is no need to compare ourselves to others because we will never measure up to what we think others are. Just a word of advice: they aren't. A lot of things happen behind closed doors that you will never know about. We each have our own cross to bear. Some privately and others publicly.

Day Three- think positive. We hear that "you are what you eat". Well, you are what you think also. "Negative feelings like guilt, anger, and depression do not result from the bad things that happen to you, but from the way you think about these events. " -David Burns, Author of Ten Days to Self-Esteem

Day Four-
get intimate. The positive energy exchanged by touching and hugging those we love can give us great strength and confidence. When I couldn't talk Dallin would crawl in bed next to me and scrunch his body up against mine. The strength I felt from him is hard to describe but it buoyed me up and helped me press forward.

Day Five-
talk nice. Think of how the Lord must see you and tell yourself all the beautiful positive things he would if he were sitting next to you. Positive self-talk helps us grow to believe what we are telling ourselves. Accounts of near death experiences often tell of the great love Christ has for us as individuals.

Day Six- get naked. Yes it sounds weird, but Adam and Eve loved being given a body. Stand and look at your body and you can find the beauty in it. The soft skin, intense eyes, curves and lines, bumps and lumps and everything else that contributes to your amazing body, a gift from God made in his own image.

Day Seven- break out of your prison. Take some initiative and get out of bed or off the couch to serve and help someone around you. Whether it be stopping by to visit a sick or lonely neighbor or putting a Hershey kiss on each pillow in your home your spirit will be lifted and you will find a smile on your face as you give to others.

I hope that these ideas can help someone else out there. I know they have helped me.


"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thyroid Hormone Range

Twice a year I get my thyroid tested and then twice a year I search for a chart of the normal ranges. Sometimes I will find one I like, but more often I don't find any at all. So this time around I am posting my own chart so I don't have to repeatedly scour the vast world of the internet.

Just realized my chart has no FreeT4 (critical for me):

Free T4 - FT40.7    to 2.0Less than 0.7 is considered     indicative of possible  hypothyroidism.

While I was in Texas Chrisann recommended this book she is reading (Stop the Thyroid Madness). I was especially interested in the various options of non-synthetic thyroid hormone. Years ago my doc said he wanted to monitor me closely since high levels of thyroid hormone in your system can lead to a higher risk for osteoporosis. He has regularly checked my thyroid levels to make sure I am not taking a higher dose than necessary. Now I am wondering if non-synthetic thyroid hormone would help lower the risk of osteoporosis even more. If you know, tell me. :o)

P.S. Just a little plug for my doc...I saw three different doctors before finding one that was willing to treat me. My levels always fall within normal range, but at the bottom of the scale. This OB told me he'd treat me because of my symptoms and that I would know very quickly if it was going to help or not. He was right. The next morning I woke up with a clear head. For the first time in years I opened my eyes and was ready to wake up. No cloud around my head or 30 minutes to open my eyes all the way. Now I know when my meds need adjusted because I get that same fuzzy brain again.