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8 things you can do to feel good that have nothing to do with your appearance

BY Amy Lilly

Close-up image of seven teenagers embracing each other and smiling at the camera. They are outdoors with the sun shining down on them.

In April, the Embrace Youth Crew hosted a ‘Feeling Awesome in April’ fundraiser, where they shared lots of wonderful tips for feeling good that have nothing to do with physical appearance.

As we know, we’re all so much more than our bodies, and feeling good doesn’t need to depend on how we look. We can feel awesome through moving our bodies, eating food that nourishes us, connecting with loved ones, exploring the world and so much more. 

Here are some of the Youth Crew’s top tips to try today!

1. Practice affirmations about embracing yourself and your body

Affirmations can really help to instil self-acceptance and confidence. After all, if words hold the power to make us feel bad about our bodies, they must also have the power to help us embrace ourselves as we are. Here are some of our favourite affirmations:

  • My worth is not determined by my appearance, I am valuable just as I am
  • I choose to focus on what my body can do, rather than how it looks
  • I appreciate my body for what it does for me and for keeping me alive
  • I deserve to take up space and exist in my body, exactly as it is right now
  • My value and worth isn’t defined by a number on a scale or what I see in the mirror

2. Eat your favourite chocolate bar

Treating yourself to something you enjoy, like a delicious chocolate bar, is a simple way to practise self care and indulge in moments of pleasure. A bar of chocolate will almost always make us feel good, so go on – have it! You deserve to feel good.

3. Find as many different coloured leaves as you can

This one’s perfect for autumn here in the southern hemisphere! Our bodies do so much for us, and they’re made to do so much more than simply work, complete tasks and exercise. By getting out in nature, you can not only appreciate its beauty, but you can also develop an appreciation for your body’s ability to simply explore and move around. 

4. Take a stroll

Moving your body and getting some sunshine and fresh air is not only good for your physical health, but also boosts your mood and self-esteem, promoting a positive relationship with your body beyond its appearance.

5. Connect with a loved one

What we say matters – to ourselves, to our friends, to young people, to everyone. So use the power of words for good and reach out to a family member or friend and check in with them. Try to give them a compliment about something unrelated to their appearance, such as why you enjoy their company, their personality traits, or about their recent performance in something. If you want to comment on their outfit, make it about more than just their body.

6. Challenge yourself

Setting and achieving personal goals challenges you to focus on your capabilities and achievements, and what your body and mind can do for you. Do something that challenges you to push your limits or be your best, whether that be learning a new language or playing a new sport.

7. Check out a new cafe

Explore a new cafe, restaurant or shop and enjoy the change of scenery that it brings and cherish the fact that our bodies allow us to experience simple pleasures like this. While you’re there, try a new brew or pick up a pastry and enjoy all the delicious smells and tastes!

8. Practice 30 minutes of mindfulness

When the everyday stressors of life start to take over our lives, it can be difficult to take the time to pause and simply be. Take the time to be present, focus on your breathing and be mindful – however that looks and feels to you. You could try to think about or write down what you are grateful for, journal about your day or do a yoga flow. 

If you want to support the Youth Crew’s fundraiser, you can do so here. Your support will fuel our mission to end the epidemic of body distress among young Australians. By fundraising, you’ll help us equip parents, educators and sports coaches with vital tools to help young people build better body image.

If you or a young person you know are struggling with body image, don’t hesitate to seek out the support and guidance of a professional. The Butterfly Foundation National Helpline (1800 334 673) is a great place to start.

Meet The Author,
Amy Lilly

Amy is the social media coordinator at The Embrace Collective, a health promotion charity on a mission to help young people build better body image. Amy has a background in dietetics with a focus on the non-diet approach, through which she supported clients to improve their relationships with food and their bodies.
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