Beating the body image blues

Do you ever have days when you look in the mirror and everything looks wrong? Your hair just can’t seem to get in place no matter how many times you brush it, everything you wear just feels wrong? While you usually can see at least some positives in your appearance you now look in the mirror and see someone that has only flaws.

 

I get days like this fairly often. There was a point in my life that every day was one of “those” days. It’s a rough thing to go through, and it’s even harder to know what to do about it. In the past I would lock myself in my own little world, avoiding people and social life of any kind. I just felt so undesirable that I could hardly stand being around myself, and I couldn’t even imagine how others would put up with me. I felt undeserving of their time and attention, unwanted and like an additional “tail” that people couldn’t wait to get rid of. Of course none of these things were actually true, but my mind did a good job of convincing them that they were. Naturally – this kind of negative self talk never gets you anywhere. It only makes you feel worse about yourself. It seems as soon as you start picking on a negative point about yourself – in this case your appearance – it snowballs out of control till you can’t think of one good thing about yourself. But there is a way to counteract this negative cycle. It’s a difficult thing to do, and it may be the thing you least feel like doing. One thing is guaranteed however – the longer you dwell on those voices the stronger they grow. So the sooner you make the choice to reverse this negative cycle of thinking, the better!

Here are some things that help me in beating the body image blues:

  • Make an effort to look nice.Yes, this will be the last thing you feel like doing, because nothing will look “good” anyway. Chances are you’ll feel like wearing and oversized t-shirt and sweats, not brushing your hair and staying in bed. But making the effort to look nice has a psychological effect on you – it will boost your self confidence. Even if you don’t feel particularly “pretty” with your hair done and make up on, it’ll make you feel better.

  • Positive self talk. I can’t stress this one enough. Repeat encouraging things about yourself even if you don’t believe them. Tell yourself : “ I have a beautiful smile”; “I have great hair”; “I am a likable person” In the beginning this will seem ridiculous, because it seems so far from the truth. But as you repeat these positive affirmations in your mind you will slowly start to believe them. 

(If you’re someone who suffers from bad body image often, it’s helpful to write a list about the things you like about yourself on one of your “good days”. That way when there is absolutely nothing positive you can think about you can refer back to this list and remember that the way you are feeling about yourself at the moment is a feeling, not a fact.)

  • Pamper yourself. My favorite “quick fix” is a long hot shower – but there are plenty of other things you can do if you have the time. Paint you nails, take a luxurious bath with scented soap, do a facial. If you want to take this a step further you can actually go out and get your hair done, or get a massage. Don’t be afraid to spend some extra time taking care of yourself- you deserve it!
  • Be sociable. Locking yourself up in your own little world will only re-enforce in your mind how awful and unwanted you are. Being around friends and family helps bring you back to reality – it can make you realize that you truly are wanted and desirable, someone others enjoy spending time with.
  • Help someone else. Reach out to those around you and find ways to help them. There is an undeniable sense of satisfactions that comes from doing something entirely selfless to help someone else.
  • Distract yourself. When all else fails do something distracting. It can be something you enjoy, or something you have to do. Regardless of what the activity is it’ll help take your mind off yourself and get it onto something else. And there is something to be said for the feeling you get at the end of a productive day.

Hope you guys find these tips helpful if you ever find yourself battling the body image blues. Because you are all beautiful, unique special individuals that ought to be proud of who they are! What are your favorite tips for boosting self-esteem?

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11 comments

  1. Whoo! Thank you for this Girlie! I’ve been struggling with body image these days, (not majorly, but even a little bit is too much!!!) and this really cheered me up. Thank you!! 🙂

    I do a lot of the things you mentioned to boost my self-esteem. I talk to/hang out with friends which is a great distraction. I wear nice clothes, and pretty earrings. Sometimes I just distract myself with a book or a TV episode. Really for me, distraction is best. When I’m focusing on something else, I don’t have time to think of how I feel about my body.

  2. I love these tips! Thanks a million. I use a lot of these coping skills when I’m having “one of those days.” It really does make you feel better when you make an effort to pick yourself up out of the negative rut and do something that makes you happy. Even faking a smile can boost my mood. Or looking in the mirror and giving myself a thumbs up. It’s cheesy but sometimes it can really give me a boost. The reminder that I can be my own best friend is invaluable.

  3. I think they are super tips! My mum always says, if you feel down about your body / self, put on some nice underwear cos it makes you feel good! I like her advice 🙂
    Annnd I agree with the above comment – fake smiles DO work!
    I do find positive self talk hard though, because it’s soo easy to counteract it :/

    [I got your email btw, and I will reply soon! 🙂 ]

  4. Thanks so much for these tips!!! I really needed them today. 🙂 I try to use many of the coping skills you mentioned, but my favorites are definitely distraction and trying to look nice by dressing up a little. And painting my nails, for sure. We can get through the body image blues!!! Good for you for working so hard to stay positive. ❤

  5. AMEN! I always feel better just by simply putting on some mascara and smiling at myself in the mirror even if I don’t feel like it. It tends to make me feel better. I totally agree with being sociable too. My friends always know how to make me smile 🙂

    xxx

  6. Great tips! I often have these days…what helps me most is going for a coffee with a good friend, zumba class or swimming, a long walk.. Some kind of moving and a good word from a good person always helps.

  7. I needed this today 🙂
    Thank you. I am becoming adjusted to the weight gain, and it’s hard to see my body and not think FATFATFAT.
    All of these tips are helpful ❤

  8. Thanks for the great ideas! I think we all have those days where we just want to curl up in our sweats and avoid mirrors. Doing something special for myself or volunteering usually helps me feel better. I find giving genuine compliments to others has the effect of boosting my self-esteem, too.

  9. Pingback: Ten things Thursday. | A new start


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