5 Things to Do When You Feel Bad About Your Body
How to Combat Bad Body Image Days
Do you ever look in the mirror and just hate everything you see? Of course you do. We all do. We all have those days where no clothes fit well, nothing seems to look good and you just feel blah about yourself.
I’ve learned there are two ways I can deal with days like that. I can sit in the negativity and let it ruin my whole day, maybe even my whole week. Or I can fight back and not give those negative feelings the power to ruin anymore of my time. The way I challenge those feelings looks different on different days, but here are five things you can do when you are feeling bad about your body.
Okay you don’t actually have to get sweaty, but move your body. It doesn’t matter if that is a run around the block, a killer weight workout, yoga in your living room or dancing with your kids, just move your body. It is challenging to feel bad about yourself when you are moving your body and having a great time. For me, it’s hard to feel bad about myself when I do a killer workout and feel how strong my body is.
There is one caveat here: do something you like to do or are good at. For me, trying and potentially failing at a new activity is only going to make me feel worse about my body. Doing something I feel awkward doing isn’t going to make me feel better. However, if challenging yourself with new activities makes you feel like a badass, then do that for sure.
If you are feeling bad about your body put on some music and get moving because it’s been proved that exercise releases feel-good endorphins and releases stress.
Make a Body Gratitude List
The first time I did this it felt really strange and a little bit silly but it totally worked. I’ve heard over and over that it’s impossible to feel negativity and gratitude at the same time. So when you are feeling a little blah about your body try making a body gratitude list. You can write it down, make a note on your phone, or just list them out in your head. However you do it, make a list of all the things about your body you are grateful for or all the things your body has helped you accomplished that you are grateful for.
Maybe you’re a mom and your body helped bring new life into this world. Maybe your body allows you to run races or just run around with your kids. Maybe your just grateful you were alive and able to get out of bed this morning. Whatever it is list it out, tell your body thank you for all the things it’s done for you and move on with your day. I promise it will make you feel better.
Wear Your Favorite Outfit
I have a handful of things in my closet at any given time that I know I feel good in, clothes I can put on and not have any thoughts about my clothing the rest of the day. Figure out what clothes you have that do that for you and if you don’t have any go buy some. Because wearing clothes that don’t fit or don’t make you feel good just plain sucks. Once you know what outfits and pieces you absolutely love you can pull them out of your closet on the days you need a little pick me up.
Take a Social Media Break
The last thing a person needs when they are having a bad body image day is to scroll through Instagram and see dozens of pictures of perfectly fit people with perfectly styled outfits with pretty lighting and backgrounds. Whenever I get on social media when I’m already in a bad mood it inevitably makes it worse. I immediately start thinking about what diet I should start next and how it’s not fair that someone with five kids looks that good. I start tearing about every single part of me because it doesn’t measure up to what’s on social media.
I, for the most part, have stopped following a lot of those people on Instagram and Facebook, because I just don’t need that pressure in my life. But even my Instagram feed that is full of body-positive, plus-sized and all-around uplifting women makes me feel bad about myself when I’m already in a bad headspace. Even if it’s for five minutes, take a break from social media and let your head clear before you pick-up your phone again.
Do Something That Has Nothing to Do With Your Body
There is so much more to you than your body. You have talents and gifts and dreams and goals that have nothing to do with how much you weigh or how you feel about your body. If you’re looking in the mirror and hating everything you see, go do one of those things. Read a book, watch a movie, call your best friend on the phone and have an actual conversation, cook something yummy, go for a walk, listen to your favorite music.
I personally like getting lost in a good romance book or listening to music as loud as I possibly can, but any hobby or activity you like to do will work. Anything that reminds you there are so many things about you that are more interesting and worth focusing on than your body.
Sit in Those Feelings
I know this is actually the sixth thing, but if you’re looking for a quick way to feel better about yourself this is not it. One of the things that has helped me the most on my body positivity and self-love journey is allowing myself to feel those negative feelings and asking questions about where they come from. No one is going to feel confident and positive 100 percent of the time, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with admitting you’re not feeling it today.
But I also believe there is so much power in asking questions about our emotions. Ask why, and keep doing it until you get to the bottom. It may be easy to answer the question, “Why do I feel bad about myself today?” In the past, my go-to answer to that question would’ve been, “Because I feel fat.” What if you kept going though? What if you kept asking questions like, “Why does being fat make me feel bad?” “Whose standards am I trying to live up to?” “Where are these feelings really coming from?”
It might get a little uncomfortable, but sitting with those negative feelings and trying to really understand where they are coming from is such a powerful thing. For me, it helped me realize that I was feeling bad about myself because of impossible societal standards and the opinions of people I didn’t even care about. Knowing what is driving your negative emotions is way more powerful in feeling good about yourself than distraction ever will be.