Fitness and fad diet challenges be damned! Here are five challenges that will actually make you feel good about who you are.
1. Every time you bash yourself, say something nice to yourself in return.
Everyone has heard the saying, “You’re always your own worst critic.” Now it’s time to do something about it. Every time you catch yourself saying something degrading, hurtful or damaging—basically anything you wouldn’t say to a friend—combat it. Think of it as a mental swear jar, but instead of paying a dollar every time you swear, pay yourself a positive thought every time you slap yourself with an insult. Talk back to the negative self-talk.
2. Take one selfie a day for the next week.
I am all about the selfie. I didn’t really understand the phenomenon for a while, but I love it now. Why? It encourages self-love. Take one on a day when you’re freshly showered and fully made up. Take one on a day when you’ve just gotten out of bed and brushed your teeth. Find things you love about yourself in both scenarios. Take selfies with your friends and family—on difficult days, you can look at those pictures to remind yourself of their love and support in your life.
3. Be vulnerable with someone.
Is there something you’ve really wanted to say to someone, but you’ve felt too awkward, shy, scared, or nervous to do so? Here’s your sign to say what you need to say. When you voice how you truly feel to a friend, parent or significant other, you feel a sense of authenticity in your relationships and will slowly feel more confident about using your voice. This can also come in the form of speaking out about a subject you are passionate about, such as body image, feminism, etc. Speaking out about global issues can make you feel like they’re making a difference in the world and could inspire others to speak out too.
4. Wear something you’ve been dying to wear, but have felt too body-conscious or worried about what others will think.
I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to buy clothing items or accessories that I loved in the store, but are a bit out of the box or more revealing than I’m used to. To wear these things, I have to be feeling pretty confident that day. But why is it such a struggle if these items are so uniquely me? I dare you to be yourself, despite the boundaries you may feel have been imposed on you.
5. Make time in your schedule to do something you enjoy.
If you have a busy work or school schedule, it can be easy to lose sight of the goodness of life. Carve out three slots in your schedule this week to do things that you’ve wanted to do, but haven’t had the time for. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and ask them what’s new in their life, paint your nails, treat yourself to a facial, or go outside and play basketball. This will give you a break from the daily routine and give you more energy to work through the day.
Danielle Lowe is a 19-year-old LA native going to the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Danielle is currently studying music therapy and contemporary voice. In the future, she hopes to bring music therapy to more eating disorder treatment centers.