Take a moment to notice how you feel about your body or what others might have said about your body. Think about the primary messages, both positive and negative, you were given about your body from family, friends, your community, media, images, doctors, church, culture, or other areas.
Did you notice how often we receive negative messages about our bodies? Sometimes these messages may influence how we view ourselves and our bodies; leading us to judge or feel ashamed of our bodies. I know because I still struggle with eating too much in fear of gaining weight (a message I received as a child).
However I have learned through research and experience that developing body kindness can be impactful to our healing and increase our confidence and self-esteem. With such great benefits, let’s take a moment to talk about body kindness.
Body kindness is reframing judgment and shame into self-care and compassion. Body kindness is the act of creating a better life by being good to yourself.
Body kindness is a self-care mindset and while self-care may sound simple enough, it is often difficult to execute. Fortunately, there are many different self-care practices you can do in all areas of your life. And each step you take is moving you towards body kindness. Here are a few examples of what self care can look like.
Move your Body:
- Attend a yoga/pilates class
- Go for a run
- Play a sport
Have fun in your body:
- Play with pets
- Try something new
- Spend time in nature
Work from the inside out:
- Allow yourself to feel and express all of your feelings
- Repeat mantras “my body deserves to be nourished” “I accept myself as I am today even if its not perfect”
- Listen to music
- Write in your journal
- Bake something
Positive Social Engagement:
- Talk to a positive friend
- Join a support group
- Learn to say no and not over-commit yourself
Connect to Calm:
- Drink more water
- Rest of sleep
Remember your needs are important and taking care of yourself allows you to replenish the energy you need to go about your life. Self-care is about taking time to try different things and find out what feels good to you—something that you genuinely enjoy doing, and that fits with your lifestyle and your values.
Body Kindness is not ignoring reality but making better choices without shame. Body kindness can help us reframe the messages we have received about our body and will invite self-compassion into our lives. Beginning a daily practice of self-care will help you in developing greater body kindness. I personally have tried to speak to myself differently and to treat my body kindly and I know this has helped me AND it can help you on your own personal journey.
Cheering you on!