Spring Break is coming around the bend again. On the one hand, we like to imagine spring as a time of new beginnings, maybe even a chance for some fun and relaxation in the sun, but on the other hand, warm weather, bathing suits, and spring-time attire can dredge up our old body insecurities too. This spring, we hope you don’t let that get in your way of having a good time.
Did you know that 70% of women, and 43% of men, say they don’t like their own bodies? It’s amazing how much time we spend wishing we looked less like ourselves. Having a healthy self-image isn’t always easy, we know, but self-love isn’t a destination; it’s a daily effort. Read on for some helpful tips on how to feel good about the way you look.
1. Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others can leave you feeling like you don’t look the way you should, but you’re not supposed to look like someone else; you’re supposed to look like you. So when you’re picking out your spring wardrobe, ask yourself, “What’s the most me quality about me,” and then dial it up!
2. Cut out negative body talk
If you talk bad about your body, you’ll feel bad about your body. From here on, try to only say positive things about the way you look. And keep some distance from others that only want to talk negatively about bodies, whether it’s about their own bodies or others. Eventually, their focus on the negative can bring you spinning back to old insecurities. Even if you feel like you have to force it, turn your attention to what you like about yourself and others. When we don’t actively try to value ourselves, we can start to forget just how much we’re worth.
3. Give compliments to others
Giving a compliment doesn’t cost a thing, but it can mean the world to receive, especially in times of need! And the great thing is, when you spend time complimenting others, this helps you see just how much you have to celebrate about yourself too.
4. Think healthy, not skinny
Exercise and a healthy diet shouldn’t be a punishment; this is how we express respect and appreciation for our bodies. Instead of thinking about how much your body weighs, or how it’s shaped, think about all the amazing things it can do, all the places it can take you, and the experiences it brings you, and then honor it with nourishing meals and exercises that you actually enjoy. When you’re planning an exercise routine, when you’re planning a healthier diet, let your goals aspire to more than just a number on the scale.
5. Do something nice for your body
When’s the last time you gave your body a gift just to say, hey, thanks for sticking with me? Carve out some time to go sit in the grass, take a well-deserved nap, a bubble bath, or a walk up the hill. Expressing gratitude has been associated with increased well being, and a decrease in feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. So express some gratitude toward your body, and remind yourself just how wonderful it is.
6. Avoid media that makes you feel bad about your look
It’s hard to overstate just how big of an effect media has on the way we feel about ourselves, and so much media today is image-obsessed, highly edited, and fixated on unrealistic standards of beauty. Don’t let this stuff rattle you. People don’t need to look like stars on TV, or fashion magazines, or even a friend’s heavily touched-up Instagram pictures. Be selective about what media you let into your life.
7. Focus on your whole person
Don’t forget: you are so much more than how you look! A key piece of having a healthy body image is to stop fixating on your body! Try to spend more time thinking about things other than physical appearance. Throw yourself into your passions. Pick up a new hobby. Catch a movie with a friend. Make something. Your body isn’t just a decoration for looking at; it’s for doing. So get out there and get doing.
We want to know how you’re feeling this spring! How do you boost your self-image, and what does being well look like to you? Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #BeWell and #BeThere.