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Help me feel body-confident!
This can be applied to more than your body…. Feel more confident overall.
We love summer, but it’s stressful to bare body parts that have been under wraps all winter. Here are easy ways to shore up your confidence.
Be Kind to You – Broaden your view
When you’re convinced others are judging you, remind yourself this isn’t true, it’s a distortion, says expert Susan Krause Whitborn PhD.
To bring this point home, ask yourself what you notice about others. For example, when you walk by a woman pushing her grandchild‘s stroller, you don’t see old hands gripping the handles; you see the joy in her face. This principle applies to us all: it’s not our appearance that makes a lasting impression, it’s the good we exude.
Show Yourself Love
No one is delighted when they look in the mirror and see their mother, or their grandmother, says expert Carol Osborne PhD with a laugh. Well, at least not at first. “My grandmother had a big belly as she got older, and when I saw that in my reflection, I hated it, but when I said to myself, if I loved my grandmother with her bump, I have to show myself the same compassion.“ This acceptance is a spiritual practice, she says. I’m not in control of everything, but I am in control of how I treat myself.
When we feel less than great about ourselves, we often want to hide away, but sharing what we’re going through helps us feel better faster, assures expert Amanda Martinez Beck. “Just tell a trusted friend, ‘I’ve been struggling with X insecurities, and I wonder if you have too’. “Solidarity is so important to boosting confidence.
Spark Strength – Honor your purpose
The purpose of our bodies is not perfection, it’s the relationships they allow with others, declares back, who jots this mantra on sticky notes to keep it top of mind. I know so many women of all ages are embarrassed by their arms, for example, she says. Focus instead on what your body does for you, by saying things like, ‘my arms are strong enough to hug my kids, or my thighs support my grand kids on my lap.’ Purpose trumps perfection every time.
It’s just as bad for our self-esteem to pretend nothing has changed about our appearance over the years as it is to get upset over every new age spot, says Whitborn. The first time you notice more wrinkles around your eyes, it’s disorienting and that’s OK. You can say, “I’m changing and I accept that things are softening around the edges.” The key is to gradually bring the shifts into your new identity as you get older by showing yourself grace.
Saver Future Memories
To boost your confidence in the moment, picture yourself 5, 10 or even 20 years from now, urges Beck. Envision yourself as an older woman/man thinking back on the present, what do you reflect on? Is it how you looked in a bathing suit or is it the memories you made on the beach with your family? Seeing your future self puts you in touch with your deeper values, sparing you to make the most of every moment.
Susan K Whitbourne PhD, Carol Orsborn PhD, Amanda M Beck
Woman’s World, June 2022