Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Delicious Confidence-Building Activities

My last post was about building confidence after a weird time of uncertainty and self-doubt. It's natural for us to have these times of insecurity, we're human! I ended my last post a bit cheekily (no pun intended), promising to reveal a list of activities that have been helping me to appreciate myself and my uniqueness. Does that sound a little selfish? There's a difference between being indulgently self-absorbed, and taking some time to appreciate and respect the body and brain you've been given. Whether you're an expert at confidence and self-appreciation, or are simply trying to pull out of a funk, you might find these practices to be helpful for moving forward with a center of joy.

Daily Give Thanks
When you wake up in the morning, always take a moment to realize how lucky you are. No life is perfect, but there is always something (usually many things) to be thankful for. Thank God, not just for your situation or possessions, but for the way you have been created. Break the negative cycle of believing you're never good enough. What are some things you like about yourself? Are you naturally motivated? An amazing cook? A deep intellectual thinker? Do you have perfect toes or killer hair? You're unique, so appreciate it.

Turn Your Exercise Routine Into a Ritual-of-Love
Exercise is so empowering when it's done right. It allows us to fully inhabit our bodies and appreciate what they are capable of. It creates discipline. It kills stress. Instead of making it a dreaded obligation, or a way to fix "disgusting thighs," exercise because you want to respect your body. This means: you must enjoy your exercise. For example, I hate running, but I like yoga and Pilates.
Also, make the time special. Do what you have to do: whether it's buying a matching yoga outfit, lighting candles, brewing tea, or entering into it with a positive attitude. Every time you think about exercising, override your past thoughts with new ones. I used to think "Oh, right, tonight I have to workout. Sigh." Now, I actively squelch that thought and replace it with: "Oh right, tonight I get to workout!"
It works.

Treat Yourself
Here's a question: if you're constantly indulging, is that cupcake or new shirt really a treat? You'll enjoy your treat twice as much if it truly is occasional. I started eating healthier after Christmas (less sugar, more greens, nice and simple). Now, when I get boba tea or chocolate now and then, I feel good about it. As you make progress, reward yourself. This could be a fun way to motivate yourself to workout, or to slow down spending habits. I've been working out regularly for almost 4 weeks, so I think a cupcake (5 cupcakes?) or a gel-manicure might be in order soon (or both!).

Put Yourself in Charge
When we put other people in charge who don't have our best interests at heart, we become worried about things that don't matter. Stop trusting in the world, and put yourself in charge. Your opinion matters the most, because you are your own best advocate. How did this translate for me? For one, I stopped reading beauty magazines for a while. Don't get me wrong, I love beauty inspiration, but I don't love how magazines always encourage me to buy things to make me feel worthy, or "up-to-date." I get to decide what I want to wear and look like. I get to decide what is beautiful.

Overhaul your Lingerie Drawer
I don't care if you're single, in a relationship, or live in a big house overrun with cats (actually, that sounds kind of wonderful, except for the litterboxes part), you should have panties and bras that you love, are comfortable, fit properly, and are your style. So many of us neglect this part of our wardrobe because no one ever sees it. It's easy to hide a bra that's falling apart underneath an adorable blouse (maybe a little harder to hide drooping boobs from a lack of support though? Hmm...). I also hear people complain about how expensive good underwear is. Frankly (and I will be frank, by golly!), this makes no sense. Of course good bras are expensive! They are a very important, complicated wardrobe item that you will wear over and over again, hopefully for more than a year if you wash them properly (AKA, never, ever, ever put them in the dryer). The fact that you might be the only person who is going to enjoy your lingerie is all the more reason to update your drawer: do it to appreciate and love yourself.
You won't regret it.



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