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As a woman who has struggled her entire life with body image, the winter time has always been the worst for me. You’re coming off of the summer and fall time where your tan is fading, your motivation for school is dwindling, and your desire to leave your apartment is non-existent… at least for me. 

As the weather gets colder, I find myself wanting to stay in with blankets, make warm food, and watch movies. In turn, the desire to move my body and exercise is lower than ever. I’m tired, it’s cold, it’s dark out – the lists of reasons go on. Naturally, I start to feel sluggish and bloated. With that, my body image dwindles. 

More so in the winter time, I notice how my face looks pale in comparison to a month ago, puffier than it did two months ago, and I criticize my body for any dimple or fat that shows. This year, while I have adapted a workout regimen, I have found that I am still suffering from poor body image some days. The advice to workout helps, but it does not fix the inner workings of the mind telling you that you look bad. 

So, if you find yourself struggling from this too, come along with me as I try to navigate this feeling. It may not work for you, it may not work for me, but here are a few things I am doing to improve my body image issues during the winter time. 

1. Closet clean out and restore 

Go into your closet and see if you have any items you know either don’t fit or you don’t like on you. Whether you’re waiting to lose weight or to somehow like this piece of clothing again – get rid of it. When you have clothes upon clothes that you truly don’t like, it’s going to impact your body image that more. Instead, restore your closet. Only have items you love. If you need more, spend the time shopping and/or thrifting to curate your style to your taste and to your body. 

2.  Water, water, water!

I know this is ingrained in our minds all the time, but I have never realized how much water can help me feel less bloated and energized. You’re supposed to drink half of your body weight in ounces and I know (myself included) we do not all drink that much. Make it a goal everyday to reach your ounces, and I promise you will start to feel just a little bit better. 

3. Maintain a good diet. 

I’m the unfortunate one who happens to be lactose intolerant and gluten intolerant but always manages to eat it. As I write this article, I am literally on day 1 of trying to be gluten-free. I have followed a GF diet last semester and felt instantaneously better, but I understand it is not necessary for everyone. In general, make sure you are implementing greens in your diet and at every meal. It is said that we need five servings a day of vegetables/fruits, and I feel that the more we focus on this goal, the better we will feel all around. 

4. Implement a routine 

Whether it is making your bed every day (which I highly recommend), grabbing breakfast at the DH with a friend, or walking around the lake – start your own routine. I happen to find I feel my best when I wake up, make my bed, do my skincare routine, and drink tea. Do I do it everyday? No, but I know I NEED to in order to feel my best. Find what works for you and remember it takes 21 days to make a habit so there is no better day than today to start. 

5. Do something everyday for you. 

I’m notorious for putting others before myself. I’m a type 2 on the enneagram, I have a dog, I have a large family, and I have close friends that I want to be there for. However, I find that sometimes I feel stretched too thin and that I focus too much on what other people are feeling and going through than what I am going through. To combat this, I’m making sure I do something for me everyday, by myself. Whether it’s going to Mountain Goat to check things off of my daily checklist or going to workout by myself.  Investing in myself is one of my favorite things, and I do it so infrequently. For you, reader, make it your priority. 

I know this advice can come off as “overdone” or “already said,” but maybe just your average college student talking to you about her struggles and goals with it will make it stick a bit more. I’m going to spend the rest of the winter trying my best to make these habits a routine and to make my negative body image talk a thing of the past. I hope you all come along with me!

Savannah Hobbie is a senior Politics & International Affairs and Communications double major at Furman University. She hopes to attend law school after college. Aside from Her Campus, she is on the executive boards for both Panhellenic Council and the Chi Omega sorority at Furman. She is a mentor for Ladies of Distinction and is an orientation leader. She also has two internships serving as a social media manager. Her passions include self-care, writing about vulnerable topics, beauty, spreading love, and hyping people up!
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