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What to Do When You’re Feeling Bad About Your Body

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“I spend a lot of time reassuring myself that my body is no different on those ‘ugh’ days than it is on the days when I feel great about myself. I remind myself that when I am feeling low, it tends to be chemical—often a few days before my period—so I tell myself not to wallow in those feelings, allowing them to take hold for longer than the hormones keep me there. I try to recognize the feelings for what they are and then go about my day.”
-- Denise, 36

Every woman has days when she just can’t get dressed—days when she feels down and everything she attempts to put on looks awful in the mirror. Many of us know what causes these days—such as bad weather, waking up in the morning on the wrong side of the bed, or our menstrual cycle—but the feelings remain, even if we understand intellectually where they come from.

Each of us has different ways of dealing with our negative-body-image moments. Over the years I myself have come up with six easy ways to defeat the body blues. Perhaps they will help you.

1.Pamper yourself. Soothe your psyche by making time just for you. Try taking a long bath or shower, giving yourself a facial, or engaging in some other activity you find luxurious and restorative.

2.Get moving. Go for a stroll or do some stretching or yoga—any physical activity will elevate your mood.

3.Steer clear of fashion magazines. Typically they depict unrealistic body types.

4.Take the focus off yourself. Walk away from the mirror and pick up the newspaper or a book, watch a funny movie on television, or call up a friend.

5.Wear loose or unrestricting clothing. While you can’t put on your terrycloth robe if you have to go to work, you can take off the snug suit and the control-top pantyhose and choose a roomier outfit.

6.Tell yourself not to wallow in your negative feelings. Try to recognize that they are temporary—tomorrow is another, brighter day.

Sharon Fenster is a New York City publicist and writer. Contact her at [email protected]

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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