I was reading Therese Borchard’s post on seven ways to celebrate Christmas year-round, and I was inspired to create my own list of suggestions for celebrating our bodies in 2010 and beyond. Hope you find it helpful!
- Reflect on how you’ve treated your body and yourself in ’09. How have you treated it well? How have you treated it poorly? Did you listen to your body when it was hungry or hurting? Has your body image improved or gotten worse? What events contributed to that?
- Reflect on how you’d like to treat it in 2010. After thinking about the past, consider the present and future. What would you like to do right now and the rest of the year to improve your body image, to celebrate your body and yourself? What are things that continue to challenge your efforts in improving your body image? How can you overcome those challenges?
- Promise to take good care of yourself. Celebrate your body by caring for it and pampering it. Be sure to eat well by feeding your body the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Choose activities that you love, that move your body (dancing, yoga, Pilates, walking, running, kickboxing, jumping rope, biking, running around with your kids, hiking, golfing, swimming, playing sports). Get enough sleep. Treat yourself to a manicure, spa day, a long walk, a day of vegging out.
- End the inner “fat talk.” Sometimes it feels like the negative thoughts will never stop. Bashing your body may seem like it comes naturally to you. Even so, you can still stop these thoughts. Whenever a body-bashing thought pops up, take a minute to think it through and then throw it away. Here’s one way to banish negative thoughts. Here’s a list of other ways to tackle different types of cognitive distortions.
- Wear clothes that make you feel confident. Find clothes that fit your shape. Avoid wearing oversized outfits, because more often than not, these don’t make you feel that great, anyway. Comfy, maybe; confident, not so much.
- Meet yourself in the middle. Dara Chadwick of the blog and book You’d Be So Pretty If…talks eloquently about choosing to live life in the middle, instead of two extremes. This speaks to that all-or-nothing thinking, which can be harmful. It leads us to blaming and bashing our bodies, overeating, feeling disappointed and anxious and seeing our body as an enemy.
- Do what makes you feel beautiful. Writes Karly Randolph Pitman of First Ourselves (a great website): “What brings you joy? How do you enjoy your body? How do you feel beautiful? Integrate these things into your daily life. It’s how you live out your ideals, values and dreams.”
- Compliment yourself every day. I originally suggested this in the resolutions post and it’s really a wonderful thing to do year-round. Keep a journal of daily compliments. When you’re feeling particularly blah and need a body image boost, turn to your journal. Don’t have a compliment for that day? Think about the positive things others have said to you recently. And don’t forget to return the favor by complimenting someone else. You may not know it, but you can absolutely make someone’s day with a small compliment. Might seem cheesy, but every time I receive a nice, thoughtful comment here, it genuinely makes my day.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments. What great things, both big and small, have you done recently? Don’t hesitate to pat yourself on the back! 🙂
- Be thankful. Just like it’s important to be thankful for the loved ones in your life (and tell them so), it’s important to appreciate your body. Thank your body for what it helps you do day in and day out.
What are some ways you’ll be celebrating your body year-round?
Hope everyone has a very healthy and happy New Year!