I’ve really enjoyed doing a body confidence month and can’t believe this post is the final instalment! As much as I’m looking forward to writing about a broader range of subjects again, this certainly won’t be my last ever body confidence related post; it’s an issue I feel so passionately about! We’re all human, and we all have days we’re not totally feeling ourselves, which is why I wanted to write today’s post. I’ve been on a huge journey when it comes to my perceptions of my body, and although I’m now generally a very body confident person, I still have those days where I’m just not loving everything about myself – I think we all do from time to time. One of my questions on the survey I put out was ‘Are there any activities you take part in that improve your body confidence?’ I really enjoyed reading the responses to this question, so I wanted to put together a little list of activities you may want to try if you’re feeling down about yourself, compiled from both my own ideas and common responses to my survey.
- Exercise. This was by far the most common response in the survey and I totally agree with it. Not just exercise, but the right kind of exercise can do wonders for your body confidence. It’s really worth finding a sport you love, whether it be walking, going to the gym or playing in a team. Personally, what I love about exercise is how powerful and strong it makes me feel. I mostly lift weights in the gym, and I think this helps me to love my body because it takes the focus away from how it looks, and onto what it is capable of doing. My perspective on my body has changed massively since I started the gym, and now my goals are much less aesthetic and more to do with what I can achieve (ie. lifting a certain amount or nailing a new exercise), which I find really helpful.
- Wearing an outfit or makeup look that you love. I’m a huge fan of this one myself; I find that taking pride in my appearance really helps me to love the way I look and generally stand taller and more confidently. This is definitely a weird one because I guess it could be argued that body confidence is about loving yourself all the time and not just when you’re ‘dressed up’. I find, however, that taking care of my appearance (whether it be outfits, skincare or different makeup looks) is a great form of self-care which makes me feel empowered and strong.
- Yoga/mindfulness. This was one that come up a good bit in the survey, and it’s something I need to work on. I absolutely LOVE yoga but just don’t make time for it often, which is a shame. Mindfulness is a really great technique as well, and is very easy to implement into daily life. Mindfulness basically means living in the moment and focusing on what you’re doing. It could be something as simple as washing the dishes and focusing on the way the water and warmth feels, rather than thinking about 1000 other things at the same time. Meditation is also a form of mindfulness, and is great to do before you go to sleep at night. I find being mindful and trying to focus on less all at once is really calming, which has a knock on effect on the way I feel about other aspects of myself/my life.
- Reading positive material. The jury is out on self-help books; I think you either love them or hate them. Personally, I love a good self-help book, and reading them really helps me to take control of my life. This might not seem massively related to body image, but above all else I’m a huge believer that it’s best to take a holistic approach in life. If I’m feeling good about what I’m doing, the space I’m living in and other areas of my life, body confidence seems to come quite naturally.
- Take care of your body. And by this I don’t mean to obsessively ‘eat clean’ and exercise 700 times a week, what I mean is to do things that make your body feel good. For me, this means eating delicious and nutritious meals whenever I can, but also treating myself regularly without feeling guilt. Going to the gym also makes me feel great, but being obsessive about it completely reverses those positive effects. Don’t think too deeply into this one – do some exercise if you want to, stay at home and watch a movie if you want to! Learn to cook some nutritious foods that you will love and eat them regularly. Enjoy the taste of an amazing desert if you go out. Essentially, just live your life in a healthy way, but remember that healthy does not mean the same thing for everyone.
I want to say a huge thank you again to everyone who participated in my survey, I’ve found it so interesting and as I said before, body confidence is a topic I most certainly won’t be leaving behind now the month is over!