By Alison Finch

I’m not sure if something similar happens in America and the rest of the world, but here in the UK our Government is forever urging us to provide ourselves and our children with at least five pieces of fruit or vegetables every day as the foundation for a balanced, healthy diet.

The food-chemist in me knows that this is good advice and, whilst I can concede that some days can go a little pear-shaped and the lure of MacDonald’s proves overwhelming occasionally, I usually manage to pack in the five-a-day without too much difficulty.

But I just had a sort of “Eureka!”. I’m not sure whether it was at the point where I realised that I needed to shed the seemingly-inevitable five-pound annual increase in my weight over holiday periods or when my son asked “Why aren’t you eating an apple with us right now?”. But I do remember the flash of realisation that, like many other mothers I know, I just hadn’t been bothering to follow this balanced, healthy eating advice for myself.

Since that moment, I’ve gone mad for fruit and veg! I’m eating more than I’ve ever done before and I can honestly say I feel better for it. Which leads me to the point of this article. It’s been a while since I bothered to think about how I myself might benefit from a few little tweaks to my lifestyle, and I spend most of my working day in coaching other women to make the most of their lives!

Logic suggests that those of you who occupy yourselves in a different way are even more likely to have forgotten to look for those simple opportunities to make life more pleasurable and more rewarding.

Over the years, has carried many tips in articles related to specific themes. But here’s my “pick of the bunch” selection of general tips that work well whatever your particular focus is at the moment.

“Why not go out on a limb. Isn’t that where the fruit is?” – Frank Scully

Choose your favourites from the juicy, refreshing self-esteem tips below. There are bound to be some that you like the look of, so please enjoy savouring them over the next few days.

1. inject new life into your day

Pick an activity that you do most days, such as saying good morning to someone, having a shower, shopping for groceries or even going to bed at night and make a conscious decision to do it a bit differently and do it well!

For instance, you could sing in the shower and finish it off with a cold dose of water all over to stimulate your senses; you could spontaneously pick up a fruit in the grocery store that you’ve never eaten before and give it a try; you could meditate before going to sleep. The possibilities are endless.

2. Squeeze in some “YOU” time

Putting aside a little YOU-time to nurture yourself each day can be a simple way to remind yourself that you’re worth investing in. Carving out an hour from your busy day can feel like an impossible mission for most women, so what I suggest is that you incorporate quality YOU-time into your daily self-care regime. This is how it works never brush your teeth, your hair or apply skin creams when you’re thinking negative thoughts! Stop and focus on changing your mood instead. Then, when you’ve captured a positive thought or two, start brushing with care or take a bit of time to gently apply the cream and massage your face and body the aim is to enjoy the moment, however brief!

3. Stop procrastinating for just ten minutes

Quite often we procrastinate because a task seems too huge and daunting to contemplate. Perhaps your desk is in a mess but the thought of sorting it out makes you feel exhausted because you know it would take hours and hours. The key: just do it for ten minutes, no more. Then see how you feel. I bet the next time you think about your messy desk, the thought will not be so scary. So ask yourself: are you procrastinating over something? If so, give this a try.

4. Reach out and touch someone

One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to make someone else feel good first. Reach out and touch someone’s heart with a small but noticeable gesture. Good examples are things like play-fighting with a child, gently touching someone’s arm to show you that you care, sending one of our free eCards or giving someone a genuine compliment out of the blue. Often it’s the little gestures that can mean so much.

5. Learn to let go

Most of us find ourselves clinging on to things (and people) for the wrong reasons. Are you doing that right now with someone or something? If so, why not practise letting go a little by finding something inconsequential in your home that you no longer need or like and just throwing it in the trash! Better still try recycling or resale, if you believe your items could be worth more to someone else. Just the act of letting go of something small could encourage you to let go of something more significant that is holding you back.

I practiced last week with some old cookery books that were clogging up my kitchen.

6. Convert an “I can’t” into an “I can”

See if you can absorb this quote into your everyday living:

It’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees

Think of at least five things that make you feel like saying “I can’t”. Then write them down. Here are a few common examples, just to get you started:

“I can’t say THAT – they’d just laugh at me!”
“I can’t buy THAT for myself – I’m not worth it!”
“I can’t stand it when MY man looks at another woman!”
Once you’ve written them down, pluck up the courage to say “I can” to at least one of the items on your list. Say it and believe it! Life is never easy, but saying “I can’t” only makes it harder. A simple change of approach could open up a whole new world of discovery.

7. Meditate or try hypnosis

Often self-esteem building does require us to learn new skills and adopt different approaches but also there is a need just to repeat positive messages, chill out and start believing in ourselves more. Meditation or hypnosis offer great supplements to the more studious eWorkbooks that we’ve developed for women. Why not check out one of these options now?

8. Squeeze, lift and smile

A simple act of squeezing in your tummy, raising your chin and smiling gently to yourself can be so encouraging, especially if you’re having a really gloomy day. It’s as if the fighting instinct kicks in and possibilities open up. Try it now for a whole minute and see how it makes you feel. If you feel a little better, remember to use this easy technique daily.

9. Look forward to juicy times ahead

Write down the following:

A positive thing that happened to me today was
Something I am looking forward to tomorrow is
Something I am looking forward to in the next couple of weeks is
Something I am looking forward to in the next six months is

10. Ask yourself the question

What change can you think of that would impact positively on your self-esteem today? Write it down. Then do it!

If you can’t think of anything, visit your “My Account” page and look in the “free downloads” section for more guidance and support.


We’ve used a sort of fruity theme in this Article, but I’m not really trying to convince you that my new-found passion for fruit is the answer to life, the Universe, and everything! What I would like to do is simply encourage you to consider each of my chosen tips, because I know from feedback that they have each proved their worth with a great many of our members.



  1. NorthWet on October 8, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    This is SO true! So many folks spend their days with their glass half-empty and drudge through life feeling burdened. If one chooses to focus on their blessings instead, each and every day is brighter, easier, and happier. Even if you aren’t totally convinced, give it a try. The power of positive thinking works because it will (in time) alter your brain chemical balances and create more of the same. Sadly, the same is true of Eeyore-ism. Live more fully just a little each day and next thing you know – your entire day will be fully lived!

  2. Carl on October 9, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I’m not a woman but I am trying to live a healthier life. About the fruits and veggies… have you tried juicing? I works great and the kids love it and love to help. In one fell swoop the get all the daily requirements. When juicing you can use the whole pineapple including the rind to get even more nutrition. For the self esteem, since I live alone, I think I can do the singing in the shower without hurting my feelings or anyone else’s ear drums. Thanks for the information.

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