Practicing self-love and body positivity is a crucial part of self-identity. Without the confidence that comes from that practice, you find yourself relying more on others rather than yourself to be happy. For me, it was a way of growing up. It took a moment for me to realize that I needed to appreciate all aspects of myself to be completely happy. Trying to find that happiness and acceptance through someone was impossible. Spending a significant amount of time in my campus apartment during quarantine taught me a few inexpensive and personal ways to love myself.
1. Play with your wardrobe. People feel confident and comfortable in different things.body positivity bathing suit GIF by TargetGiphy
People aim to be the size they are not, leaning more towards the body types their celebrities typically build and promote. I hated being so tall and 'box-shaped'; I wanted more than anything to be short and curvy. One way I learned to overcome this behavior towards my body was oversized clothes. I would buy shirts and sweatpants that were two sizes larger than usual to feel like I was an average size person. I still wanted that curviness and so I would tuck my shirt in slightly to give the illusion of a tiny waist. I cheated my eyes to believe that I was small. It's not perfect but I learned to love how I looked over time. Some people might feel more comfortable with smaller sized clothing but this is how I learned to feel confident.
2. Discover the best parts of your body with poses.Natalie Wood Vintage GIF by FilmStruckGiphy
I seemed to always have the worst luck with people taking pictures of me. They capture the most unflattering angles, and I don't want to tell those people that they can't post that group photo because I feel awful about myself. The best way to avoid those feelings is by getting to know your body personally through poses and finding those angles that show the best you. Having a camera with a timer can boost confidence and avoid 'bad' photos.
3. Get rid of the things associated with bad memories.Angry Trash Can GIF by United Wrestling NetworkGiphy
Sometimes people have things stored in their belongings that reflect different times, maybe times that are not so pleasant. I donated a lot of the things I wore as a preteen; not because it was out of style or didn't fit but because it reminded me of how bad and uncomfortable I felt in them. I tried my best to wear them in public but they always brought up bad memories. Getting rid of things like that prove the idea "out of sight, out of mind". It's the same bittersweet feeling a person experiences finally deleting those pictures of an ex.
4. Keep a journal for the good and bad thoughts.angry issa rae GIFGiphy
There are a lot of stressful things we experience in life. Venting out to yourself is the best cure to find closure about whatever is happening. Writing in a journal captures all sorts of thoughts including the ones we might regret saying out loud. I remember I had a really bad day at work and I was so angry with no one to vent to. A personal journal gives you the comfort to say how you truly feel without any judgment besides your own. It is also an easy way to remind yourself about who you are and where you come from because it's a time capsule of your most memorable moments.
5. Learn a thing or two about something that could make you happy.exercise dancing GIFGiphy
This is advice towards anything you could dedicate your time to whether it be a new friend or some sort of craft or hobby. It's is easier to embrace new things when you learn more about them. It builds a well-rounded character and a sense of relief that you're someone you can rely on for the simplest things and somewhat interesting (crazy, right?). In time, you also find yourself more confident and accepting of the way your body moves because you have put it under so many conditions that require different motions.
It takes a lot more effort to find the good parts about this year even when a part is also yourself. You sort of forgot what you were like before the pandemic and these tips could help you ease back to the person you once were. It's helping me but not everything is a straight line to success.