How to Build Self-Esteem During the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 22, 2020 Jessica Kaley

The forced isolation of the pandemic offers us a unique opportunity to focus on how to build self-esteem. Many of us are spending this time alone without the support that we have learned to rely on. This can be very intimidating as we are forced to do things for ourselves that we are not used to doing, but it can also be very freeing by allowing us to experiment and practice new skills without the world watching. It can be a perfect time for building self-esteem.

When I decided to self-isolate to protect my weakened immune system, I stopped my cleaning service, canceled handyman appointments for home improvement tasks, and said goodbye to my favorite take-out options. "Self-sufficient" now meant more than simply earning enough to support my lifestyle.

I had a few days of self-doubt that I would be able to manage caring for my home on my own in a way that would reflect positively on me. And then I had an epiphany -- nobody was going to see the inside of my house while the pandemic restrictions were in place and I could let go of the fear of being judged. This realization immediately raised my confidence. I could practice new skills and build a routine that worked for me without the input and criticism of other people.

How to Build Self-Esteem When You're Isolated from Others

Self-Esteem Grows When We Learn New Skills

In addition to improving life maintenance skills like cleaning and cooking, this is also an excellent time to experiment in expressing and fulfilling our need for creativity. If you are shy about taking an art class because you do not want others to see your work while you're in a learning mode, search for an online course to take, away from prying eyes. You can learn yoga from a YouTube video without being focused on others judging your wobbliness or take an online Zumba class free of the self-consciousness of being watched.

Your self-esteem will grow by trying new things that interest you, but the biggest growth will come from practicing these new skills at a pace that you design to suit only you. This period can be one of learning how you best learn, and it will be useful to you for the rest of your life. When we can safely begin gathering again, you will have lost the fear of trying new things and you will have gained the ability to select the best way to improve your skillset in the future. This is a perfect time to practice learning.

If you were free of an imposed schedule of classes, what would you allow yourself the pleasure of studying? You are not in a room full of people with different abilities, experiences, and interest levels. The teacher, whether it's a video, a book, or a collection of articles you found online, only gives you new information when you are ready for it and will repeat any lesson as often as you need or want. You can stop at any time without worrying about appearing to be a quitter.

Experiment Freely and Practice Learning

This is a perfect time to build self-esteem by improving basic life skills and by giving yourself the gift of trying new activities that intrigue you. By removing the eyes of the world, we can allow ourselves to experiment freely. Be bold. What new skill would you love to add to your life? What would you like to try if you could let go of the fear of public failure? I'm learning just how often I need to clean each area of my home based on my personal use, and my self-esteem is growing with the knowledge that I can indeed be self-sufficient in every way.

There are always silver linings in every dark cloud. The isolation of the pandemic offers us the perfect time to build self-esteem in privacy, at a pace that works for each of us.

APA Reference
Kaley, J. (2020, April 22). How to Build Self-Esteem During the COVID-19 Pandemic, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Author: Jessica Kaley

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