We could all benefit from being kinder to ourselves. It’s definitely something we should think about, especially at this current moment in time.
How we talk to and treat ourselves has just as great an impact on our mental well-being as other people’s behaviour towards us does.
Replace that to-do list with this ditch list and start giving yourself a little love!
Ditch the filters!
When was the last time you posted a photo or video of yourself on social media without a filter? How many times have you thought, “I wish I really looked like this!” Have many times have you experienced disappointment when returning back to your unfiltered face? I know I’ve often thought how dull and unattractive I look compared to how I look under the guise of a filter. Filtered images do not represent the reality of how people really look though. A desire to look an insta-perfect filtered way is unattainable and if obsessed over can damage your mental health. Being confident in your own skin isn’t easy, but it can be made harder if you are constantly comparing a filtered image of yourself with what you see in the mirror. Next time you take a photo or video of yourself, ditch the filter and start to love the real you.
Ditch the desire for validation!
Okay let’s be honest, how many of us have posted a photo or video on our profile or story and then gone back to it 5 minutes later to check who has liked it or who has seen it? Why do we do this?! It hard to deny that every like or watch makes us feel good and the more likes or watches we receive, the better we end up feeling. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with posting that selfie that you really like with confidence or posting news of an achievement with pride and there’s definitely nothing wrong with raising a smile when one of your friends gives your post a love heart. It’s a lovely feeling knowing your friends are behind you. We should however watch that we aren’t posting things merely to seek approval. Wanting more likes, checking constantly for new likes and comparing how many likes you have to someone else are all warning signs that your use of social media is becoming unhealthy. Likes are not a measure of self-worth and seeking validation in likes can result in becoming reliant upon them to maintain a positive perception of yourself. Next time you post, ask yourself what’s the purpose of this post, will the number of likes it receives matter and if so, why? Start to look inside yourself for acceptance and love, not to others. It shouldn’t matter what they think!
Ditch the guilt!
Life is a busy business. Fact! We often find ourselves having to make difficult choices about how we spend our time. Sacrifices have to be made to ensure we can stick to work or family commitments. When we can’t fit everything in, we can be hit hard with guilt, especially when we feel like we have let someone down. Rather than focusing on what you haven’t done, concentrate on what you have. Rather than focusing on what someone else has done, concentrate on what you’ve done. Ultimately, spending time feeling guilty about the stuff you haven’t done this week or those long-term goals you haven’t achieved yet doesn’t change anything and it doesn’t make you feel any better. It just wastes time and energy. It shouldn’t always be about what you’ve got left to accomplish. Instead, you should look at how far you’ve come. Don’t dwell in guilt, ditch the guilt!
Ditch pulling yourself down!
Do you find yourself making fun of the way you look when you are with your friends, your family, your other half? Have you posted jokey social media posts about the way you look or shared funny memes relating to how you think you look? I think we all do this a lot more than we realise. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be able to laugh at yourself. But if we constantly make fun of the way we look, we are effectively pulling ourselves down all the time. Sometimes we do this as a means of self-protection. It’s the logic of making fun of yourself first before others have the chance to. You’ve said it first so there’s no need for anyone else to repeat it. By putting on this, ‘I don’t care, I think it’s funny’ front, it’s saying to the world, ‘You will gain nothing from teasing me.” I also think there is definitely still a stigma around being a confident woman, even today when there are so many confident female role models in the public eye. There is a fear of seeming vain, stuck up and full of yourself. Start replacing all the negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Start by paying yourself one compliment a day and giving yourself one pat on the back.
Do you dodge the mirror to avoid looking at yourself so you can hide from your own reflection? Or do you cover up in baggy, ill-fitting clothes to hide your shape or refuse to leave the house without a thick layer of make-up on to hide your bare face? Whether you’re hiding from yourself, hiding from others, or both, you are most likely struggling with your self-image. How you look does not define your self-worth but this can be tough to believe when we live in a seemingly image-obsessed society. Learning to love how you look may seem like an utterly impossible task but it is one we should all embark on and persevere with. This starts with looking in the mirror and getting comfortable with what you see. The more we hide from the mirror or avoid seeing our bare face or body, the more alien our real image becomes to us. It becomes something we can’t connect with and therefore something we can’t learn to value and appreciate. When looking at yourself in the mirror, it’s easy to go into autopilot mode and start listing all the things you don’t like about yourself. You have to break this habit and start listing the things you do like, even if you can only come up with a small list to begin with. Gradually over time you will get used to what you see and hopefully you will be able to come up with a longer list. Becoming body confident can be really freeing and make a massive difference to your well-being.