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73 Last-Minute Body Positive Gifts For Your Loved Ones & Yourself

Since I started writing Weightless (in 2009!), every year around this time, I’ve shared a list of last-minute gifts we can give to our loved ones and ourselves. I’ve combined those lists, updated them and added new ideas.

Below, you’ll find a combination of presents you can purchase and gifts that don’t cost a thing. When I say body positive in the title, I mean anything that supports a positive body image. Anything that supports taking kind, sweet care of ourselves or others. Anything that inspires or uplifts. Anything that provides meaning and nourishment. I hope these give you some good ideas!

  1. Practice 10 minutes of yoga or another physical activity you enjoy.
  2. Buy a body positive book for yourself or a loved one.
  3. Take a few minutes to read from a book that inspires you.
  4. Give yourself a compliment. Or two. Or more.
  5. Tell your family and friends how much you love them, and what qualities you’re especially appreciative of.
  6. Give yourself a hug (cheesy, maybe; comforting, yes).
  7. Take a few quiet minutes to yourself. Savor the stillness.
  8. Read from the Bible, Torah or another religious text.
  9. Consider how you can play this week and in 2018.
  10. Give Anna Guest-Jelley and Melanie Klein’s beautiful book Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body or Anna’s newest book Curvy Yoga: Love Yourself & Your Body a Little More Each Day. (Anna and I also collaborated on a body positive e-book called Heart to Heart: 20 Poems, Meditations + Affirmations to Embrace Your Body & Cultivate Kindness.) Or give one of Linda Bacon’s books on Health At Every Size, a movement that’ll change your life. I’m not exaggerating. And these books look awesome, too. 
  11. Thank your body for being there for you — through everything. If you have time, make a list.
  12. Commit to being kinder to yourself. Think about one way you can practice that kindness today.
  13. Give a beautiful notebook or journal to a loved one. Don’t forget to inscribe it! (That’s my favorite part of getting or giving a book: the words written inside from your loved one especially to you.)
  14. Pamper yourself or a loved one with a set of yummy smelling candles, body scrub, shower gel or lotion.
  15. Pamper yourself or a loved one with a set of super cozy and warm flannel pajamas, flannel sheets or a soft throw.
  16. Reflect on what you’re thankful for in your life.
  17. Pen a body positive poem to a loved one who might be struggling (like this one or this one), or suggest you write a poem together.
  18. Write a love letter to yourself or a loved one.
  19. Buy an album on iTunes, or create a playlist for dance parties and relaxation.
  20. Give a gift card for a manicure, pedicure, massage or another soothing spa treatment.
  21. Give a gift card for dance, art, photography, baking or cooking classes.
  22. Take a walk — 15 minutes or an hour. Go by yourself or ask your loved ones to join you. Breathe in your surroundings. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you taste?
  23. Sleep in or get up early — whatever feels best for your body.
  24. Listen to a self-compassion meditation. Listen by yourself or share the moment with a loved one.
  25. Journal about this question: What do I really need today? And give yourself this gift.
  26. Create a body positive print, which might include your favorite quote. This is one of my favorites from Geneen Roth: “It’s never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale.”
  27. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat whatever you like and take compassionate care of yourself.
  28. Create a Play-Book for yourself or a loved one.
  29. If you’re stressed over last-minute shopping, cooking and anything else that needed to be done weeks ago, first know that you’re absolutely not alone. (Trust me!) Then take several slow, deep breaths. And remember what the holidays are really about.
  30. Sign yourself up (or a loved one) for a nourishing, inspiring e-course, such as this one, this one, this one or this one.
  31. Sneak in a few minutes to look at yourself in the mirror, and just smile.
  32. If you’re getting together with a few people who push your body-image buttons (e.g., talk about calories, weight, others’ appearances), write out a mantra on an index card (piece of paper, Christmas tag – whatever is handy), and carry it with you as a reminder to let negativity pass you like a cloud in the sky. This is a good one. And consider setting boundaries with those people, too.
  33. Avoid bashing your own body and engaging in diet conversations and help others do the same.
  34. Buy your loved one a planner for the new year, and add your own or others’ inspirational sayings.
  35. As you’re opening presents, have each person say something they love about themselves and the person to their right or left.
  36. Compose a holiday card to yourself. And maybe write the words you need to read. In A Field Guide to Now Christina Rosalie writes: “But if I can wake up and write daily until I feel like I have reason to be writing again, then I can write myself a raft. I can write oars. I can write buoyant water.” For Rosalie jotting down bits and pieces, about everything from clouds to crows, energizes her and reconnects her to herself. What do you need to write to give yourself what you need?
  37. Give a bouquet of flowers, a plant or seeds for flowers.
  38. Create a list of statements and quotes you can turn to when you’re overwhelmed. Get a journal, and write a list for a loved one, leaving lots of room for them to write in their own words.
  39. Do one thing that never ceases to make you smile.
  40. Do one thing for a loved one that never ceases to make them smile.
  41. Toss your scale. What does this actually give you? The gift of freedom.
  42. Promise to take your loved one on a fun date in the new year, focusing on anything that nourishes them, from a museum to an amusement park to a picnic to a walk along the beach to their favorite restaurant. Ask your loved one to tell you what truly nourishes them, and share what nourishes you.
  43. Invite your loved one to a slumber party complete with board games, old-school snacks, your favorite shows, funny films and silly-looking pjs. Help them reconnect to their inner child and remember the joy of play.
  44. Recycle any shaming “health” publications.
  45. Give your loved ones a subscription to a magazine based on their interests — anything from poetry to writing to yoga to sewing to science to art to food to cars to culture to gardening to golf.
  46. Spend the next few days snapping pictures with your smartphone. Capture all the things that are perfectly imperfect. Broken tree branches. The scribbles of your little one who’s just learning how to write. A frayed sweater you still love and wear. A torn tablecloth that’s been in your family for years. A musty, crusty, yellowed book of poetry. An unmade bed illuminated by a stream of sunlight. If you’re giving this as a gift, develop the photos, and paste them into a small notebook. Let this remind your loved one (and you) that perfection is over-rated and small moments and small things are indeed magical.
  47. Consider how you’d like 2018 to look. What do you want your days to look like and feel like? What do you want to have time for? What was 2017 missing, which you really yearn for?
  48. Print out photos of your favorite moments with your friends and family from this year. Frame them, and give them as gifts.
  49. Buy a book with encouraging words about an activity that your loved one would like to try or is running into some trouble with — such as sewing, writing, drawing, cooking or playing the piano.
  50. Buy a journal that helps your loved one reconnect to themselves (and get one for yourself, too).
  51. Start tomorrow or this week by writing morning pages, or creating any other ritual that inspires you.
  52. Watch your favorite holiday movies. (Brian and I may or may not be addicted to Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.)
  53. Stuff a stocking with your loved one’s favorite things — postcards with inspiring images, teas, coffee, dark chocolate, pens, a small book of poetry, washi tape, crayons, lip balm, nail polish, essential oils.
  54. Practice one of these meditations to create calm and navigate any negative thoughts.
  55. Play your favorite music, and dance with your loved ones. (Bonus points go to the wackiest moves!)
  56. Give yourself permission to have a supportive holiday season, which might mean everything from spending time alone to shrinking your to-do list to savoring foods you love to setting boundaries with loved ones.
  57. Give an annual membership to a museum, aquarium, botanical garden or zoo.
  58. Give a monthly subscription box of books, flowers, clothes, makeup and skin care, cheese, cookies, chocolates, teas or coffee. Or create your own boxes or baskets for loved ones with the things that might inspire or uplift them day to day.
  59. Have a loved one join you for a super fun reading challenge in 2018. Create your own book club, either in person or over Skype. You never know what you might learn about each other during this experience, along with how memorable and meaningful these small moments might actually be.
  60. Savor your food. When you’re eating this week and beyond, remember to slow down and savor your bites. Focus on the scent, taste and texture of your foods. Try taking a few deep, slow breaths between bites. Taste your food like you’re eating it for the very first time.
  61. Write out one thing you wish for yourself. A peaceful relationship with your body. A trip to New York City. More magic. Time to journal and read books. Write down how you’ll make this wish or these wishes come true.
  62. Create your body image kit — or grab a few things with you as you go to celebrate the holidays.
  63. Donate to charity in your or your loved one’s name.
  64. Stop and ask yourself how you’re really doing. And really listen to your words. After all, listening is a powerful gift we can give ourselves (and others).
  65. Create a home-cooked meal once a month for a busy family.
  66. Create your own life manifesto — or gather around the table, and create a manifesto as a family.
  67. Have a loved one create a list of tasks that are currently stressing them out. Offer to take one of those tasks off their list.
  68. Create the same list for yourself. Then ask one person to help you.
  69. Create your own personal dictionary of terms. Or create a dictionary for a loved one. Include words like self-care, success, productivity, joy, exercise, nourishment and sacred. But leave the lines blank, so they can fill in what each word means to them.
  70. Capture your legacy for your loved ones by penning small stories — or trying these other ideas, which include everything from creating your own cookbook to creating a series of recordings.
  71. Fast forward into the future, and think about how you’d like to look back on today — and spend your holiday in that way.
  72. Turn $5 into an incredibly generous and priceless gift — from teaching someone one of your skills to making a box of index cards with activities you’ll do together with your family.
  73. Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate (tea or coffee), turn on your holiday lights, curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket, and think of one thing — in your home, in your life — that you’re grateful for. Then breathe it in, and say to yourself, no matter what happens, “this is enough.”

What are your favorite gifts to give to loved ones? What are your favorite gifts to give to yourself?

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash.
73 Last-Minute Body Positive Gifts For Your Loved Ones & Yourself

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS


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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2017). 73 Last-Minute Body Positive Gifts For Your Loved Ones & Yourself. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2017/12/73-last-minute-body-positive-gifts-for-your-loved-ones-yourself/

 

Last updated: 19 Dec 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Dec 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.