As they grow and experience life, young adults experience two notable drops in self-esteem. Once between the ages of 9-13 (early puberty) and again just before adulthood. As a parent, teacher, or mentor who cares about a young adult, this can be tough to watch.
But there are ways to cope, including a variety of self-esteem activities for the adolescent to practice. Self-esteem activities can be broken into two general categories: physical and emotional.
Physical activities include more than just exercise. This can be anything requiring hand-eye coordination (like tending a garden or building a value board.) Emotional activities include things like mindfulness moments and keeping a list of affirmations.
To learn more about these self-esteem activities and more, keep reading.
An affirmation is simply a positive statement about oneself or one’s own life experience. These are often read aloud in a private setting, and affirmations are proven to boost mood and confidence.
The young adult may compile a list of affirmations to be read from a list, pulled from a jar, or even stored in an app or on a cell phone. These statements may include things such as, I am worthy of good friends, or I am good enough to play team sports, or My sibling’s behavior does not impact my behavior.
2. Value Boards
Value boards are a creative way for an adolescent to build a picture that visually defines aspects of their identity: who they were, who they are, and who they want to be.
These can be done a piece of paper or in a journal. It may consist of words or images taken from magazines, books, personal letters, old journals, or even online. What matters is that the young adult feels safe to include what they believe they are, not what they want others to believe.
A journal is a safe, discrete outlet to share one’s deepest thoughts and concerns. It may be beneficial for the adolescent to write about their daily stressors, including why they are struggling with self-esteem.
As the young adult journals, encourage him or her to express themes visually. For example, if they often feel left out of groups, they may draw themselves sitting outside of a circle. Framing thoughts in this way can assist the young adult with processing these thoughts and, eventually, working through them.
4. Grow a Garden
Tending a small garden can be a very inspiring, confidence-building activities for young adults. A garden is an excellent way to teach that nothing grows overnight, and that self-love requires time, attention, and healthy inputs.
As the garden begins to grow and bloom, remind the young adult that self-care does not stop with the first sign of improvement. We must all care for ourselves in different ways over the course of our lives, and none of us are perfect.
5. Practice Strengths
One of the best self-esteem activities for a young adult is to practice something he or she is good at us. Affirming these types of activities can boost confidence immediately.
For example, is the child a quick reader? Does he or she excel at baking cookies, shooting a basketball, or doing small craft projects? If so, provide the adolescent with the resources and time to do more of these things, and remind them that they have a special talent in this area.
6. Meaningful Jewelry
For some young adults, the constant reminder of self-care is important. A beaded bracelet or necklace can be a creative way to incorporate this reminder into one’s life.
Consider helping the young adult make a bracelet that has special meaning to them: perhaps each bead has a color or letter on it, like “B” for “breathe” or bright yellow for cheerfulness. These bracelets can even be made with friends or given to friends.
7. Mindfulness Moments
Mindfulness is any form of relaxed consciousness, most often practiced as meditation. It doesn’t sound like something most young adults would like, but this is one of the most important self-esteem activities that exist. In fact, plenty of kids already meditate.
Adolescents may practice mindfulness by sitting quietly in a dim room (like a bedroom or counselor’s office); listening to the birds and trees at a local park or beach, or even playing soft music while doing an easy craft project or journaling.
8. How Did You Benefit Someone Today?
By asking the young adult what they did to benefit someone else, they are forced to consider the ways they helped friends or strangers — and this can be a big self-esteem boost.
For example, did the young adult hold the door open for someone at school? Help a friend with homework? Return something to Lost & Found?
All of these demonstrate a positive impact on the adolescent’s environment, and he or she should be recognized for it.
9. Volunteer with the Less Fortunate
There’s no better way to boost confidence than turning attention outward. Consider getting the adolescent involved in volunteer activities around the community, like food kitchens or city cleanups. This is a great way to teach the lesson that even a single person can make a big difference in society.
This also gives the young adult the chance to see how fortunate he or she is. Practicing gratitude is another one of the most important self-esteem activities. This reminds young adults to focus on the many good areas of their life.
10. Get Active
Just as mental and creative activities are essential, so too is exercise. Encourage the child to get outside, play sports with friends, go for a long walk with a parent, or play in the pool. Physical activity boosts emotional and mental health, and it’s crucial to keeping body and mind in great condition.
Options for Self Esteem Activities are Endless
These are just a handful of self-esteem activities to boost morale for the young adults you care about. At Self Esteem Solutions, we offer useful guides to help just about anyone. Whether you’re experiencing low esteem, anxiety or nervousness, our guides can help you change how you perceive things.
For more ideas about self-esteem and adolescents, check out the rest of our site.