Your stroke — or your loved one’s stroke — may have altered how you view yourself.
You may feel discouraged and down, but just as you can rehabilitate your body after a stroke, you can raise your self-esteem. Here are a few tips that are helpful for stroke survivors and caregivers alike:
- Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings lowers your stress level and provides balance. It’s a good way to solve problems and get to know yourself better. Write for 20 minutes a day for a few weeks. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar.
- Change your negative self-talk. Everyone has a judgmental voice inside their head. Start listening to what you say about yourself and then talk back! Affirm yourself with positive statements and change the thoughts that are unrealistic and limiting.
- Visualize what you want to create in your life. Picture what you want. For example, picture yourself feeling confident in a new situation or progressing in rehab.
- Take time to be alone every day. It’s important to take time every day just to think, read, journal, pray, meditate, depending on what you need. Make yourself a priority.
- Nurture yourself. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- Change your thoughts and you can change how you feel. Thoughts form your belief system. Some of the things you believe may be false and are likely limiting your experience of life. For example, you may believe in perfection and that mistakes are shameful and to be avoided at all costs. Try thinking, “I will do my best, correct my mistakes and learn from them.” How you feel about yourself is within your control.