The journey to appreciating yourself isn’t always a straightforward one, but we consider it a necessary one to feel happy in your skin. We often say that finding love and self-acceptance can take inner work—but deciding how to do that work is entirely personal. Some experts recommend starting a skin gratitude practice; others say mindful self-care rituals (like self-massage or gua sha) can help you connect with yourself. Well, one expert recommends vision boards.
On a recent episode of Clean Beauty School, I tapped mindbodygreen’s resident joy strategist Erica Lasan about how to create your own beauty standards, finding comfort in your own skin, and vision boarding strategies.
Here, how to use vision boards to feel better in your own skin.
A reminder: A vision board is essentially a physical or digital manifestation of your goals. It involves collecting images or objects that speak to the future you want to create and arranging them on a board for a reminder of where you’re heading, what you want for yourself, and what brings you happiness. While most vision boards involve future career, relationship, or milestone goals, Lasan notes that a major component of her vision board philosophy is beauty and wellness.
“It’s absolutely necessary that people [come up with their own] beauty standards and their personal ideals,” she says, noting that vision boards can help you focus on what actually makes you happy—rather than the media’s standards. “What actually makes you most beautiful is embracing what feels good.”
She says to look for images, quotes, phrases, and inspirations that inspire you to feel your best. Her favorite tip? Look for the photos from your own life. “One thing that I like to have people consider is the types of images that they’re using. Because If you are ripping all of your images from magazines or the media, you’re still feeding into what people and society thinks you should look like,” she says. “I really love using images from my own life because my life is beautiful, and your life is beautiful, too.”
For example, was there a day that you knew you looked amazing? A particularly stellar hair day? A moment captured at just the right moment of golden hour? Well, those can help you remind yourself that you are your own beauty goal.
“I’m of the understanding that the way that you see yourself really then affects how you identify and how you’re able to then move forward with your purpose. If you constantly compare yourself to how others or how the media ‘sees’ you, you’ll never be able to see your whole truth,” she says. “If you’re constantly ingesting negative representations of yourself and unrealistic beauty standards, there’s no way that won’t affect how you see yourself and how you show up in the world. Soon you’ll really start to believe that you don’t deserve this because of how [you are]—when that’s not true.”