We all have those days: you wake up feeling down, nothing looks good in the mirror (even your favorite outfit), and you can tell it’s going to be a long day of not feeling your best. Nearly 70% of women between the ages of 18 and 30 report struggling with body image and positivity, so you are not alone.
Rewiring our brains to have a positive body image can be incredibly challenging, and it takes work and conscious effort. Some of us have to work every day through personal affirmations to become body positive. We all have hard days, though, and here are some ways to boost your mood when you’re having body image issues.
1. Practice gratitude
On the days where negative self-talk creeps in, practicing gratitude is a helpful tool to overcome negativity and body image issues.
Try to think of all the things your body is capable of doing. If you need to write them down or speak them out loud, then do that.
Focus on the positive things that you’ve accomplished using your body, whether that’s physical exercise, something you’ve built or created with your hands, or how great you feel when you wear your favorite outfit.
Practicing gratitude for your body fuels thankfulness and positive feelings towards what you’ve been given and how blessed you are. Sometimes all we need is a little reminder.
2. Compliment others
When we make an effort to be kind to others, it creates an opportunity for that same kindness to reflect on ourselves. Encouraging other women, whether you’re complimenting their outfit, or telling them what an amazing job they’re doing at work or as a mother, can have a positive effect on you as well.
Remember this the next time you’re feeling down and find someone to lift up instead. You’ll be surprised how it makes you feel in the process.
3. Engage in self-care
What activities help you feel relaxed and happy?
On the days you don’t feel confident or positive, make sure to carve out some time to put yourself first. Whether this is a bubble bath and candles, a mani/pedi, a massage, yoga class, meditation practice, or some online shopping… whatever self-care looks like for you, find the time for it. It will help you re-center and get back into the positive frame of mind.
4. Take a social media break
While Instagram can be a healthy place to find body positivity inspiration from like-minded people, it can also be an extremely draining place to spend time. The endless scrolling, particularly on feeds or hashtags that make you feel insecure, is an unhealthy activity for anyone.
Particularly on days where you aren’t feeling confident, avoiding Instagram and other social media apps can help pull you out of your slump, or at least prevent you from feeling worse.
5. Allow yourself to be in your feels
The journey to a body-positive frame of mind is a marathon, not a sprint. This means that there are days where you feel less than, and those days are all a part of the process. When you have negative feelings, it’s important to allow yourself to feel those emotions, explore them and try to determine what triggered them. Acknowledging these thoughts and feelings is a vital part of personal growth.
Body positivity is a lifelong journey, and it does not come easily. Fortunately, there are resources and tricks along the way that can help on those days when it’s more difficult. You can support this movement by finding body-positive communities to participate in, shopping at businesses that promote body positivity and size inclusion, and practicing kindness and inclusion towards everyone you meet.