This post isn’t about trying to convince you to feel a certain way about your body. I want to acknowledge that there are days (or weeks….or months) that it can be hard to feel like you want to be present and engaged with your body. There are times it’s just tough to feel like you want to take care of your body or accept that this is the body you have right now.
This post is for the days that doing the bare minimum feels hard. It’s a reminder sometimes the basic things are a radical act of self-care and self-acceptance.
So whether you’re going through difficult fertility treatments, overwhelmed at work, navigating an unexpected diagnosis, or noticing changes in your body that are difficult… take some time to acknowledge your body today. The following ideas can help…
When you don’t feel good in or about your body, it can be easy to stop taking care of it. It’s often hard to think about food or gather enough energy to make a meal when you aren’t feeling comfortable. However, skipping meals or eating food that doesn’t make you feel good can lead to feeling worse over time. Make sure you eat consistent, balanced meals during the day. It’s okay to ask for help or get food delivered if you need to!
Speak Kindly to Your Body
Critical self-talk isn’t going to make you feel any better. Practice speaking to and about your body with compassion, even if you don’t feel like you deserve it. Change “I hate my body” to “my body is having a hard time right now” or use a tone of voice that you would use with a friend or child who was going through a hard time.
Move Your Body
Movement doesn’t mean something as big as going for a run or heading to the gym. Consider one realistic way you can get your body moving today. Can you take a walk around the block? Engage in some gentle yoga or stretching?
Your body may not be your favorite place right now, but if you’re breathing, it’s doing something for you. Consider what your body is doing RIGHT and practice gratitude for what it IS capable of. Maybe your body allows you to experience a hug from a loved one. Maybe your body allows you to walk to your favorite café for a cup of coffee. Maybe it allows you to cuddle with your dog. Get creative… and allow yourself to enjoy what your body CAN do.
Set Your Boundaries
Allow yourself to set boundaries that give your body the space it needs to heal. Your boundaries may look different on any given day, but it’s important that you acknowledge what they are and give yourself permission to set them. There may be days when you need to say “I don’t want to be touched today” or “let’s not talk about body image, dieting, fertility, etc. today”. Boundaries can also look like setting realistic expectations about what you are able to accomplish. Allow yourself to set boundaries with your time that support your needs.
Cleanse Your Social Media
Scrolling social media can seem like a mindless task, but in reality it can play a big part in reinforcing negative feelings about your body. Check in and ask yourself if you feel better about your body after you engage with your social media platforms. It may be helpful for you to disconnect from accounts that cause you to compare or judge your body. You may also want to consider following accounts that have bodies that look like yours or have been through similar experiences.
Self-care looks different when you don’t feel appreciative of your body…sometimes the smaller acts can make the biggest difference. When was the last time you took a shower, brushed your teeth, or washed your face? Consider if one of those tasks might help you body feel like a more comfortable place to be. Take care of your body by brushing your hair, putting on some lotion, or wearing some comfy socks.
I’ll be honest, these things are often easier said than done. If you’re feeling stuck in a cycle of negative body image or finding it difficult to take care of your body, consider reaching out to me to talk more about how therapy may help you!