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?