Devin Wicks, Associate Director | Director, Fitness and Wellness Operations
Finding something not to like about yourself is an easy thing to do. We are regularly bombarded with messages in advertising and social media about how we should look. In fact, a report published by Common Sense Media found that more than 50% of girls and nearly 33% of boys between the ages of 6 and 8 felt that their ideal body weight was less than their current weight.
With Valentine’s Day upon us, let’s take time to find something about yourself to love and make 2021 the year you fall in love with you. Here are four things you can do to counter that negative self-talk and love yourself a little more:
Practice body neutrality.
It’s ok not to love everything about your body! We all have things we want to improve. It’s important to remember that your value isn’t in your shape or size. When the negative self-talk starts, counteract it. Build confidence and acceptance by shifting your focus away from your body and towards other parts of yourself. For example, if you successfully went to yoga three times this week, then celebrate that habit! Your body showed up for you and you were able to practice a healthy habit. That’s worthy of a celebration!
Focus on the healthy foods you eat.
By focusing on things that make you feel good about yourself and the body you have right now, you’re practicing a positive form of self-care. Eating healthy because it fuels your body and sharpens your mind or exercising to feel strong and energized are great examples of health-focused self-care. Rather than focusing on doing things to change your body, focus on those things that make you feel better about how you care for yourself.
Buy clothes for who you are now.
Let’s face it, we often buy or hang on to clothes for the body that we don’t have now. We tell ourselves that “one day” we’ll fit into those pants or that dress. Those clothes become a reminder of the body you don’t have and become a trigger for that negative self-talk. Instead, consider buying clothes for who you are now. Wearing something that feels comfortable will help you feel better about the body you have today.
Make some adjustments to your social media.
What we feed our mind matters. When we are constantly fed messages and images that tell us what we should look like, we set ourselves up for negative self-talk. If you find you’re comparing yourself to what you see in a post, you might want to consider unfollowing that account (or, at least, snoozing it for 30 days). Don’t follow accounts that don’t make you feel good about yourself. Instead, find social media that celebrates a diversity of size, color, shape, gender, and abilities.
Making a couple of small changes in your daily routine can lead to a completely different outlook. You can free yourself from that negative self-talk and begin to be the authentic and beautiful you that everyone will love…even you!