Many of us can struggle with body image issues; we feel too big, too small, too old, generally not enough. The ever-cycling social media feed does nothing to help our insecurities. But we all know that living a life where we do not feel like we are enough is not a healthy approach.
We work with clients every day to help and support their process in untangling these misconceptions of themselves. If you are looking to work with a therapist or life coach, let us know; we have a wide range of services to help support your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org
We understand that body image issues are challenging and can lead many of us into unhealthy habits and can be a lifelong journey, so we have consulted our life coaches and therapists to put together this guide to help you navigate a healthy approach to your body image. Enjoy!
Watch your feed
Make sure that what you are consuming on social media is not messaging that promotes body-shaming, unhealthy diet culture, and overall negative body imaging. If you find that there is a lot of this type of imaging, make sure that you are reducing as much of this as possible.
We all know that the social media feed never stops, and we need to ensure that we take healthy breaks to get off the cycle. Scheduling or setting reminders to take breaks and go for a walk can be extremely helpful in setting healthy boundaries.
It could be time to do a social media feed audit. Do you need to unfollow some accounts? Could this be a good time to explore some new accounts that are more visually positive with a healthier message? Look for accounts that offer you positive and uplifting messages that you can relate to.
Self-compassion is the act of showing kindness to ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. It is a healthy way to feel good throughout all the ups and downs of life. This is a significant way to take care of ourselves.
The next time you are hard on yourself about how you look, shake it up, remember all the things you love about yourself, write them down, say them aloud. The more our thoughts and feelings are optimistic about our lives, the more we start to feel good and believe in ourselves.
Does it feel hard to reflect on how great you are? Tap into your community. Ask your friends and family how they would describe you. Our friends and family know us in ways that we could not understand. They will be able to offer perspective, and you can learn more about yourself this way.
Drop the comparison
Do not compare yourself to others. It is easier said than done, but it is true. Looking at ourselves through other’s experiences is not only unhelpful, but it is also harmful to ourselves, leaving us feeling “not enough.” or “inadequate.”
Get inspired by people that have a great approach to life and feel good. Feeling inspired is different from comparing ourselves. We can look at someone’s ambition in their career or vigor in their community outreach and feel inspired by that positive energy, propelling our own goals forward.
Try to reimagine how you look at others. When you feel like you are starting to compare yourself to others, stop and admire what you like about that person. You do not have to measure yourself in this situation; you can observe and move on.
Practice positive self-talk
Do not believe your negative thoughts; instead, flip your thoughts. We will often have negative thoughts cycling through our minds, telling us that we are not worthy, not good enough. When this happens, it is essential to acknowledge it and bring positive feelings and comments to it, like “I am not my thoughts, I am enough.”
Using positive affirmations daily can be a great way of breaking negative self-talk and cycles of negative feelings and thoughts. Research and adopt a handful of positive self-affirmations such as “I am complete” or “I deserve great things in life.” Having these on hand can help to get through difficult moments.
Journaling is a great tool to help form personal reflection. Journal and document all the things that you like, enjoy and appreciate about yourself. Focus on all the feelings, the way you help your friends when you go above and beyond at work, the way you enjoy time with your family.
Take care of yourself.
Our self-perspective can feel negative or difficult if we lack confidence or self-esteem. This can reflect in the way that we take care of ourselves. It can be easy to let personal routines go or lack care for our health and needs.
If you feel like this is happening, ensure to reflect and flip it—the more that we take care of ourselves, the better we feel. A warm bath or a massage can make us feel good. Make sure to leave space and time in your life to meet your personal needs.
Please take a few actions that you can engage in every day and schedule them in. Develop a healthy diet that is delicious and fresh. Drink 8-10 glasses of water and get quality sleep 6-8 hours a night. Outside of these initial needs, add mindfulness and meditation practices for mental health and rest.
Enjoy your body
Hold gratitude for the body that you have. It is essential to acknowledge your health and where you are today. Your body has carried you through all of your adventures and continues to work for you through the good and bad days. Give thanks and keep going.
Please do not waste your time waiting to have the perfect body or weight; this is important; it is easy to fall into the trap of waiting for the right size, shape, or weight. Your body and weight will evolve with you through your life and will house you through the ups and downs. So, honor it by having fun, no matter how small or big it is.
Get physical and get outside; it does not matter what it is that you are doing. If you are having fun and being active, that is the most critical part. Some activities can include yoga, jogging, even a brisk walk is a great way to get physical. Get active to enjoy your life and feel healthy.
Enjoy clothes that feel right for you.
Wear pants that fit and tops that make you feel great and are comfortable. There may be styles out there that you will not like on your body type, that is ok. Find clothes that look great with your shape. You can also look to a stylist for some help in getting started.
Update your wardrobe if your sizing has changed. The worst is having a closet full of clothing that no longer works for you. Get in the habit of purging your clothing and ensure that your size is always up to date.
Most cities have excellent clothing recycling systems and vintage shops. Continue to dress in your style. Sometimes trends seem designed for a particular size, but it does not have to be this way. Seek out styles and trends that you like and make them your own.
Maintain a healthy diet
A strong sign of having a negative body image is eating disorders. There are various eating disorders: bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, rumination, restrictive diets, and pica. If you think that an eating disorder challenges you, connect with a professional to get the right help.
Eating disorders can be subtle and creep into our lifestyles, often motivated by new fad diets and social influencers promoting alternative diets. If you need help designing meal plans or correcting eating habits, working with a nutritionist or dietician is the best starting point.
The best approach to a healthy diet is to enjoy the healthy food that you eat. There are lots of healthy food options and recipes that you can integrate into your lifestyle. A fun way to learn is to take a cooking class or buy some cookbooks on eating green or other healthy eating options.
Liking ourselves is vital.
Taking a look at what we like about ourselves can affirm who we are. It offers us evidence for when we are questioned by ourselves or others. Our body image is a marker for how we see ourselves in the world and directly impacts our mental health.
Aligning our health goals through mind and body will offer us the most holistic approach to taking care of ourselves. Utilizing this list and integrating it into everyday living will help improve and reduce negative body imaging and a need for unhealthy lifestyle habits.
It is essential to ensure that if you are suffering from a negative body image that you address this challenge and seek positive solutions for yourself to feel better. Working with a therapist can be a great way to get started. If you or someone that you know is looking to work with a life coach or therapist reach out, we are here to help: email@example.com