Megan Mulroy, LPC, NCC

It’s no secret that body image and low self-esteem is an issue that many people struggle with every single day. It’s also no secret that we are plagued by unrealistic images in the media that portray thin models or photoshopped celebrities as the norm. It can be really easy to compare yourself with these unrealistic images, and in turn feel pretty crummy about your body. 

Often times, when we feel bad about our body, we focus on changing our weight, diet, or exercise routine. Fad diets like Keto or South Beach have told us that they can change our lives! HIIT classes promise you that you’ll shed the weight and barre classes swear that you’ll have a ballerina body after a few sessions. Spoiler alert: these are often marketing schemes to get you to buy whatever workout regimen they are selling. Instead, I’ve compiled a list of ways here to feel better about your body that have nothing to do with diet, weight, or exercise. 

Develop a New Skin Care Routine: Finding the time to tone and moisturize your face every day is a great routine to get into because it keeps your skin healthy; while also giving you an outlet to control something about your body that isn’t your weight. Controlling the products, you buy and when you apply them is a great and healthy alternative to fad diets and excessive exercise. It’s even more of a bonus when your skin is silky smooth! 

Get A Good Night Sleep (Consistently): Getting a good night’s sleep is possibly one of the best things you can do for your body. By getting the recommended time of sleep, your body will feel energized, alert, and ready to take on the day. When you don’t get enough shut eye, your body will feel slowed down and fatigued. 

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Water is truly a miracle drug. By drinking at least 64 oz of water a day, your skin, hair, and nails will thank you. Those mid-day headaches will disappear, and you may even have more energy than before. When you are properly hydrated, your body will have an easier time doing everyday activities and moving throughout the day. 

Reimagine Your Accessories: If you are anything like me, you are always looking for any opportunity to shop or spice up your wardrobe. Sometimes, the biggest confidence boost can come from pieces that aren’t tops, pants, or skirts. For example, a massive pair of hoop earrings or a flashy new belt buckle can turn an old outfit into a new piece! By focusing on accessories like bags, jewelry, hats, and scarves, we can feel great about our bodies and self-image without having to actually buy new clothes. 

Introduce Empathy into Your Life: It can be easy to be our bodies’ worst critics, but we rarely take a pause and ask ourselves why we are being so harsh to our body. Think about everything in your life that may be affecting weight gain, weight loss, or dissatisfaction with your image. Could there be a pandemic? Stress at home? Relationship issues? Be nice to you! 

Practice Gratitude:  Think about all the things your body is capable of doing for you. Your legs let you walk anywhere you want to go. Your brain allows you to think critically and succeed academically and professionally. Your eyes allow you to see beautiful sunsets. Your arms allow you to hold your child. 

Working on your self esteem is an ongoing journey and can be difficult to work through on your own. Speaking with a licensed professional is a good start on your journey to self-acceptance, and I can whole- heartedly say that I would not be at a place of body acceptance without my own therapist. Do not hesitate to reach out to Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 should you wish to connect with one of our amazing therapists!