Body Image Booster: Keep It Simple
Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!
Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!
In late June I went to the Creative Joy Retreat, which was led by Jennifer Louden, Marianne Elliott and Tracey Clark. There, I practiced yoga, danced, took pictures and wrote my heart out.
It was an eye-opening experience in many ways. If I had to sum it up, I’d say that I gained a greater appreciation for myself, and for my body.
One of the things we talked about was how we can keep creative joy alive in our daily lives. Each of us made a list of the simplest things we can do every day. The important word, of course, being “simplest.”
A positive body image can often seem as abstract as creativity or joy or both. And when something seems abstract, we don’t know how to fit it into our lives. And we throw up our hands and return to our routines.
That’s why I love applying simplicity to body image. When you can name it, you can do it.
So spend some time today brainstorming the simplest ways you can build a more positive body image every day. Jot your ideas down on paper.
For instance, here’s what my list might look like:
- Move my body, because that’s when I feel most powerful. To me feeling empowered is part of a positive body image. Moving can be anything from going to the gym to stretching to taking a walk outside to swimming in the pool to riding my bike.
- Take a shower and wash my face at night. Obvious things, right? But these small habits aren’t overwhelming or intimidating and they’re part of self-care. When you start from the beginning, from the bare essentials, it’s easy to build up.
- Thank my body daily for everything, which creates an attitude of appreciation and gratitude. I might even make a little list of three things, such as: Thanks for the a.m. Pilates class; thanks for breathing; thanks for letting my thoughts become coherent sentences and those sentences to appear on the screen.
Here’s what your list might look like:
- Meditate. Meditation helps you relax and get out of your head. We know that when we’re stressed, our positive body image tends to sink.
- Say a mantra that’s meaningful to you, such as “My body is a powerhouse” or “There is beauty in all bodies, shapes and sizes, or simply, “I appreciate you.”
- Eat when you’re hungry. This is another way to take care of yourself and respond to and honor your body’s needs. That’s part of a positive image, too.
- Get enough sleep.
- Look in the mirror and smile at yourself.
- Take a self-portrait, whether it’s your face, feet or another favorite body part.
- Scan your body for any tension or discomfort, and respond to your needs. Maybe that means taking a soothing bath, giving yourself a massage, stretching or making an appointment with a doctor (like a physical therapist).
- Dance in the morning.
What’s the simplest way you’ll build a more positive body image?
P.S., This week I’m super excited to share my interview with Anna Guest-Jelley from Curvy Yoga! She’s written a gorgeous and valuable e-book on practicing yoga and honoring your body. We’ll be giving away two copies, too! She also debuted her redesigned website.
Tartakovsky, M. (2014). Body Image Booster: Keep It Simple. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 28, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2012/07/body-image-booster-keep-it-simple/