Do you love yourself? Do you take good care of yourself and train yourself to ignore the media’s messages about how women are SUPPOSED to look and act?
If you read this blog, I’m guessing you’re already following at least some of the suggestions below, and that’s a very good thing, because while the media constantly tells you to hate yourself and your imperfections, we both know you are wonderful – just the way you are.
10 ways to love yourself as a woman:
1. Throw out your bathroom scales. Seriously. Do it now.
2. Eat well, and never starve yourself. Try to eat five small meals each day, make sure your plate is filled with colorful fruit and veggies before you add protein and starch, and forget about counting calories.
3. Take care of your body. Engage in moderate exercise 3-4 times per week, but find something you actually enjoy doing, and preferably outside in fresh air, such as walking, rollerblading, biking, hiking or skiing. If your schedule only allows you to get fresh air and exercise on the weekend, don’t fret about it too much. Just do your best.
Photo credit: Matt From London
4. Love what you see. When you look in the mirror, train yourself to focus on your best features and ignore your “imperfections.” I read somewhere that when women stand naked in front of a full-length mirror, their eyes are immediately drawn to the areas they’re unhappy with. Shouldn’t we stop doing that?
5. Be nice to yourself. Replace that negative self-talk you’re so good at with positive self-talk. My daughter recently changed the screen saver on her laptop to say “Welcome back. You’re awesome.” Shouldn’t we all follow her example?
Photo credit: lboogiepeace
6. Stop reading women’s magazines. You might think they provide harmless entertainment, but they are damaging your self esteem. Cosmo is notorious for teaching young women that a man’s needs come first, but Vogue and the others are not much better.
7. Take a self-defense class. It’s a great exercise, and the skills you acquire could empower you in dangerous situations.
Photo credit: benjieordonez
8. Educate yourself about advertising, the motives behind it and why advertisers use women’s bodies to sell. Being aware of the messages advertisers in particular, and the media in general, send will help you filter out these harmful messages. Unfortunately, they will continue to shape society’s perceptions of women.
9. Reject the notions that a woman must suffer for beauty, and that “beautiful” has just one definition. During my teens, in the late eighties, I desperately wanted to look like the models I saw on magazine covers: blond, blue-eyed and tan. I hated my dark hair and pale skin. It took me several years to realize there’s more than one way to be beautiful.
10. Support other women. When you support other women, you are supporting yourself. So, when a woman announces she is running for office, try not to shred her to pieces right away. There’s nothing wrong with supporting a candidate “just because she’s a woman,” provided she’s as qualified for the job as other candidates. In most cases, she is.
Photo credit: mikebaird