You’ve heard people talk about body confidence, body acceptance and self-love, but what does any of it actually mean, like, how does it work?! Do you one day wake up and decide that you will accept every part of your body as beautiful and continue the rest of your life as a body confident god/goddess without any hint of self-doubt? Although we wish that could be true, unfortunately it isn’t that simple.
Learning to become more comfortable in your own skin can be a long and challenging process, and it most definitely doesn’t happen overnight. To help you begin your journey, we’ve put together a list of 6 practical things you can do that will take you closer to accepting your imperfections and improving that way you feel about your own body.
1) Practise giving yourself compliments
Sounds weird right? Who compliments themselves? Well, you. This can be anything from telling yourself out loud (yes, out loud) that you really like your hair today, or perhaps that you’re a really kind person. Giving yourself compliments on a daily basis is a fantastic way to reinforce your own self-worth. Trust us, it starts to feel less weird the more you do it.
2) Practise giving other people compliments
Often when we have our own body image hang-ups, we can be unintentionally judgemental of other people’s bodies. It is actually really common to project our own insecurities onto other people, even when we don’t mean to. Next time you’re out and about try to consciously think kind thoughts about other people’s bodies. Again, sounds like a weird one, but give it a go, we guarantee it will make you feel like a great person.
3) Follow positive accounts, not your dream body account.
Now we know you’ve heard this one before – unfollow accounts that don’t make you feel good. Yes, they may have your “dream body” or they may go on the most insane press trips you’ve ever seen, but will following them inspire you, or just make you feel inferior? There is definitely a fine line between accounts that inspire you and make you want to work hard to reach an end goal compared with those that make you feel like crap, but remember that sometimes seeing beautifully sculpted bodies (*cough* that are Photoshopped *cough*) on your timeline can have a negative effect on your own body image. Instead why not take some time to find people who represent YOU better, who teach you new things, who make you feel like you are enough and who bring you joy.
4) Do something nice for yourself
This can be anything from going for a long walk, having the most relaxing bubble bath with all the fancy sh*t, booking out an evening entirely to yourself or enjoying your favourite meal; as long as it is something that you will enjoy doing. Treating yourself kindly is so important, even when we subconsciously feel like we don’t deserve it. We really do.
5) Wear clothes that fit and are comfortable
Hands up who has a pair of jeans in their wardrobe that haven’t fit them in at least 2 years but you keep them there just in case one day you might want them? Because us too. Your best bet would be to give them to charity, no one needs a constant reminder lurking in their wardrobe of a size they once were, whether that be bigger or smaller. Why not replace them with something more comfortable that you will get wear out of? Putting on a new outfit that fits and flatters is a pretty amazing feeling, way better than the pain of not fitting in an old one anymore.
6) Recognise comparison
Ever heard the saying “comparison is the thief of joy”? We really believe that. We are always subconsciously comparing ourselves to other people, whether that be people we walk past on the street, influencers we follow on social media or our friends – we compare our bodies multiple times throughout any given day. This can be a difficult habit to kick, especially as you’ve probably been doing it most of your life, but there are certainly steps you can take to stop. The main one of those being recognition; if you can simply start to notice when you are doing it, then you can stop yourself.
If you are struggling with body confidence and self image, or there is anything else that is bothering you, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.