A Wheelchair-User’s Self-Esteem Maintenance Guide

A Wheelchair-User’s Self-Esteem Maintenance Guide

Body positive messaging is more popular than ever, and it’s about time. For too long wheelchair-users have only felt like they were less than. It’s not easy rolling around this world looking up. As a wheelchair-user for many many years, I know that maintaining a decent self esteem is difficult.

I have my good days and I have my bad days. Even the littlest thing can influence it negatively, and I know many people with disabilities feel the same. Whether it’s somebody looking at you weird or your significant other checking someone out that can walk, it can hurt.

But it’s not a lost cause. With a little bit of daily maintenance, you really can have healthy self-esteem among a sea of walkers. Here are the top tricks I’ve discovered for keeping my self-esteem healthy (and onward and up!) each and every day.

Get Your Cardio On

They say working out increases endorphins in the brain, and they’re right. Every time you work out for at least 20 minutes your brain releases endorphins, causing you to feel a euphoria. This “workout high” really can improve one’s self esteem. The process of putting effort into your body to make it better, even in the face of a disability also does amazing things to your self-esteem.

We know it’s hard getting out there and doing it, but remember you can always do cardio in your wheelchair at home. There are several wheelchair workout videos on Youtube that are free and work for all types of abilities.

Buy Yourself Something Feel-Good Worthy

For a lot of people, buying a garment from a shirt to a pair of sunglasses can help boost one’s self esteem huuuge. Maybe it’s even a new bra. Whatever you think will work, go out, buy it and make it work. For many years, I’d shop at Victoria Secret to make myself feel all purdy, and it worked every time.

Never Compare Yourself – You Are YOU

Human beings constantly compare themselves to each other. It’s even common for quadriplegics to look longingly at paraplegics, wishing they were them. It’s human nature, but when you are a wheelchair-user it can become a patterned death spiral leading nowhere but to a place of discontent.

You need to be on it when it comes to telling yourself your individual value. You are just as good as the person walking down the street, even if you get that deep dark feeling you aren’t every once in awhile. Your extreme uniqueness is something that no one else can match. You are YOU and your life experiences have molded you into someone that the average AB person could never attain to.

Remind Yourself These Important Truths

Despite doing everything above, you will still run into issues with your self-esteem; I guarantee it. When you use a wheelchair it’s sadly inevitable. However there are two unalienable WHEELCHAIR LIFE truths that can help keep your self-esteem afloat for the rest of your life. They are the following:

  • Life is short, like really, really short (if you haven’t figured it out yet). Didn’t it just feel like it was 2005 last year? My point is this: When we’re dealing with limited time like this practical thinking is a must. There’s no time to even worry about your self-esteem, truly. Just get out there and start rolling because the clock is a ticking.
  • Wheelchair-users can be sexy, and at any age and size. This is solidly true. Don’t believe me, just check out all the fabulous men and women on Instagram using wheelchairs if you have a few moments. It’s insane how many hotties are out there rolling instead of walking. Style and personality always trump all.

You really can resuscitate your self-esteem. I believe in you. Stop letting that wheelchair sway your emotions. By taking charge and believing in yourself, your reality can shift in truly amazing ways.

How do you boost your self-esteem as a wheelchair-user?

Photo courtesy of Flickr

1 reply
  1. Gini
    Gini says:

    What a great post. I really needed to find it today. I’m going to save it and look at it often. (By the way, I’m a C5/6/7 incomplet;e, 57years old, 5 1/2 years post).

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