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Body Image Booster: Are You Fulfilling Your Basic Needs?

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!

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about self-care on Mondays. That’s because part of building a more positive body image is taking good, kind care of ourselves.

I’m currently reading Jennifer Louden‘s book The Woman’s Comfort Book, a treasure trove of tools and insights on self-care. I love what Jen has to say about self-care. She writes:

Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.

In the book she features a valuable checklist on basic needs. She defines a need as “something we require for our well-being, like food, sunlight, contact with other humans; our needs should be nonnegotiable, things we cannot do without.”

As she says, this checklist isn’t meant to make you feel guilty. Rather, it’s a gentle assessment of the current state of your self-care (and can provide you with a good place to start responding to your bare essentials).

These are some of the basic needs that appear on the list. Jen suggests checking off the needs you meet regularly.

Do you:

  • get six to eight hours of sleep?
  • make time to enjoy nature?
  • get enough sunlight?
  • see a gynecologist at least annually?
  • see a dentist every six months?
  • get enough fun exercise?
  • nurture and carve out time for your friendships?
  • regularly release negative emotions?
  • make time for solitude?
  • nourish yourself spiritually daily or weekly?
  • ever accept yourself for who you are?

Jen’s checklist also reminds us of the importance of identifying our own unique basic needs. Take some time today or this week to figure out your well-being musts.

What lifts your spirits? What makes (or breaks) your well-being? What boosts your body image every time?

These are probably your nonnegotiables. For instance, your nonnegotiables might be anything from journal writing to playing with your pet to taking a daily walk to drinking tea without distractions to saying a mantra in front of the mirror to eating when you’re hungry.

Reader Tip

Here’s a great body image booster from Beverly: “Always, always buy nice clothes that fit and are flattering and wear them no matter what your size. Get out of the sloppy sweats or ratty shorts or jeans.”

Are you fulfilling your basic needs? What are your unique nonnegotiables?  

Body Image Booster: Are You Fulfilling Your Basic Needs?

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2012). Body Image Booster: Are You Fulfilling Your Basic Needs?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 20 Aug 2012
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