With depression, anxiety and low self-esteem comes a constant feeling of GUILT.
Guilt about relaxing, guilt about not exercising, guilt about not messaging friends enough – the list goes on.
One of the main feelings of guilt I have is SPENDING MONEY.
Every time I buy something, it hurts a little bit, and I feel like I have just lost at a game.
This stems from the fact that I feel I am selfish if I spend money on myself, when maybe I should be doing something else with the money that could be more worthwhile? The anxiety kicks in and I over analyse thinking that maybe I didn’t make the right choice, and I should have spent the money on something else.
I know this can sound quite ridiculous after buying something as small as a £3.20 coffee.
With low self esteem you can often feel like you’re not worth anything, and that you don’t deserve to spend any money on yourself.
It is ESSENTIAL to spend money on yourself sometimes, or as I’ve found, it can be seriously damaging to your self esteem and make you feel more depressed.
5 Essential things to spend money on for self esteem
1. A haircut
I used to put off getting a haircut for months and months and months as I thought it was a waste of money. Aaaaand may have even attempted to cut it myself a couple of times.
However, it only made me feel worse. Like I didn’t take any pride in my appearance, which I find is actually one of the best ways to improve self esteem.
Schedule in how often you think you should have your hair cut, then stick to it like a routine.
2. A massage or facial
Treat yourself to a massage or facial every now and again. It can feel so self indulgent, but it is great for relieving all the tension in your body and can make you feel a lot more relaxed. You might not even notice how much tension you were already carrying.
3. Dinner or drinks with friends
Drinks and dinner in London can be SO expensive, especially when you’re out with people who earn more than you do.
However, socialising and staying in contact with your friends is one of the most important things to keep doing when you are feeling depressed and anxious!!
Laughing and having fun with your friends releases endorphins in your brain to help you feel good, which can help overcome depression.
It might feel like a bit of a struggle to get out of the house if you have social anxiety, but there are ways to overcome this.
4. Getting your nails done
There’s just something about having your nails done which signals to yourself and other people that you care about yourself and your appearance.
Doing lots of small self care rituals can make a big difference to how you feel.
5. Your favourite hobby
It is definitely worth spending money on doing your favourite things that you enjoy in life!
It could be anything from photography to pottery.
People with low self esteem or depression often stop doing the things they used to love, which is why life can feel empty. Of course it will if you’re going through life not doing any of the things you enjoy!
If it is an expensive hobby such as sky diving or scuba diving, make a budget and focus on cutting out the things you do because you feel like you should be doing them. This will enable you to spend money on the things you actually enjoy doing. It will be worth it I promise.
6. New clothes
I can be bad at not buying myself any new clothes, because I think ‘oh I have a perfectly good paid of jeans that I bought 10 years ago’, I probably shouldn’t spend the money on a new pair.
Now i’m not saying go out and spend your life savings, but sometimes you just need to buy yourself new clothes. Clothing is an important part of how we express ourselves and our personalities, and what you wear can change how you feel about yourself.
Your body, fashions and tastes all change with time. Something that looked good a few years ago might fit wrongly and be completely outdated now.
Whatever you buy and wear, make sure you feel good in it.
7. Gym membership
Exercise is key.
It is possible to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety through exercising.
You can get some gym memberships for less than £30 per month. If you go 3 times per week, that’s only £2.50 per session. A small price for your mental health!!
If you hate the gym, find a sport which you like and join that club instead. You will be getting fit and socialising at the same time!
8. Healthy foods
It may be tempting to reach for the cheap ready meals with high fat, sugar and salt content. But these will only make you feel slugging and even more guilty for all the calorie consumption!
Healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables and meats tend to be more expensive, but they are definitely worth spending your money on. Your mood will be better and your clothes wil probably fit a bit better too.
In addition, taking the time to cook for yourself can be quite therapeutic. Put the effort in for yourself like you would if you were presenting it to a friend that had come over for dinner!
9. Give to charity
It is hard to keep your low self esteem when you regularly perform acts of kindness such as donating.
You can set up a standing order each month to a charity of your choice, or regularly give to the homeless people you walk past every day. By making a positive difference in someone else’s life, you will start to see your positive qualities shine through.
We all deserve to have high self esteem, to enable us to live our lives to the full.
If you’re still not convinced, think of spending money on these things as buying an improvement in your mental health. Can’t put a price on that.