I’ve always had issues with my skin, but a few years ago things got worse. I developed hyper pigmentation on my forehead and perioral dermatitis on my chin. Despite doing everything I could think of (cutting out dairy, gluten, and all sugar, eating plenty of healthy fats, taking supplements, staying well hydrated, exercising daily, focusing on stress reduction, and balancing my hormones) nothing seemed to make a difference. I tried a variety of non-toxic skin care products, oil cleansing, jade rolling, and skin brushing. I saw an acupuncturist, naturopath, and dermatologist and still saw no improvement. The longer my breakouts and PD persisted, the more time I spent looking in the mirror, obsessing over my skin, hating myself, feeling like a failure, and wallowing in shame every time I had to show my face in public.
Last week I posted on Instagram about my struggle with negative body image issues. In response, I received dozens of inspiring and supportive comments that have helped me feel less alone and more hopeful. I wanted to share some of them with you here. If you are struggling with negative body image issues, I hope that some of these tips are helpful. And remember, you are not alone.
TIPS FOR COPING WITH NEGATIVE BODY IMAGE ISSUES:
- Fake it until you make it: Even when you don’t feel beautiful, repeating positive affirmations to yourself can start to build new neural pathways and reinforce positive thought patterns. If it’s too difficult to come up with positive affirmations about your physical body, try repeating positive affirmations about the ways your body supports you in your life. For example: “I love you mouth for helping me to sing, kiss my husband, and eat good food” or “I love you feet for helping me walk, run, dance, and explore nature.”
- Meditate: Meditation reduces stress and taps into the parasympathetic nervous system, improving the body’s ability to heal. Meditation is also a great way to break the cycle of negative self-talk, even for a few minutes and to begin to identify the root cause of your insecurity (for me it’s a deep seated fear of abandonment).
- Get outside: Connecting with nature reminds me that I am just a tiny part of this beautiful and imperfect universe and makes my body image issues seem less important in the scheme of things.
- Exercise: Exercise helps reduce stress and improve mood and helps me reframe my relationship to my body.
- Make self-care a priority: Focus on self-care practices that make you feel loved and cared for. Splurge, guilt-free, on those products or experiences that make you feel special.
- Perspective is everything: Remember that society’s standard of beauty is often unrealistic and unfair and doesn’t value diversity. Everyone is unique and beauty is subjective.
- Have gratitude for what really matters: Focus on how you care for others, the good work you do, and how you enrich the planet and the lives of those around you. Remember that the body is just a vehicle for the soul.
- Distraction is a valuable tool: Sometimes we need a little help. That might mean taking down your mirrors or covering up our imperfections with clothes or makeup.
- Be patient: Healing takes time.
Do you have other tips to share? Comment below. XO
These pops are creamy, tart, and refreshing and the perfect early summer treat. Be sure to check out all the other amazing popsicle recipes from #popsicleweek here.
Rhubarb Yogurt Pops
3 cups chopped rhubarb
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup honey
1 cup water
1/2 cup greek style coconut milk yogurt
Combine the rhubarb, vanilla bean seeds, honey, and water in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the rhubarb is soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer the rhubarb to a high speed blender, add the yogurt, and puree on high until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for several hours.