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!

{via etsy by Tamara Lee}

Thanks to Mara Glatzel, who authors the blog Medicinal Marzipan, this weekend I discovered this great piece on self-care. Therapist Lisa Claudia Briggs asked 11 women to share the one self-care activity they practice every day.

These are three of my favorite responses:

For Mara, who also contributed to the post, self-care, today, comes in the form of fictional stories.

One, very practical way that I attend to my own self-care on a daily basis is through creating time and space in my schedule for a pleasure-filled activity of my own choosing. This may seem ambiguous, and it is, because this choosing is highly personal and will depend on what it is that lights YOU up and makes you feel like a human being again.

Working on the computer daily often makes me feel as though there is always something that I should be doing – an email to respond to, a post to write, a client to  find. The immediacy of online communication can, at times, cause me to feel as though my time is an extension of those around me, and that in order to be successful I need to busy, all day, every day.

I keep my heart full of peace, gratitude, and beauty by making a date with myself to unplug and do something PURELY for the fun of it, without a trace of obligation or work. These days, my daily self-care time is filled up to the brim with vampire stories and the magical realm of the Sookie Stackhouse series.

I take care each day to pick up my book, go out on my deck, and submerge myself head first in another realm – one of fantastic imagination. Reading these types of stories is the ultimate escape and home-coming for me, as it suspends my business-driven ambition and provides me the opportunity to do something that I deeply enjoy – read for fun.

Other favorite self-care activities of mine include: a dip in the ocean, hula hooping in my front yard, and taking an afternoon nap – each beloved because of their reminder that I am so much more than my work, and that part of myself requires daily nourishing.

For Alexandra Franzen self-care is snuggling in bed.

I’ll admit, I struggled to come up with a Real-World Ritual that didn’t feel trite, mundane, or downright embarrassing. But then it came to me: rest. My bed is the center of my studio apartment — and my creative refuel station.

I rarely let a day go by without wrapping myself in ultra-soft blankets for a few minutes of rest, pause, silence, and re-balancing in the middle of the day. Or evening. Or… anytime. I’m so obsessed with snuggling, my boyfriend says I should have a subscription to Cuddling Monthly. (If only such a magazine existed!)

Lush textiles & dreamy naps bring me back into my body. Career ambitions are muted, for a moment. My breathing slows. Oxytocin flows. Everything softens.

For Maria Gamb it’s a cup of coffee and some reading and writing at a cafe.

Nearly everyday I start my day with a grounding ritual.  I will get up early, quickly make myself presentable – ponytail, clean face and teeth and pull on comfy clothing – then head down to my local café for an Americano (espresso with hot water and a little milk).

Once the cup is in hand my ritual begins.  Slow sips while doing my daily reading.  Usually it’s of a spiritual nature.

This helps me find my center for the day, reminds me why I do what I do here and usually provides a well timed lesson for whatever it is I’m going through at the moment. More sipping.  Out comes my journal and I write for anywhere between 15-45minutes depending upon my needs.

This time is about me.  Not my partner, family, business or pets. Just me.  No worries. No cares. Once I’m done, I bound back up the hill to my office and begin my day.  All this before 9am.  There have been times I miss my ritual but I do my best to keep the reading and writing portions in tact everyday.

For me moving my body is a semi-regular self-care ritual. But I’ve realized that I don’t have one specific activity that I do every single day. And I really like the idea of having structured, scheduled me-time — in addition to exercise.

Here are some other ideas for daily self-care (which I’ll be trying myself):

  • Bubble baths
  • Long showers
  • Stretching
  • Wearing clothes that make you feel beautiful
  • Having a cup of tea as the sun rises (or sets)
  • Giving yourself a massage (like a hand massage if you’re constantly at your keyboard like I am)
  • Carving out 15 to 20 minutes to do whatever the heck you want, which can absolutely include doing nothing. 
  • Dancing
  • Answering the question: “What do I need today?”

What will be your one act of self-care? 

Stay tuned tomorrow for my interview with Mara, which is all about self-love and her new book, Body Loving Homework. We’re also giving away two copies!