Exploring your body image habits
Our bodies do not define who we are. Check out a few things that you can do to help you build a better relationship with your body and improve your overall well-being.
Remember that changing how you look will not change how you feel about yourself.
We all live in different and unique bodies. Your body will try to stay within the range it was born to be in. Trying to majorly change this is not sustainable and can come with many costs – including to your mental health. While it may be difficult, try changing your beliefs and attitudes about your body. You can do this by focusing on the things in life that you enjoy, and how your body allows you to engage in these things. For example, I love painting! My hands allow me to paint detailed designs while my legs hold me up for long periods of time.
Recognize that your weight is not a measure of self-worth.
Your self-worth is your view of yourself as a whole person – your personality, your kindness, your talents, the contributions you make with your family, friends, community, and so much more. Your weight is just weight. Don’t let it be any more important than that.
Think about the things in life that you feel grateful for, bring you joy, or make you smile.
What hobbies do you enjoy? How do you feel when you’re spending time with loved ones? Does being outdoors bring you joy? Make a list of your favourite pastimes, your characteristics, your accomplishments – all the things that aren’t related to your appearance. Add more to this list as you become aware of the things you like about yourself and go over them if you begin to feel bad about yourself. By focusing on things outside our bodies that feel more positive, we can disconnect from those voices in our head that tell us that our body needs to be different than the way it is.
Notice how images on media and social media influence how you think you should look, and how you feel about yourself.
The images and filters you see on media and social media are often altered and unrealistic. If you feel poorly about yourself when scrolling, challenge what you see! Are the images real? Have they been edited? Do they show the whole story? Remember, your worth does not depend on how closely you fit these idealistic images. It is okay to unfollow accounts that don’t make you feel good about yourself, and to follow accounts that promote a more positive self-image.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and your body image.
It is easier to feel good about yourself when you are around others who are more at peace with themselves and their own bodies. Finding others who appreciate you can help you accept – and even feel good – about yourself! We know this can be hard, so be patient with yourself as you re-evaluate some of the friendships and relationships in your life.
Engage in a self care activity – something that lets your body know that you are working on taking care of it.
Think about growing a plant: when you water it properly, and give it the right amount of sunlight, the plant tends to flourish! The same applies to our bodies. Some examples might be taking a long bath or hot shower, going for a walk, going to bed early, or doing some gentle stretching. By taking care of our bodies, we are more likely to feel comfortable in them.
Acknowledge what your body can do.
For example, your arms make it possible to give a hug, your face allows you to make expressions! Your body, all of it, is truly a masterpiece. It isn’t an enemy that needs to be controlled or is at fault. You might even like to write a thank you letter to your body about being your greatest ally!
Talk to someone you trust or feel comfortable around.
While vulnerability may be hard at first, it can be helpful to talk through what you’re feeling. Reaching out can be valuable, whether it’s to a trusted friend, family member, teacher, coach, or someone who has been there too, like a Peer Support Worker. Not sure where to start? Check out our Get Support section.