There’s been a lot of talk around body positivity lately and what it means for us as women. With 91% of women feeling unhappy about their bodies and resorting to dieting, it’s no wonder the body positive movement is needed now more than ever. It’s a movement that encourages women to love their bodies and hush that critical voice inside their heads. Although it’s easier said than done, accepting your body for its shape, age, and size can make a huge impact on your overall health. It’s all about nourishing your body, practicing self-care, and moving with joy.
Here are a few ways body positivity can boost your health:
Find Joy in Movement
As children, many of us loved the constant movement of running around and playing. In fact, we probably thought very little about the fact that we were moving. But, as the years go on, movement becomes associated with exercise, making it feel more like a chore to burn calories than a way of life. However, when you find a way of movement that you enjoy doing, it’ll stop feeling like an obligation and you’ll start feeling the same way you did as a kid. Can you think of one you enjoy?
Staying active doesn’t need to be associated with being skinny or fit. Rather, you should correlate it with feeling good. Regular physical activity boosts your mood, reduces anxiety and depression, promotes a better night’s sleep, and improves your immune system. There are plenty of activities that don’t feel like exercise, but actually are, like swimming or one of our fitness classes!
Embrace the Skin You’re In
Clear, young-looking skin has been the beauty ideal for, well, ever. Between editing tools and filters, it’s easy to believe that everyone else has perfect skin, except for you. However, nobody’s skin is flawless and that’s perfectly okay. Once we accept this, we can begin to accept ourselves more.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to take care of your skin and love it through the process. Regardless if you’re taking the steps to clear your skin with a new face mask for pores or acne treatment, take photos of yourself either to post or just keep for yourself. Go out and run your errands without makeup on. As you learn to embrace your skin, you will feel less inclined to hide your “flaws.”
Create Time for Inspiration Regularly
The body positive movement has sparked inspiration in many ways. There are tons of books, social media accounts, and podcasts dedicated to inspiring others to love themselves just the way they are. Schedule some time for regular inspiration so you can continue to feel confident in yourself. This is especially important for moments when you’re feeling down on yourself and need that extra reminder of your worth.
If you don’t know where to start, here are a few suggestions. A great podcast to tune into is the WANTcast, which stands for Women Against Negative Talk. Another way to do this is by unfollowing any accounts that make you feel negative about yourself. Instead, try following body positive influencers to give you daily motivation to be a little gentler on yourself.
Measure Your Health Goals Without a Scale
How do you determine if you’re healthy or not? For most of us, we rely on a number on the scale to measure our health. Are we within the suggested weight range for our height and age? Do we punish ourselves when we’ve gained a few extra pounds? Weight isn’t the sole predictor of our overall health, in fact, so many other factors should take precedence.
It’s important to make your own guide to what you personally consider healthy for yourself. This can include sleep quality, blood pressure, muscle strength, digestion, mood, and so on. What’s important to you and your health?
Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health
Many people avoid the conversation around mental health out of fear of judgment. Because of this, it’s common for people to neglect their mental health and place a heavier focus on their physical health. Managing and addressing your mental health will allow you to live a healthier, calmer, and happier life. Taking care of your mental health can be different for each individual. Depending on your needs, it may take a little practice to find what works best for you.
Some things you can try include body scan meditation, therapy, and creative self-expression. Make your mental health a priority each and every day and allow yourself to have an outlet for when things are tough. Over time, you’ll notice a weight lifted off your shoulders along with a clearer mind.
Practice Intuitive Eating
Intuitive eating serves as a mind-body health approach with a weight-neutral model. Many people who are frequent dieters correlate food as either good or bad. This leads to a restricted diet and negative feelings associated with eating. Intuitive eating is comprised of 10 principles that encourage food choices without guilt, respects hunger and fullness, and fosters enjoyment in eating.
You may find it difficult at first as you learn how to eat intuitively. It requires patience, practice, and mindfulness in order for it to become a habit. It may be good to start the practice by reading a book about intuitive eating and slowly implementing it into your routine. Gradually, you will notice a shift to improved mood, higher self-esteem, and easier weight maintenance.
Appreciate What Your Body Can Do
Most of us don’t realize how lucky we are until something negatively impacts our health. It isn’t until we break our foot that we realize how easy it made walking around. We don’t notice the importance of our nose until we aren’t able to taste food during a cold. The trick to appreciating all that your body can do is through constant mindful appreciation.
If you’re struggling to find the positive in your body, here is a list of 20 things to appreciate about your body right now. You won’t believe all the ways your body is helping you at this very moment.
by your Diva Den Studio Team