Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tidbit to help boost your body image. For many of us, Mondays are tough. We may feel anxious and stressed out, anticipating an arduous week, especially if we didn’t get much rest and relaxation during the weekend. These kinds of feelings don’t create the best environment for improving one’s body image. In fact, you might be harder on yourself and easily frustrated. You might even feel like you’re walking on egg shells – with yourself! With these posts, I hope you’ll have a healthier and happier body image day, that’ll last throughout the week.
Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at [email protected], and I’ll be happy to feature it. It can be anything you do that’s healthy and helps boost your body image. I’d love to hear from you!
I was feeling pretty lousy about my body image a few weeks ago as I was packing for my trip to NYC, but something changed when I got here. Seeing my family helped put things into perspective and so did several other things we did this week, which I wanted to share with you.
The biggest takeaway? Get out there! Going outside and switching up your environment helps you refocus – and focus less on your supposed flaws.
So here’s what I did (and what might help you when you’re having a bad body image day):
- Went to the museum. We went to see the Picasso exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the works at The Frick Collection. I love looking at art because it’s a great example of what’s out there – that there’s so much more to life, so many definitions of beauty. Each artist defines beauty in different ways, whether that’s a thinner silhouette with a smaller waist or a rounder, softer shape with porcelain skin. And you know what? All these images are stunning. Art reminds me that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Looking at art also helped me focus my mind onto the rich history behind these works rather than my hips. It helped me look outward, instead of hyper-focusing on small flaws. It let my mind drift onto thoughts of beautiful places and fascinating stories. And that’s clearly more interesting, and better for my health!
- Took a walk. This is a great thing to do when you’re feeling disconnected from your body, which tends to happen when your body image is below zero. One of the days, my mom and I ran a few errands around Brooklyn. We put our comfy sneakers and clothes on, walked and talked the whole time. It felt invigorating to do a lot of walking (which, unfortunately, we don’t get to do in Florida), getting our bodies moving, focusing on the sounds of the city and just chatting about life.
- Enjoyed nature. For the 4th, we went to the Poconos. And it felt amazing – and so refreshing – to focus on the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, the mountains, flowers, animals (my cousin and his wife even saw a bear!), sky-high trees, interesting rock formations and quaint little towns. Again, instead of nit-picking, I breathed in the beauty all around me, all the beauty that’s greater than me.
- Savored meals. NYC has some of the best cuisine. As does my aunt’s kitchen. While there were times when I still felt tiny pangs of guilt after eating (mostly because I ignored my body and scarfed down food I barely tasted), overall, I tried to be mindful and savor each delicious bite. We tried many types of foods and several different restaurants. For us, many celebrations revolve around food, and food is both fuel and fun. So I focused on nourishing myself with various tasty foods and being mindful, letting eating become an experience.
- Went out. When we went to The Frick Collection, we spent the entire day in Manhattan. Later that night, we ended up at a nice bar with a fantastic live band. It felt so freeing to listen to great music, sip on a yummy cocktail and share a banana split with my mom. It might sound funny, but as I was clapping and singing the words of each song, I seriously felt the joy moving through my body, and my mood improving. I forgot all about my “flaws,” and focused on the music, my family and having fun.
So when you’re experiencing a bad body image day, the best thing you can do for yourself is to engage in activities that you enjoy, activities that get you out there participating in life – and having fun!
Today’s favorite posts. HealthyGirl interviewed Dr. Tiffany Stewart, co-founder of The Body Image Project, and included her insights in these two great posts: “The Source of Bad Body Image: It’s Not in Your Jeans” and “No More Bad Body Image: 7 Amazing Steps to Appreciating Your Shape.”
BTW, this week I’m featuring a fantastic interview with Michelle Lelwica about her book, The Religion of Thinness: Satisfying the Spiritual Hungers behind Women’s Obsession with Food and Weight. Stay tuned!
What do you do when you’re having a bad body image day? How do you put things into perspective? How are you spending your 4th of July weekend?