As a Community of strong Cysters who are on their path to healing themselves, PCOS/PCOD is not a teenage pimple that vanishes overnight after putting toothpaste on it. It is a long, tiring, through and through the process. What we often overlook in this journey are the days when the extrovert is shy. The usually confident – Diva in you, wants to sit in her pj’s. While the physiological effects of PCOS are well discussed by many, one of the MOST common, yet LEAST discussed symptoms of this disorder is the dramatic effect it can have on our self-image. There are many ways to refer to this symptom as self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-belief, the symptom is the same – you just don’t feel good about yourself like you should.
Now being a new person to this, one might question why do people end up connecting Low self-esteem with PCOS? Well, The link between having PCOS, anxiety/depression, and poor self-esteem is pretty straightforward:
Having PCOS means your hormones are not in balance.
When your hormones are disrupted it’s almost physiologically impossible for the neurochemicals of your brain to function as they should. Anxiety and depression are a direct result of this neurochemistry.
Low self-esteem in itself isn’t a diagnosable psychological state problem, but it’s a risk factor for psychological state disorders; predisposing an individual to develop a psychological state problem afterward.
- The physical side effects of PCOS such as weight gain, acne, and excessive hair growth can be extremely stressful and challenging for Women.
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
The definition of self-esteem in itself states Self Esteem is the opinion you have of yourself and how you perceive yourself. So organically, the solution is also YOU! Everything and everyone is external support for you to overcome your issues. Remember the biggest pressure that makes or breaks any foundation is internal. What’s within. So here is a list of things that can help you be the REAL you!
1 - Acknowledge and Embrace your attributes
It sounds simple, but reminding yourself of your brilliant talents and qualities may be a guaranteed confidence booster. So, prepare to take notes (literally). Grab a pen and paper, and make a list of all your best assets including skills, characteristics, physical features, social resources, and experiences – ultimately, anything that makes you smile about yourself. You can also jot down any compliments that others have given you.
2 - Challenge Yourself
If there’s a hobby or activity you’ve always wanted to do or something as simple as an evening walk, now is the time to take that leap of faith! Yes – this can seem scary if you’re struggling with your image and confidence, and yes – it’s easier to find a billion and one excuses not to do it, but the simple act of pushing yourself out of your bubble can work wonders for your self-esteem. It will demonstrate that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.
3 - Practice Positive Affirmations
Being told to be positive while dealing with PCOS might come across as a little annoying. However, there’s an efficient way to challenge and overcome pessimistic thought patterns. This is by practicing positive affirmations, which may reinforce feelings of self-love and belief. Here are some affirmations you can tell yourself daily:
I believe in myself.
I am a beautiful person within and externally.
I acknowledge the various brilliant qualities and skills I possess.
I am abandoning the negative feelings and opinions people and I even have about myself.
I am grateful for my body who keeps me going 24*7.
I love and cherish who I’ve become.
4 - Self-Care
It’s a piece of advice we hear time and again, but it’s especially important for ladies with PCOS: take care of yourself! Good nutrition, sleep and exercise form the pillars of self-care, and help manage your PCOS symptoms and nourish your confidence.
Doing something productive such as helping around the house, studying or even volunteering can, unknowingly, bolster your self-esteem and belief. Productivity can bring positive value to your life by instilling purpose, routine, structure, and a chance to socialize with others – key components which will help strengthen your confidence.
6 - Connect with people who love and respect you
In life, people can fall under two categories, ones who genuinely love and respect you and the others who just enjoy your company. Be around the first ones, as they are the ones who will lift your spirits and help you love yourself when it gets hard for you. These people can be your family, your roommates, it could even be your colleagues or maybe another Cyster who understands what you go through!
7 - Get support if things are getting tough
We understand that PCOS is often tough, so don’t forget to seek out support if you need it. Here are some avenues you might consider exploring:
Mindfulness: This practice can assist you to specialize in this, and become more in tune together with your thoughts and feelings.
Peer support: Verbal strength from others with PCOS can provide some reassuring guidance and advice. Online communities and forums are often superb places to collect support. Know more about our community.
Speak to a professional: Do discuss your concerns with a counselor, psychologist, or Personal Doctor.
PCOS can affect all aspects of life including your self-esteem, but it’s important to remember that your condition doesn’t and shouldn’t define you. The good part is that you can nurture your confidence by implementing simple, holistic lifestyle changes. Yes – it’ll take attention and daily care, but the results are well worth the time and energy investment. Because in the end, You are your biggest investment.