I have some days where I feel great about myself. I throw on my favorite outfit, take a few cute pictures, and thrive off of my confident state. Then there are other days where I feel the complete opposite. I try on twenty different outfits, spend hours criticizing my body, and convince myself to cancel my plans for the day.
I used to let these days consume me. I often pressed the pause button on my life because I convinced myself that my body image defined me. While I still have negative body image days, I’ve learned how to embrace them, rather than hide from them. It may sound easier said than done, but I promise, practice makes perfect. Here are my best tips for coping with negative body image days:
TAKE A WALK
Take a break from trying on different outfits and go outside. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to your music, take a friend/partner with you, and get those endorphins going. Often taking a walk completely clears my mind and helps me start fresh, regardless of the project I’m working on. It also makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, even if it was small. If walking isn’t your thing, get your endorphins going in another way! Run, lift weights, stretch, bike, swim, dance, etc. Just remember – you’re not doing this as a punishment to your body for the way it looks. You’re doing this to clear your mind, lift your spirits, and feel like the badass you already are.
You may not need one – take one anyway. Imagine cleansing yourself of all that negativity circulating in your mind. Take deep breaths, allowing the steam to open up your sinus passages. Take deeper breaths. Don’t underestimate how much self-care you need right now. Use your favorite smelling soap, crack open that new bath bomb, soak yourself in Epsom salt. Treat your body with care and your mind will follow.
WATCH SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH
My husband is an expert at finding the most ridiculous, hilarious content from Reddit. I’ve requested content from him so many times that we created a YouTube playlist for negative body image days. Yes – a playlist of bizarre, brainless entertainment that makes me laugh for absolutely no reason at all. After a good laugh, my mood is lifted, and my mind feels a million times lighter. If you’re struggling to find something funny, reach out to a friend who has the same sense of humor as you.
GO FACE YOUR FEAR
I’ve convinced myself countless times to cancel plans and stay in because of how strongly I feel about my body image – “There’s no way I can go out like this. I’m a mess and feel like garbage, physically and mentally. I’ll just cancel, put on a sweatshirt, and cry myself to sleep.” But what if I didn’t cancel? What if I went out anyway, despite the fact that I’m scared, self-conscious, and feeling unworthy? What if I’m missing out on the most amazing night of my life because I’ve convinced myself I’m not enough? So my best advice for you, the advice that I avoided for so long… go out anyway. Face that fear. Because every single time I’ve pushed through that pain and faced that fear, it has ended in nothing but positivity and a great time. Go out with friends who know your struggles and are there to support you. Don’t miss out on any more of life’s precious moments.
Affirmations have been a game changer for me. Affirmations are simply giving yourself the emotional support and encouragement that you deserve. It’s so important that you practice affirmations on your bad days, too. My favorites for negative body image days are:
I am passionate and outrageously enthusiastic.
I am healthy and strong.
I am patient and trusting with my body.
I believe in myself and capabilities.
I am powerful and I create the life I want (and deserve).
I am optimistic and believe things will always work out for the best.
I treat my body how I treat others – with kindness and respect.
I am focused and determined. I never give up.
I am unique and love being myself.
I. AM. ENOUGH.
CRY IT OUT
Have you ever had one of those days where you constantly feel on edge? It’s been hours and you still feel like you’re on edge of a breakdown? Let it out. Break down. Cry. Sometimes it’s healthy (and necessary) to release ourselves from that tight reign we hold on our emotions. It’s okay to feel frustrated, lost, scared, depressed, hopeless, etc. But don’t allow yourself to be swallowed by those emotions and sulk in them. Feel those emotions, cry it out, give yourself a big hug, and let it go. You’re a masterpiece and the world needs to see more of you.
- Rebecca K.