As much as we try, loving our bodies for what they are can sometimes be really difficult. Constantly being exposed to unrealistic body standards in social media and advertising really has an impact when we go to look in the mirror.
We need to learn to embrace who we are and start to love, cherish and nurture our bodies. Here are our 8 steps for you to start looking at yourself in a positive frame of light.
1. Remember that your imperfections make you, you. – Remember no one is perfect. When we find an imperfection in ourselves we begin to harbor it and see it as something to be ashamed of.
The things we think of as flaws and imperfections are simply who we are. Is it okay to be imperfect? Yes, because there is no other way to be.
2. Take care of your body, treat it as a friend. – Your body is yours and it’s the only one you’re going to get. Make sure to treat your body how you would treat a friend with love and kindness.
Make sure to prioritise sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and start taking little steps to improve how you treat yourself. Feeling lethargic or down recently? Make sure you give your body the rest it needs.
3. Ditch the narrative that looking a certain way will make you happier. – In everything we do we are always left striving for more or left unsatisfied. It makes for an unhappy and non fulfilling life. Embrace who you are and your flaws to truly be happy and stop caring about other peoples opinions!
4. Cleanse your social media feeds of anything that makes you feel bad about your body - Ever feel like you can’t compare to every fitness influencer on Instagram? There’s a reason for this. A lot of it’s fake! Every photo is carefully curated to make the person look as perfect as possible, some even edited.
Take time to cleanse your timeline of any accounts or content which make you feel less confident in yourself and instead prioritise positive content which actually benefits you, keeps you progressing and most importantly keeps you happy.
Check out this article from healthline which outlines the negative impacts social media can have on our health - What Is Social Media Addiction?
5. Make exercise about having fun and feeling good – Join a class? Exercise with a friend? Pump up your music! You have to find what’s right for you but exercise becomes a lot more enjoyable and easy when you’re having a good time.
A lot of people use exercise as a means to an end. They just do it to get fit, look better or lose weight. These habits tend to fail quite quickly unless you enjoy them. Try lots of different ways to exercise and find what’s right for you and makes you want to exercise rather than feeling like you have to.
Check out our blog on Five Fitness exercises to stay healthy for some exercise inspiration! - Five Fitness Exercises to stay healthy!
6. Write down everything you love about yourself – Sometimes we forget to focus on the things we love about ourselves when we’re busy or stressed and we forget to appreciate us for us. Take some time out of your week to write down everything you love about yourself to reinforce that positive mind-set around your body.
7. Reward your body – Maybe you’ve reached a new goal or you finally completed that 5k run you’ve been training for! Whatever it is, well done! Now it's time for a treat to reward yourself for your hard work. Get new workout gear, treat yourself to a massage, have a spa day! Whatever makes you happy. Remember it’s not all about work, work, work and to treat yourself from time to time.
8. Get clothes confident - Find the clothes that you like and make you feel most comfortable. You never need to force yourself into a certain trend to be stylish. The key to be stylish is being in clothes that make you feel comfortable.
Loving yourself can come in lots of different ways. It's important to prioritise and learn what makes you happy. No two people are the same in the way they look and there is no perfect answer for how each individual will learn to love themselves. No two journeys will be the same. Remember to keep your head up and be proud of who you are and continue striving for a healthier and happier you.