Archives for Culture
Here's what is so awesome about appreciating our bodies: We don't need to wait until we lose weight or change anything else about our appearance to do so. You can begin embracing your body right now. I hope these suggestions provide a helpful start:
Mondays get a bad rap. Inevitably, every Monday morning, we see images on different social media sites talking about how terrible Mondays are, wishing for a shorter day and a stronger cup of coffee (or five)---among other things. Often these images are hilarious. Most of us really do dread Mondays since it's the start of the work week. Technically, it's time to get serious and get back to our tight, demanding schedules.
Maybe years ago you let everyone walk all over you. Like you weren't even there. Like you were a rug fit for stomping on. Maybe you weighed yourself all the time. Maybe you said yes to everything---except to acknowledging and appreciating yourself.
Be careful you don't blow up with all that dessert you've been eating lately. Make sure you work out. You don't want to gain the freshman 15. You're so small and slim. You'll make an adorable pregnant lady.
Many of us think we have to repay anyone who says something nice or complimentary to us, to anyone who takes us to dinner, to anyone who pays attention or is kind in some other way (whether the kindness is genuine or ill-intentioned). We think we owe something beyond a heartfelt thank-you.
Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot. We might think it's synonymous with bubble baths, manicures and massages. And sometimes self-care might be these things. But at the heart of it, at its core, self-care is self-preservation. It is shielding ourselves from harm and danger. Which could mean anything from surrounding ourselves with trustworthy people to seeing a therapist for managing our ADHD to eating when we're hungry to taking regular relaxation breaks.
Vows are powerful statements for our lives. Which become powerful actions. According to physician and Zen teacher Jan Chozen Bays, M.D., in her thoughtful, practical book The Vow-Powered Life: A Simple Method for Living with Purpose: "Vows are the forces that weave together the fabric of our life and all of life. Without vows, without purposeful action, life would cease to exist."
Self-care is not a to-do list. I was recently reminded of this in this newsletter from Nicole Antoinette. In other words, self-care isn't a list of tasks you need to check off every day or every week. Get a manicure and pedicure Monday. Take a bubble bath on Tuesday. Work out on Wednesday. Make a home-cooked dinner on Friday.
I'm not sure that I've ever felt good reading a fitness or "health" magazine geared toward women. Instead, I've felt self-conscious, inadequate and way too big. At some point I realized the words in their glossy pages weren't gospel. I realized that I didn't have to believe or act on their tips---which focused on watching my weight and what I was eating (like a hawk), feeling guilty any time I wavered and preparing for (i.e., panicking over) bikini season and holiday parties.