Body image is really tough. I definitely have my struggles with it, as do all people at some point in their lives. What I see in the mirror is not what the reality is – and in a day my talk towards my body can veer wildly from one end of the happiness spectrum to the other.
I have found that in life, it is your relationship to objects and situations that bring you emotional change, not the objects themselves. So in this vein, I always strive to pay attention to my emotional reaction to how I perceive myself – and then work hard to make my reaction a positive one.
Avoiding temptation for me is super important; whenever I am having a bad body image day I get off my phone, get off social media, and stay far away from mirrors. I know people say to look in the mirror and give yourself positive affirmations, but that has never worked for me.
I find that going out and doing something as a testament to your body much more useful. Go out for a long walk, or a run, or a dance/yoga class and enjoy the feeling of moving. Then enjoy all the endorphins that follow!
There are a few things that I do daily also that serve to bolster my confidence which directly affects my body image.
These are a daily meditation practice, a daily workout routine (that varies depending on my soreness and energy levels) a daily page in my diary about how great my life is and never using social media for more than fifteen minutes a day. On the weekend, I try to leave my phone on airplane mode and aim to use it less than thirty minutes a day, and on weekdays my goal is to use it less than an hour a day and check it three times a day (not including listening to my music). This last practice is fairly new (I use the Headspace app to track) but it has been so powerful already for me!
I feel like once you take out the constant comparison that comes with social media, you begin to settle into your self; and you become quite happy and at peace. And I don’t think it is a coincidence that the day where I spent three hours on my phone was the day where I was really struggling to stay happy.
I am yet to meet an older woman who wishes they had spent their youth worrying more about how they looked, and just enjoyed more of what life had to offer. I know it is really tough sometimes as a young people, but my mantra is that nobody cares about how I look more than I do. I find that helps on the days where you feel like everyone is staring at you.
Practice self-care and your confidence will follow!