Our late teens and early 20s can be a tricky time and space to navigate. The Butterfly Foundation have provided some tips for the days when you just don’t feel yourself. Include them in your daily routine for a happier, more confident you.
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It’s fun becoming more independent, but becoming an adult can suck at times. Bodies changing, unpredictable moods and tricky relationships… some days are just… ugh! Not to mention that we are constantly bombarded with images detailing every aspect of people’s lives including their food, outfits, exercise regimes, events and, quite frequently their bodies.
There’s no doubt it can all feel overwhelming at times and we might notice ourselves making comparisons that leave us feeling less than good about ourselves. Here are some simple ways to deal:
‘Me time’ has become a bit of a buzz word, but that’s because it is so important. Taking time for yourself to do what makes you happy is invaluable. Always saying ‘yes’ and over-committing can impact on our energy and ability to challenge those self-critical thoughts.
Set aside ‘me time’ and create a ‘self-care box’ to pick activities from.
Take a walk outside, read a book outdoors, go for a swim, anything you enjoy that gets you out of the house. You will be surprised the effect a little bit of Mother Nature can have on the mind.
On average, we are spending 9 hours a day on social media. Seriously. Spending too much time online can directly impact our sleep, mood and how we feel about our bodies. Take a break from social media and unfollow accounts that result in comparisons or self-critiquing. Even better; go one step further and start following pages that inspire and spread positive messages and which align with your interests. Your feed will have a totally new look and feel.
There is no other way to say this, but what you believe to be perfect, the next person won’t.
Part with perfection.
There is no such thing as ‘perfect’. There is no other way to say this, but what you believe to be perfect, the next person won’t. So quite simply, perfect does not exist! Actually, striving for perfection has been proven to be linked to procrastination and, more seriously, body image concerns and eating disorders.
Ditch the inner critic.
Imagine if we spoke about a friend the way we speak about ourselves? It is so much easier said than done, but practice speaking kindly about yourself (and others). Where to start? One way is by accepting and listening to compliments particularly if they are about what kind of person you are and the things you’re doing well at rather than shutting them down. We can use these comments as reminders of our worth when the inner critic won’t shut-up.
Unfortunately, we will all experience days where we may not like the way we look or feel confident in our skin. It is OK to feel this way. However, if you notice that these feelings are quite frequent, long-lasting or affecting your mood or behaviours, it is a good idea to chat to someone you trust; whether that be a friend, family member, or a Helpline just to talk through your current feelings.
Remember, you are never alone and there is always someone to talk to. If you are feeling down about your appearance, reach out for support! Contacting The Butterfly Foundation National Helpline is a great start (details below).
Most importantly: you do you!
Your appearance does not equate to your worth.
In fact, do this tomorrow: ask a friend what they like most about you. I can almost guarantee it will have nothing to do with your looks.
If you, or anyone you know is experiencing an eating disorder or body image concerns, you can contact The Butterfly Foundation. Details below.