Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you say affirmations in the mirror or break out your journal. Nor are we going to talk about makeup, hair, or diet tips. In the spirit of fighting The Beauty Myth, we’re going to get just a little Oprah-Remembering-Your-Spirit-ish here and share some of our ideas about how to make yourself feel good — a close cousin, incidentally, to a dear feminist concept expressed by Audre Lorde known as “self care”: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Here, some ways to indulge in a little positive warfare — share your ideas with us as well!
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Important corollary: Ditch anyone who makes you feel like crap.
Wear only stuff that makes you feel good. You know that top that every time you take it out, you’re like, Ugh, why did I buy this? Donate it to a thrift store. It will fit someone else better and then they can feel how you wish you always did in it.
Put yourself out there. Sing, perform, speak. Once you get through it, even if it doesn’t go perfectly, you’ll feel good just for trying and overcoming your fears. If you kick ass at it, you’ll feel even better. Warning: You’ll probably get addicted to this feeling and have to go to karaoke every week. For example. Not that this has happened to us.
Spa day! At home is cool. Or at the spa, if you and your bank account roll like that.
Meditate. Here’s one very simple, solid beginner’s primer.
Watch a movie or listen to music that lifts your spirits. Our feminist playlist, for example.
Play up your favorite feature of yours. This is as dangerously close to a beauty tip as we’ll get: If you put awesome lipgloss on your awesome lips, this will remind you how awesome they are. Do it.
Volunteer. This will make you feel great about yourself and remind you that the extra 5 pounds you allegedly have to lose is not really that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.
Put down the damn magazine. Looking at Brooke Burke’s abs or Olivia Wilde’s skin is not doing anyone any favors. They’re genetic wonders and also probably Photoshopped, not reality.
Create something. Women are the innovators of the world!
Do everything that our favorite personal trainer, Elyse Sparkes, tells you to do here, in this post on The #1 Exercise to Get Your Best Body for Spring. Then come back here.
Buy yourself flowers.
Carve out some alone time.
Read. Reading is always sexy.
Hang out with girlfriends. The kind that make you feel good.
Exercise. This fixes almost everything in the world.
Go outside. This will improve your mood no matter what season.
Have sex. With yourself or someone else. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Indulge in something you’re passionate about.