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Create Your Own Body Positive Traditions

snowman ornament, tetya bella, nyc

A beautiful holiday is a personal one. It’s filled with your own traditions and customs. It’s filled with the people and activities that are meaningful to you.

It’s also an important time to consider your needs and ways to nourish them.

For instance, maybe you’re hungry for creativity, connection and self-compassion. So you might create several handmade gifts, attend holiday celebrations hosted by your family and friends, and lower your usually sky-high expectations about what you should get done this Christmas.

Here’s a list of small activities or actions you might adopt as your body positive rituals for every holiday season. By the way, to me body positive signifies many things, including being kinder to ourselves, tuning into our bodies, appreciating our bodies, being in the moment and responding to our needs.

  • Every weekend carve out 20 minutes for a luxurious bath, complete with a winter-themed bubble bath and your favorite holiday stories.
  • Reflect on the year and see where your body image journey has taken you. (Here are a few questions to consider.)
  • Create intentions for the new year at the end of December. (Susannah’s workbook will no doubt be helpful.)
  • Add a holiday-specific mantra — or word — to your meditation, such as peace or joy. Meditate on what the holidays mean to you.
  • Invite a few close friends to help you whip up a delicious soup from scratch. Savor it as you watch your favorite holiday movies. (Without body bashing.) Try this recipe or this one or this one.
  • Write a letter or holiday card to your body extending your appreciation for everything it’s helped you do in 2013. If it helps, make a specific list.
  • Host a holiday dance party.
  • Create a tradition with a loved one to go ice-skating, followed by savoring the sweetest hot chocolate you can find. (And, if ice doesn’t really exist in your hometown, like it doesn’t here in Florida, go for a hike, catch a tree-lighting, admire the decorations in a nearby city, and then, of course, get some hot chocolate.)
  • If you always travel during the holidays, bring home a recipe you’d like to recreate at home.
  • As you’re opening presents, have each person say something they love about themselves and the person to their right or left.
  • Take an hour out for yourself to do whatever brings you the most meaning and joy.
  • Start emailing with a gratitude buddy about what you’re thankful for. Continue the tradition into the new year.
  • Buy a new set of flannel PJs or sheets or anything else that envelopes you in warmth.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Create Your Own Body Positive Traditions

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. (2013). Create Your Own Body Positive Traditions. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Dec 2013
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