Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Girl (or Guy)'s Guide To Getting Better

I think it’s fair to say that low self-esteem is a very common affliction (yes boys, I’m looking at you too). I know I look in the mirror and see thighs that are too fat, legs that are too short, skin that’s uneven in tone...I think you get the picture. Of course self-esteem doesn’t relate solely to what we think we look like either - that would be shallow. But after being dumped, after a failure of any sorts, or a breakdown, it’s inevitable to feel fairly…inadequate. Unattractive. Attractiveness, and your perception of your own attractiveness plays a key part in confidence - which explains the popularity of shows like Trinny and Susannah and Gok Wan. Low self esteem doesn’t only undermine your chances with the opposite sex but slowly creeps into every aspect of your life, impairing your ability to make the right choices. It’s not long before lack of confidence will make a couch potato out of a social butterfly, your insecurities making you want to hide away from the rest of the human species. Ask me, I think I’m somewhere in that place.

But, enough wallowing now. Enough bridge-dwelling troll imagery every time we look in the mirror. It’s high time we shimmy back up the ropeladder of self-confidence, and if you need some help doing the same, here are a few Miss Raj tried-and-tested techniques for how to go about it.


1. Book hour long aromatherapy session to alleviate tension.

2. Realise you could buy two pairs of jeans and a new summer dress for the money, and promptly cancel appointment.

3. Ask mum for advice.

4. Now take her advice, make a trip to TK Maxx and invest in some aromatherapy bath oils (£3.99 for a set of 3).

5. Enact aromatherapy relaxation session in the privacy of your own bathtub.


1. ...or atleast plan one if your schedule doesn't permit an instant get away. Even the thought of breaking gruelling routines will brighten your day.

2. Leaf through shiny Thomas Cook(/not so shiny Easy Jet, if you’re a broke student, like me) brochures during your lunch break (and in your aromatherapy bath too of course, though I’d advise snapping out of your reverie before your skin wrinkles).

3. Select destination, making sure it won’t break the bank and force you to live on pot noodle and toast for the rest of the year - I guarantee that won't help your self esteem.

4. Ensnare one willing (or not, doesn’t really matter) volunteer into going with you, preferably your best friend or your mum - always willing to hear you wallow about the woes.

5. Book and then bask.


1. I feel sorry for the poor souls who cross my path the day after a sleepless night. Trust me, I will eat you alive. Doesn’t help being told that you look tired either – code for “you don’t look great”.

2. So just sleep it off! Problems look so much smaller, so much more manageable. Plus, there’s no better face lift than a full 8 hours of sleep.


1. During the first stages of depression, mum will no doubt nurture you and smother you with food fit for a queen. Let her. Enjoy it. Mum has a magic wand that will never fail to remedy her child.

2. When you feel a little better (i.e. you don’t burst hysterically into tears if you burn your toast at breakfast), get cooking yourself. Creativity banishes despondency in a jiffy. Mushroom risotto is a good starting place. Comfort on a plate, truly.

3. If all else fails, just reach for the stash of Easter eggs under your bed.

NB - Outlandishly difficult
1. Take time to curl your hair, a la Shakira. There’s no harm in turning a few heads, every girl has some va va voom in her.

2. Step out into the glorious British sunshine with a spring in your step and some heels on your feet, only for it to start p***ing it down with rain on you.

3. Arrive at the office with poker straight (albeit a little damp) hair and scowl fiercely at your colleague for complimenting you (“You’re so lucky to have straight hair, mine just curls right up in the rain!”).Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


1. Start learning how to knit.

2. Decide not to learn how to knit as not 80.

3. Instead, buy a top-notch Nikon camera. What better way to remind yourself that life is full of beauty, perhaps you just stopped taking the time to notice?


It’s true that some people look down their noses at blogging. It’s not a respected craft. But in my world, if you can make yourself laugh, you’re already scuttling back up that ladder of self-esteem. Better still, if you can make other people laugh (even very slightly) they might be too distracted by your stories to notice that you smell of lavender oil (‘cause you fell asleep in the bath, dreaming of swinging in a hammock on some far away beach.....). And that, my friends, is no small talent itself.


There are many reasons people take a blow in life. Unsuccessful relationships, broken marriages, or losing a job. It can be health problems or financial difficulties – maybe you’ve lost some-one close, or some-one is taking you for granted. Don’t let them. It’s about time you learn to be proud of yourself. Take ownership for your decisions and stand by them because they make you the person you are, and frankly, you’re pretty darn fantastic... ;)


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