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Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
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How to feel good about yourself

Having a mental illness does not mean that you have to be an outcast to yourself or society.  If you accept your illness and feel good about yourself, other people will learn to like you for who you are.  There are activities you can do that will help you feel good about yourself.  Here are things you can do to feel good about yourself.

Keep Reminding Yourself How Good You Are

Spend time with people who are nice to you and make you feel good about yourself.  If you feel good about yourself, others will feel better about you.  Make lists of good things about yourself, and read them often.  If you have a diary, write your lists there.  Write about:

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Your strengths, such as your courage, your friendliness and your creativity.

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Things you admire about yourself, such as good friends you have, children you have raised, and your spirituality.

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Your achievements, such as graduating from school, learning to use a computer, or recovering from an illness.

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Ways to treat or reward yourself.  Take a walk in the woods and relax.

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Things you can do to make yourself laugh.

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Things you can do to help someone else.

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Things you can do to make you feel good about yourself.

Keep Reminding Yourself That Your Friends and Family Love You

You know your family and friends love you.   Have them write down the reasons why.

For example:

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I love John because he will always be my baby.

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John has always been my favorite grandchild because he is so giving.

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I love John because he is so helpful.

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I love John because he always gives our pets so much attention.

Put the list in a place where you will easily see it every day

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Read the list of things people love about you often. 

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Believe and accept them.  

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Keep them in a place where you will see them often, such as on the refrigerator door.

Make a list of good things you can say about yourself

Write down positive things you can say about yourself that make you feel better about yourself.  These things may describe ways you would like to feel about yourself all the time, even if you do not feel that way right now.  Listed below are examples of some positive things you can say about yourself.

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I take good care of myself.

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I eat right.

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I get plenty of exercise.

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I do things I enjoy.

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I get good health care.

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I keep my body clean.

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I spend my time with people who are nice to me and make me feel good about myself.

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I am a good person.

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I am a good friend.

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I am a good listener.

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I deserve to be alive.

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Many people like me!

Make a “things I enjoy doing” calendar

Get a calendar with large blank spaces for each day.  Schedule things that you enjoy doing.  You can write things down on your calendar like:

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Tell special people you love them

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Lie down and relax for 20 minutes

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Sit outside and enjoy the weather

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Wear your favorite outfit

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Wear your favorite cologne or perfume

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Call your sister, a family member or a friend

Promise yourself that you will check your “enjoy life” calendar every day and do whatever you have scheduled for yourself.