Start this one off with an open mind. How often have you found yourself looking in the mirror, disappointed with what you see, wishing you could be “better”? You are not alone. In fact, almost everyone on this planet has had body issues at some point in time in their lives.
I am here to tell you that IT IS OKAY. Life is full of ups and downs and sometimes, weight fluctuates with it.
Or you might have acne that you feel like everyone is staring at. Or maybe you want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and that will make you feel better about yourself.
But, the human population is so diverse, and that’s what makes us beautiful and amazing. Here are 10 activities to help you fully embrace who YOU ARE.
I know it sounds cheesy, but you are stuck with YOU for the rest of your life, so you might as well have a good relationship with yourself. Focusing on what you lack and letting negative thoughts soak your mind in poison juice, is definitely not the best move. Instead, list the things you love about yourself, your abilities, your health or something that you’re looking forward to doing. Aim for an attitude of gratitude all day long, but start with just a single, simple thought of gratitude to start each day.
2. Engage in joyful movement
Exercise definitely increases happy chemicals like endorphins, but you don’t have to hit the gym to lift weights for 2 hours. (If that is your joyful movement, by all means keep going!) But, if that is not your cup of tea, just know ANY activity where you are raising your heartbeat or breaking a sweat is considered physical activity!
3. Focus on those internal values!
Wisdom, loyalty, fairness, personal fulfillment, curiosity, self-awareness, the capacity for relationships, connectedness and intimacy, individuality, confidence, assertiveness, a sense of humor, and ambition. It really is what’s on the inside that counts.
4. Surround yourself with positive people
If you’re having trouble finding that positive vibe inside yourself, enlist the help of some of your most “glass half full” friends. Make sure you are returning the favor and exchanging supportive messages back and forth. Surround yourself with those who recognize the importance of being yourself and liking you the way you are.
5. Do something nice for yourself
Whether it is a bubble bath, sleeping in, or treating yourself to your favorite food, being nice to yourself will help you increase your self love. You will be able to feel more relaxed and happier afterwards. As they say, TREAT YO SELF.
6. Write encouraging notes on your mirror
“You are amazing”, “There is no one who can do what you do”, and “Smile, you’re worth it!”. Or find other encouraging quotes on Pinterest. It might also help to think about positive things other people have said about you in the past. Write them on sticky notes or in white board markers and look at them when you wake up and go to bed. Really believe what you write because it is true!
7. Spend some time outside
Getting fresh air is proven to help increase the serotonin in your brain to make you happier. Try people-watching or counting how many birds you see. Enjoy the sun!
8. Accept the compliment
Sometimes when someone compliments us, we often overthink it or fight them on it. There is no problem saying thank you and going about your day! Think about how one compliment makes you smile for hours after. Maybe spread that love and compliment someone else.
9. Wear clothes that make you feel good and look good
You don’t have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe tomorrow. A shirt or a nice pair of pants that you feel good in, can make all the difference in your day. While it’s not all about looks, sometimes a little attention to your wardrobe can give you the confidence you’re looking for.
10. Ditch the scale
If weighing yourself is a make-or-break moment in your day, then toss it. Your health and happiness is not defined by the scale. Let it go. Focus on taking care of yourself – mind, body, and soul. Your weight is gonna do what your weight is gonna do. Genetics drive body weight, so surrender to the fact that we are all MEANT to be different sizes and shapes, and instead focus on self-care.
If this list feels overwhelming, just pick one and give it a go. See if it helps to increase that feeling of self-love. Moving towards body positivity is not an overnight journey. Loving yourself takes practice and patience. Some days, loving yourself is tough. I’m right there with you. But some days we just have to “fake it ‘till we make it,” focus on the positive, and believe our bodies are worthy, valuable and amazing.Ashley Wilson, UCAN Office Manager