75% of women have cancelled a social engagement this Christmas, according to a recent survey. *
The reason given by the majority of women is because they are ‘having a fat day’. Christmas can be a challenging time for anyone with body confidence issues.
Women in particular suffer from an overload of stress at this time of year. The additional tasks of present buying, arranging family events, co-ordination of children’s extra activities, expected to attend social events.
Add into that mix a partner who is too busy to help or simply doesn’t ‘get the issue’. Perhaps he’s someone who thinks Christmas begins with shopping on 24th December, as he’s an Amazon Prime member?
As 73% of us suffer from body confidence issues all the time, add the demands of Christmas and it’s pressure cooker time!
Step 1, grab a cup of tea, take a few minutes out for yourselves and read my survival guide or my 5 top tips for improving your body confidence and self-esteem.
1. What bits of your body do you love?
Improve your body confidence several fold by identifying which parts of your body that you love and emphasizing them. Not sure what I mean? Let me give you a few examples.
- Cleavage – if you’ve got a great bust then show it off! Look for V Necks, Low necklines with detail, necklaces and pendants that draw attention to your lovely cleavage.
- Arms – got a great pair of arms then wear a sleeveless dress or top – you can always add a bolero, shrug or pashmina to keep you warm until the evening heats up!
- Legs – there are plenty of maxis with a split or mini skirts that will show your pins to best advantage.
- Shoulders – as an athletic body shape rather than downplay my broad shoulders and toned arms I like to show them off!
2. Make time for a Digital De-Tox
We find it very hard not to constantly check our social media feeds. This in turn gives rise to body confidence issues.
Inevitably we compare ourselves with our friends. We find ourselves lacking – we’re not as pretty, slim or having such a great time as everyone else.
Facebook has a negative impact on our mood and body image. This has been tested by research done by The University of SW Australia and the Centre for Appearance Research at West of England Universities.
Studies were carried out to compare the effects between social media and fashion/celebrity magazines. The negative effect of Facebook was greater.
My own view on this is because we can dismiss celebrity lives as being unattainable or unrealistic. However the lives of our friends are much more genuine and thus have a greater impact.
3. Back on the Treadmill again!
My recent blog post about exercise showed the effect this has on body confidence.
We can improve our body confidence by regular exercise.
Over the holiday period our routines get disrupted. We drink more alcohol, eat richer food, go to bed later and many of us have around 10 days holiday.
These factors contribute to a general feeling of lethargy and it takes a bit of motivation to kick our butts off the sofa and get moving!
But seriously you will feel better if you do something! Even if it’s just getting your boots on and heading out for a walk regardless of the weather, with 2 dogs we don’t have a choice and don’t have a day off walking. But even before we had the hounds I always got out for a run on Christmas morning and how good did that feel!
4. Body Confidence is linked to good nutrition
If you feel good about the way your clothes fit, you do not feel bloated or lethargic through eating the wrong foods, you will feel better about yourself.
You can eat well and enjoy Christmas. Let’s face it a Turkey Dinner has a lot of plus points from a nutritional perspective – lean white meat and fresh vegetables.
Okay so potatoes cooked in goose fat, stuffing, bread sauce, sausages wrapped in bacon aren’t quite so good! But indulging one day per year isn’t exactly the end of the world.
The mistake that we make at Christmas is eating too much throughout the holiday period, often without consciously realizing it. We snack on salty, high fat snacks and consume too much sugar and cream. Not to mention the number of calories we pour into our glasses!
If you over-indulge one day that’s fine, just balance this with ‘healthy’ days.
5. Body Confidence is affected by lack of sleep
In December office parties and additional stuff associated with getting ready for Christmas, play havoc with our sleep patterns. Add a few drinks too many into the mix and quality of sleep takes a nosedive!
If we are not rested and replenished from sleep, this affects our well-being in so many ways. We feel sluggish, cannot concentrate, we tend to become irritable and short-tempered, overly emotional.
One of the outcomes is likely to be that we do not feel so good about ourselves. If we are suffering from body confidence issues this will simply magnify the negative perception we have of ourselves.
Contrast this with getting enough good quality sleep. How much better do we feel after a good night’s sleep? We are more focused we enjoy a sense of well being about ourselves. We are more confident about ourselves.
Christmas is about giving?
How can you give anything unless you have something to give?
It’s the oxygen mask theory – we must ensure that we put on our own mask before helping others.
How can we be the perfect party hostess, darling daughter, ‘mazing mum, wonderful wife unless we feel good, confident and happy? We can’t is the simple answer. We need to take as much if not more care of ourselves than we do of others.
If we take care of ourselves, we’ll feel good about ourselves. We will not be resentful or over-tired we will be more relaxed and happy. It follows that either we will have more body confidence or somehow our body confidence issues will be relegated to a locked box in the attic!