One of the most important elements of life is to build self-confidence and self-esteem. Without that, we can feel lesser, we’re more likely to accept worse treatment, and we can avoid putting our goals first in lieu of the plans of another.
For this reason, self-esteem is tantamount to self-care, because you have to believe yourself worthy of care in order to enact it. Luckily, this works the opposite way, too. If you care for yourself, then often you’ll begin to grow self-esteem, because why else would you look after yourself if you weren’t worth the effort?
However, sometimes these insights can come across as platitudes, especially when we feel insecure about ourselves. Most often, this comes in the way of feeling insecure about our bodies, which can be a real problem. After all, your body is working to keep you alive at all moments of the day, which is why we should give it a little credit.
Additionally, the ‘flaws’ or ‘blemishes’ you consider to be so unforgivable are likely not that bad in the first place, and so it can’t hurt to give yourself a little credit and celebrate yourself for being unique. In order to feel confident in your body again, especially after weight gain or a big change such as pregnancy, consider the following warm guidance. It’s the least you deserve:
Wear Clothing That Complements You
Many people think that if they can’t fit into, or don’t wear certain clothing as well, that this indicates something wrong with their figure or body type. That’s simply not true at all. No matter how you’re shaped, there’ll be something that looks good on you, that helps you feel confident, and gives you that feeling of beauty and empowerment, or whatever else you’re looking for.
For instance, finding the right swimwear is more than possible should you look to brands that prioritize quality garments overfitting some artificial standard that hardly any of their customers will reach. Feeling confident in your body means taking empowerment in the clothes you wear, rather than feeling defined by fitting into certain clothes. Perhaps some things, no matter what size you are, simply don’t work for you.
That’s fine, because the ratio of garments that will is entirely in your favor. It might be that throwing out those old jeans, re-establishing your style, and doing so unapologetically is key.
Celebrate Your Body
It can be healthy to celebrate your body to the degree you’re comfortable with doing that. This might involve wearing the accessories you find most enjoyable. It might also mean getting that getting a new treatment, dying your hair, or not being afraid to head to the beach.
Some people don’t really see the point in showing off, but they can still enjoy themselves by wearing clothes that help them feel great – be that trying a new flashy scarf in winter, or taking pictures of a new fit for their Instagram. Celebrating your body could simply involve going for a beautiful, relaxing massage again. This combination of efforts can help you realize that your body is never an enemy to be beaten into submission, but you, a friend to be nourished and nurtured.
Work Out (At Any Size)
Body positivity is essential and deserves our support, but it’s important to remember that there’s nothing quite as ‘body positive’ as taking care of ourselves. This means exercising too, because exercise is an essential element of unlocking our health and helping us live as our best selves.
Working out, at any size, then, is worth the effort. Depending on your current fitness level, you may choose different practices that you enjoy. For some, swimming three times a week is a fantastic means of feeling healthier and more actualized, and the benefits this has for your joints are also worth appreciating.
For some, it might be getting back into yoga, or dancing, or rowing, or simply hiking can help them gain that exercise while also focusing on a discipline that they love. It might be that heading with a friend in the new year can also give you that confidence to begin again.
Compare Yourself To Only You
It’s the easiest thing in the world to compare ourselves to other people. We can do this with anything. Someone might have longer hair than us, or drive a nicer car, or perhaps they’re more stylish, or they seem to have a more fulfilled personal life. But it’s important to recognize that we can never really see the full scope of someone’s life and what that implies.
For this reason, it’s important to compare yourself to you and only you. Don’t try to look like a figure in a magazine, although using their success story as inspiration can be healthy. Just focus on comparing yourself to who you were last week. If you’re better, then that’s great, you’ve already won. If you could do with improving, that’s fine, you can do that.
This can also go for certain bodily considerations, such as slowly building back our flexibility after pregnancy, or building back our lung capacity after suffering from a well-known respiratory virus.
Staying unapologetic for who you are is important (unless it’s one of those times where you need to be apologetic to someone you care about of course), and it will help you stop asking permission for being who you are, and having your body how it is.
After all, who requires your apology? Almost no one. If you’ve put on some weight, you can lose that, you don’t have to pretend that other people are inconvenienced by it out of some sense of obligation. Keeping that in mind can help you retain your self-worth going into the new year, and most importantly, it helps you stop judging yourself so incredibly harshly.
With this advice, we believe you’ll be sure to feel comfortable in your body again. An approach like that can teach you more about life than you may realize, and develop as the fundamental element of self-esteem.