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!
This Thursday is Thanksgiving Day here in America. It’s a time to give thanks and focus on the things we’re grateful for.
I suggest we include our bodies in that gratitude. This is especially important because it’s, sadly, during the holiday season that we see scores of guilt-inducing articles about what we can and cannot eat and what we should and shouldn’t do to avoid gaining weight (oh the horror).
So whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, consider practicing gratitude for your body (this week and beyond). Here are a few ideas to try:
- Set an alarm to ring at the same time every day, such as 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. When it does, simply pause, put your hands over your heart, and say “Thank you, body.” (This one is inspired by Mincha Moment.)
- Think small. Sometimes it’s hard thinking of something positive to say about our bodies. That’s OK. In my piece on simplifying gratitude, I included these smaller suggestions for cultivating gratitude:
Thank your ears for listening to your favorite classical music, which always puts a smile on your face.
Thank your nose for helping you smell the calming scent of lavender or your taste buds for helping you savor a sweet bite of homemade carrot cake.
Thank your vocal chords for communicating the great ideas to your boss. Thank your heart for beating.
- Write a thank-you letter to your body. For instance, you could pen a short note: “Thank you for sticking by me through the diets and punishing workouts. I am so grateful for my strong beating heart and breath.”
- Write a top 10 — or top 50! — list of everything your body has helped you do throughout the years. Maybe that could be everything from helping you take your first steps to learning to play soccer to carrying your child to helping that child move into their college dorm room to running a race to gardening.
- Remind yourself of the magnificence and intricacy that is your body.
- Speak your body gratitude aloud. Go around the table, and have each person talk about what they’re thankful for when it comes to their bodies. (I bet this will be especially fun with kids, who are always inspiring, surprising and super creative.)
What are you grateful for?