In this post, I break down some helpful tools that actually help manage low body image days. As a formal disclaimer, I have body privilege (aka, thin privilege). As I was healing from my eating disorder, it was much easier for me to heal my relationship with food and my body because I live in a socially accepted body shape and size. However, I fully recognize that this privilege is not accessible to all. As individuals in this space continue to fight for weight inclusivity, and social justice, know that you are valued and supported just as you are.
The support that I share today is based on current research related to healing body image and emotion regulation practices as well as my personal experiences using these tools. Just like any coping skill or strategy, some may be helpful, whereas others may not be. You never know until you try!
Validating feelings is the act of not suppressing or ignoring your feelings as they come. Validating your feelings can look like:
“I am not feeling safe in my body today. I am frustrated, angry, sad, and uncomfortable. I am allowed to feel these feelings. I do not need to push these feelings away. I welcome these feelings to come and go.”
There are many different strategies that you can use to feel your feelings and all serve a unique purpose for different situations. I always say, try each of them out and identify which ones are your favorite and stick with that!
This tool can be so helpful on low body image days as it can help redirect your thoughts to something else going on around you. Discover what helps you feel comfortable and neutral! Consider putting on your favorite lounge pants like leggings or sweatpants (PJ’s welcome), a cozy crewneck, your favorite t-shirt, or an oversized cardigan. The goal here is to wear something that draws the least amount of attention to your body so that you can direct your thoughts to a different topic as you utilize your coping strategies.
I know it can be very tempting to measure your body mass on days when your thoughts are centered around body image. Our culture and society has taught us that this is exactly how we determine health!! However, that does not mean that is helpful. If you are someone who finds themselves stepping on the scale and experiencing uncomfortable feelings, this is a sign to avoid the scale on low body image days. Instead, practice shifting your mindset to qualities that make you, YOU!
Just like the urge to hop on the scale, the urge to body check in the mirror can be incredibly hurtful when your body image is already low. Check out this post here on 3 steps to break free from body checking.
If you are looking for more support in your recovery journey, come join my recovery community on Instagram. Want to learn more about my journey in recovery? Check out my podcast episode with Ryann here!
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Fill your space with calming scents using an aromatherapy diffuser. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus can help create a soothing atmosphere.
Comforting Tea or Hot Cocoa
Enjoy a warm and comforting beverage. Whether it’s a calming herbal tea or a cup of hot cocoa, the act of sipping and savoring can be soothing.
Wrap yourself in a cozy weighted blanket. The gentle pressure can provide a sense of security and promote relaxation, helping to alleviate stress.
Guided Meditation Apps
Use guided meditation apps or audio tracks to lead you through relaxation exercises. Apps like Headspace or Calm offer various sessions for stress reduction and mindfulness.
Light up a set of calming candles. The soft glow and subtle fragrance can create a tranquil environment, helping to shift your mood.
Take some time to journal your thoughts and feelings. Writing can be a therapeutic way to process emotions and gain clarity during challenging times.
Change into comfortable and soft loungewear. Wearing clothes that make you feel cozy can contribute to a sense of comfort and relaxation.
Engage in mindful coloring with an adult coloring book. This simple and creative activity can be a meditative way to focus your mind and alleviate stress.
Block out external noise with noise-canceling headphones. Listen to calming music, nature sounds, or even just enjoy the quiet to create a peaceful environment.
Use a heatable pillow or neck wrap to relax tense muscles. These items can provide comfort and relief, especially if stress has manifested physically.
Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach
Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.
I understand—it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Let's simplify things and have you start right here:
Why Am I Overeating?
First Steps To Stop Binge Eating
The Food Freedom Lab Podcast
the food freedom lab podcast