Loving your body is easier said than done. Today's unrealistic beauty standards coupled with pandemic stress is a perfect storm crippling feelings of self-doubt and plummeting self-confidence. Before all else, it's important to give yourself permission to gain weight during this pandemic. It's a very stressful time for all of us, some more than others, and it's okay to put on a few pounds while dealing with everything happening in the world right now.
Even though one of the best things you can do is learn to love yourself unconditionally, getting to that place is a long and difficult road. There are a lot of stumbling blocks in the meantime, and it takes time and effort to overcome body image issues. But, practice makes perfect! Keep working on it and you'll get there. In the meantime, here are some things you can do right now to start feeling good in your skin immediately:
Say positive affirmations to yourself.
Studies show that positive self-talk can help re-train your brain into thinking more positively about what you see in the mirror. Instead of thinking negatively about your body, try to nip those thoughts in the bud and switch to positive thinking. Even if you don't believe yourself at first, the more you say positive things to yourself, the more you will start to believe them. It's a research-proven way to rewire your brain into thinking differently.
Don't compare yourself to others.
Don't waste time comparing yourself to other people - or your past self. It's useless to go back to photos of you when you were younger or skinner - you're only hurting yourself. Put the old photos away and clear your closet of clothes that no longer fit you. Focus on the "now" you, not the "past" you.
Curate your social media experience.
Go through all your social media feeds and unfollow anyone who makes you feel bad about your own body image. Anyone. If you come across any posts that make you start to guess your self-worth, immediately unfollow. Then, go on a following spree of accounts and influencers that make you feel good about yourself. Follow people who look like you. Follow body positivity activists - there are plenty of accounts out there who can bring joy and empowerment to your timeline
Practice gratitude towards your body.
Even though it can be hard to do sometimes, take a moment to think about all the things your body can do. Sit cross-legged on a comfortable surface and think of at least three different parts of your body and what they do for you. Remember all the things that your body has, and will, do for you. Remember that it's your permanent home.
Move your body.
Many studies have shown that people who exercise more feel better about their bodies, regardless of weight loss. Find a type of exercise that works well for you - dance, yoga, pilates, running, swimming - anything that gets you moving. Exercise causes a release of endorphins, a type of neurotransmitter that gives you a rush of euphoric good feelings. Even if you're having a bad day, moving even a little bit can help you feel better about yourself instantly.
Listen to motivational music.
Listening to music is another way to boost the production of serotonin in your brain for short-term mood improvement. Create a playlist of all your go-to motivational, uplifting songs that you can turn to when you start feeling down about your self-image. Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube also have some great pre-made mood-boosting playlists of their own if you don't want to make one yourself.
Maintain good personal hygiene.
Looking after yourself is a way of expressing love and appreciation for your body. Shower, brush your teeth, change the sheets on your bed, and wear clean pyjamas to sleep tonight. The more you show your body love and compassion, the more you will start to feel those emotions toward yourself.
Develop a sensible sleeping schedule.
Having a good routine that you follow is a great way to make yourself feel better. Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Getting a good nights sleep and recharging your body is essential to your mental wellbeing. Sleepyhead is our all natural capsule that helps relieve the effects of insomnia and restlessness. The inclusion of wild lettuce ensures you can have a great sleep and wake up feeling refreshed without any drowsiness. Try Sleepyhead now!
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