amelia island, red flower

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!

I really enjoyed reading Jen Louden’s post on morning rituals. In it, she invited some of her friends to share how they spend their mornings.

For instance, Jill Badonsky considers what she appreciated about the previous day — even before opening her eyes.

Susannah Conway makes herself a cup of coffee, brings it back to bed, reads a chapter from a non-fiction book and journals afterward.

Per usual, this got me thinking about body image: What about creating a ritual solely for the pleasure of your body? Something that makes you feel really great in your own skin?

For example, maybe you start the ritual of taking a bath every night after a long day. Or you take a hot shower and really take your time applying your favorite fragrant body wash (or exfoliant) and lotion (or oil) right after you get out.

Here are additional suggestions you might like:

  • Doing a body scan every morning.
  • Stretching your body as soon as your feet hit the floor. (That’s what my grandma used to do.)
  • Getting a massage from your spouse (and giving them one).
  • Massaging your hands during your lunch break. (This really helps me after spending the day typing away on my laptop.)
  • Speaking of lunch breaks, find a warm spot outside, close your eyes, and take several deep, long breaths. Practice several stretches sitting down.
  • If you work from home, carving out 15 minutes every day for a midday nap, wrapping yourself in your softest, warmest blanket.
  • Creating a relaxation nook somewhere in your bedroom, complete with yummy scented candles, music, yoga mat or meditation cushion. Every evening, you sit or lie down, light your candles and turn on Beethoven. Or you listen to these self-compassion meditations.
  • Giving yourself a spa pedicure once a week (or going to the spa).
  • Turning on your favorite music, closing your eyes and moving your body.
  • Making a cup of coffee or tea, and savoring it in bed, like Susannah.
  • Putting on perfume when you wake up, and before going to bed.

Your ritual can be as small and simple as you like — or as big and elaborate. The great thing is that it’s totally up to you.

Think about what feels absolutely pleasurable. Then go with that.

What body ritual will you start this week?