5 Signs You Aren’t Practicing Self-Care

September 16, 2018

Self-care is complex. Anyone can tell you to do it, but only you can bestow the gift of self-care onto yourself. But before you can begin bestowing, you’ve got to first recognize that you are worthy of caring for yourself as you do others. How do you do this? By noticing the ways in which you are currently not […]

5 Signs You Aren’t Practicing Self-Care

September 16, 2018

Self-care is complex. Anyone can tell you to do it, but only you can bestow the gift of self-care onto yourself. But before you can begin bestowing, you’ve got to first recognize that you are worthy of caring for yourself as you do others.

How do you do this? By noticing the ways in which you are currently not taking very good care of yourself.

Here are 5 signs you aren’t practicing self-care. If any seem familiar, it is time to make more time for yourself:

1. You Get Sick More Often

When we don’t take proper care of ourselves, our health takes a big hit. Lack of proper sleep and nutrition can lead to a taxed immune system, which in turn makes you vulnerable to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems.

2. Increased Moodiness

What happens when a child does not get the care and attention they deserve? They begin to act out in order to get any attention. In much the same way, a lack of self-care and feeling of unimportance can lead to increased irritability. Leaving this unchecked can result in personal and professional relationships being negatively affected.

3. Unpleasant Physical Symptoms

What can start out as unpleasant (and even scary) physical symptoms, can be a sign of poor self-care. Symptoms may include dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pains, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, headaches, and fainting spells. All of these symptoms should be checked out by your healthcare provider immediately.

4. A Feeling of Isolation

When you feel you don’t deserve to care for yourself, you naturally feel unworthy of enjoying other aspects of life, like socializing and a true connection to friends and family. This can lead to a detachment of others and a sense of isolation.

5. Depression

Feelings of worthlessness can snowball into feelings of hopelessness and depression. If you have noticed yourself slipping farther and farther into a depression, it is important that you seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you recognize where the darkness has come from, and how to break through back into the light.

If you or a loved one is experiencing depression, or would simply like some help practicing self-care, please be in touch with me. I would be more than happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.


Harini Sukumaran is a Qualified Mental Health Professional and certified Ayurvedic Practitioner who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. Her passion also includes helping Women suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety and Pregnancy/Postpartum mood disorders. She received her Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology and Master’s in Marriage, Couple’s and Family Counseling with special concentration in Children (Play Therapy), Women and Families

Low Self-Esteem: What is it? What to Do About it

June 1, 2017

Self-esteem is an opinion we have of ourselves; a way of placing value on ourselves as people. While we may voice characteristics such as “I’m American” or “I have brown eyes,” these are facts that don’t carry a negative or positive connotation. A low self-esteem suggests we carry a negative opinion of ourselves. For example, […]

Low Self-Esteem: What is it? What to Do About it

June 1, 2017

Self-esteem is an opinion we have of ourselves; a way of placing value on ourselves as people. While we may voice characteristics such as “I’m American” or “I have brown eyes,” these are facts that don’t carry a negative or positive connotation.

A low self-esteem suggests we carry a negative opinion of ourselves. For example, “I’m unattractive” or “I’m not good enough.” Most of us have mixed opinions of ourselves, but if your overall opinion is that you are an inferior or inadequate in some way, if you feel you have little worth and are not entitled to experiencing good things in life, your self-esteem is low. Having a low self-esteem can damper the great joys in life and have a negative impact on your relationships in general.

People with healthy self-esteems feel good about and value themselves. They also take pride in their abilities and accomplishments and enjoy sharing their talents with others. And perhaps most importantly, those with healthy self-esteems acknowledge their imperfections but do not feel they play a large part in their own self-image. In other words, they don’t put too much emphasis on their faults and limitations.

How to Create a Healthy Self-Esteem

The good news is a low self-esteem is not a life sentence. Since your low self-esteem developed over time (no one is born with low self-esteem), you can trade it in for a higher one. Here are a few ways to do it:

1. Forget Perfection – Focus on Accomplishments

Perfection only happens in Hollywood (and even there it gets a lot of help from Beverly Hills plastic surgeons and airbrushes!). The truth is, you will never have the perfect body, the perfect house, the perfect kids, or the perfect relationships. Perfection simply doesn’t exist in human nature.

Better to focus your attention and efforts on your accomplishments. And, when you achieve them, don’t de-value them by saying something like, “Oh, anyone could have done that.” Maybe, but then again, maybe not. The point is, you set a goal for yourself and you reached it. Celebrate your achievements and keep track of them in a journal so you can always refer to it and see how accomplished you are.

2. Set Realistic Expectations

Of course, when you’re setting goals, make sure they’re realistic. Having unrealistic expectations of yourself or how the world works in general is a surefire way to kill your self-esteem.

For example, setting a goal like, “I will have enough money to retire by the time I’m 35,” may not be realistic. Then what happens? Your 35th birthday comes along and you are nowhere near retirement and you feel like a failure. What happened? You didn’t take into account that life throws you curveballs and that owning a home and having kids requires liquid capital (there goes the savings account!).

Don’t set yourself up for failure by having unrealistic expectations.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Nothing hurts self-esteem quicker than unfair comparisons. Others may make more money than you, have more Facebook followers or six-pack abs, but they don’t have your mind and experiences. Though it’s a tough habit to break, it’s important to stop comparing yourself to others and, instead, celebrate how unique you are.

If you’ve tried these tips in the past but are still struggling with a low self-esteem, speaking with a counselor can help. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.


Harini Sukumaran is a Qualified Mental Health Professional and certified Ayurvedic Physician who is passionate about helping children to become less stressed by giving them and their parents tools, support and encouragement. Her passion also includes helping Women suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety and Pregnancy/Postpartum mood disorders. She received her Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology and Master’s in Marriage, Couple’s and Family Counseling with special concentration in Children (Play Therapy), Women and Families.