Lately my days have been impaired by bad body-image. When my body-image is bad, I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to get dressed. I don’t want to go out. And most of the time I don’t want to eat. But sadly, no of these things are an option. So, somehow, I have to more or less “suck it up” and do it anyway, but that doesn’t mean I should do it at the expense of my physical, mental or emotional stability.
During these days, in order to “suck it up,” I take part in some necessary self-care activities.
In this post, I have compiled a list of my favorite self-care activities for these stressful days.
1. Start your day with Meditation or light yoga.
As soon as you realize that it’s one of those days, (for me, that is usually as soon as I get up and pass by my mirror) take about 5-10 minutes for yourself of some meditation/deep-breathing or yoga. It is a great way to relax yourself and your body before your day. It will help you connect with your body and realize what it does for you rather than focusing on what it looks like. For days where you may have a little more time to take the full ten minutes, I recommend this Guided Meditation for Positive Body Image.
2. Where something you feel comfortable and confident in.
If you have a job that may have a strict uniform policy or a school that requires a uniform (like me), you my not always have this option but if you are off on this day or you have a more relaxed uniform code, I recommend this. I use this tip for when I have a bad body image day on the weekend or a day off from school. I wear my favorite outfit (besides sweatpants and t-shirt). If I wear something I like, my self-esteem feels a tad better despite my negative body image.
3. Before the end of the day, do something you enjoy.
This could include reading a good book, watching a movie, drawing or painting, playing a board game or painting your nails. Try to engage yourself in the activity and be fully present. You can even ask a friend or family member to join you. It will help you focus on something outside of what you look like. It will get you OUT OF YOUR HEAD. Distracting yourself from the problem isn’t always recommended, but sometimes it’s what you need.
4. Share with someone you trust how you feel.
It could be a therapist, friend or family member. Keeping it inside can make you feel worst sometimes just telling someone makes you instantly feel better. If you want advice let them offer some but if you just want to “vent” then establish that boundary beforehand. Let them know that you really just want someone to listen.
5. End your day with a nice bath.
I absolutely love taking a long bath after a tough day. I will light a candle put in some bubble bath and turn on my favorite music. Sometimes I even turn on my Recovery Playlist that you can find in my side-bar. I’m giving you permission to stay in the bathtub as long as you wish just make sure if you have school or work the next day, you get to bed at a decent time. For me taking a bath makes my mind and body feel more relaxed and ready for bed so I can feel rejuvenated for the next day.
Bad body image days “suck.” I don’t like to use that word but it accurately describes them. Using these self-care ideas can help you make it through the day without resorting to some old coping behaviors. It is important that you always take care of your well being because it is the most important thing. If you don’t feel good, you won’t be able to put your best foot forward during the day and you might even take it out on someone.
Take care of yourself.