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Ad­vice on self-de­vel­op­ment, oral health, nu­tri­tion and ed­u­ca­tion

Friday - - Beauty -

I FEEL LOW AND LACK­ING IN CON­FI­DENCE

Q I’ve re­cently re­cov­ered from a se­ri­ous ill­ness. Go­ing through this meant I had to fo­cus all of my strength on get­ting bet­ter. Now that I am phys­i­cally well again, I was ex­pect­ing to feel on top of the world. But I feel just the op­po­site, down and lack­ing in the con­fi­dence to face the world. I have friends and fam­ily, but I am a widow and this makes me feel very alone. Could you sug­gest ways for­ward for me?

AI’m glad to hear you have over­come your se­ri­ous health is­sue. Some­times, hav­ing to face these dif­fi­cult times, when life hangs in the bal­ance, can al­ter life quite dra­mat­i­cally. It sounds to me like you have had to pour so much of your­self into dealing with your phys­i­cal health that this has depleted your men­tal re­serves and sense of well-be­ing.

Now, you can af­ford to de­vote some time to nur­tur­ing your sense DR JOY ANTONY of well-be­ing. You men­tion feel­ing lonely and this cer­tainly is one of the big­gest ob­sta­cles to feel­ing op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture.

I won­der if your ill­ness has knocked your con­fi­dence? Some­times the scars that re­sult from over­com­ing a se­ri­ous ill­ness are of the un­seen emo­tional type, but it is just as im­por­tant to deal with them. This is worth taking the time to think about. If you dis­cover this is the case, then it’s a good idea to start to re­con­nect and maybe even reach out for pro­fes­sional help.

You men­tion you’re a widow and I won­der if you had time to deal with the grief this caused be­fore you faced your health is­sues. I feel talk­ing ther­apy might give you the time and space to ex­plore this and come to terms with it.

Hav­ing the sense of pur­pose and plea­sure that a good so­cial net­work gives you can also work won­ders. Iden­tify one or two peo­ple amongst your friends and fam­ily who have sup­ported you along the way and con­fide in them. I’m sure they will un­der­stand and will pave the way to help you get in­volved again. Take things one step at a time and don’t over­whelm your­self. This is about build­ing your con­fi­dence and re­silience, but do re­mem­ber, it is go­ing to take time, so be kind to your­self.

You’ll ben­e­fit from mak­ing new so­cial con­nec­tions. This might give you the op­por­tu­nity for a new be­gin­ning with peo­ple who don’t know any­thing about you. One of the best ways I know to do this with­out plac­ing too much so­cial pres­sure on your­self is to vol­un­teer in some way. Choose some­thing that means a lot to you and get in­volved. That sense of well-be­ing from giv­ing to oth­ers has enor­mous health ben­e­fits as well as so­cial ones and it’s not too daunt­ing as it comes with a pur­pose to fo­cus on.

You’ve had to face some re­ally tough times and you’ve come through them – that is a tes­ta­ment to the fact you are a strong per­son. Hold on to that fact, take the time to ex­am­ine your feel­ings along with your hopes for the fu­ture, and then start to get in­volved again.

66 is a lead­ing or­tho­don­tist in Dubai

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