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!
Recently, I was talking to a friend about a difficult family situation. “I’ve spent months trying to problem solve and figure out how to make this better. I just don’t know,” she said.
“That’s OK. You don’t have to do this alone,” I said.
Often, we think we need to figure everything out by ourselves. Or we withdraw or isolate ourselves when we’re going through tough times.
But turning to others — the people who genuinely care about us and have our best interests at heart — can give us new, valuable perspectives. It can remind us that we’re not alone. It can boost our mood and ease our pain.
And having a support system can help us in building a more positive body image and taking better care of ourselves.
Who are the people in your life you can turn to? Who are the people you can count as your support system? Who can become a helpful resource to you (such as a therapist or yoga instructor)?
Here are some ideas for creating your support system and letting others help you:
- Talking to a friend about your body image struggles.
- Having a co-worker join you for a walk during your lunch break.
- Scheduling a weekly or monthly heart-to-heart session on Skype with a loved one.
- Working with a local therapist or coach — by phone and email — to help you develop a more positive body image and fulfilling life.
- Working with a nutritionist who helps you develop a healthier, more peaceful relationship with food and your body.
- Emailing with a gratitude buddy about three things you’re grateful for every week (including one thing that’s about your body).
- Meditating alongside your partner. Here are several meditations to try.
- Taking an e-course on anything from practicing yoga to nourishing your body and getting support from both the instructor and your fellow students.
- Joining organizations, such as the Association for Size Diversity and Health, which have like-minded members.
Sometimes, the people surrounding you might not have the same priorities or principles (for instance, maybe they’re knee deep in the diet mentality and even make rude comments about other people’s weight).
But remember, like I mention above, your support system can come from many different areas: It might be friends or family who live far away but can chat on Skype every week.
It might be a therapist who specializes in helping people heal their body image or self-image issues. It might be a yoga instructor who helps you learn to listen to your body and practice self-compassion.
Today, make a list of at least three people — family, friends, co-workers, professional practitioners — who can become part of your support system. Then reach out to each one.
Remember, you don’t have to heal your body image hurts alone. Because you’re not alone.
Who will be part of your support system?