For most of us, loving our bodies is something we must consciously choose, and it can take time to reverse what could be a whole lifetime of criticism. Whether we like it or not, we live in a competitive world where beauty is highly valued. Growing up, our bodies are often subject to scrutiny by our family, friends, and love interests. We’re told we need to be skinnier, thicker, or stronger.
Aside from our appearance, our bodies are also subject to our lifestyles and the ways we often fall short of honoring them. We may work jobs that take a toll on our bodies and cause all sorts of pain, or we may consume food and other substances that do not support our physical well being.
Our bodies our our temples- we’ve only got this one! It’s vital to learn how to honor and appreciate the body you’re in.
If you’re on the journey towards loving yourself and your body better, we have some actionable tips below that will help you nurture, protect, and honor the skin you’re in.
1. Accept where you are. Whether you’re happy or unhappy with your weight, whether you do or don’t have health issues, whether you have a relationship with your body or not, acknowledge where you are and accept yourself in this moment. To accept yourself doesn’t mean to resign yourself—it just means that you are releasing your resistance to yourself in the here and now. This acceptance is in an important part of the self-love journey.
2. Engage in activities that connect you to your body. Your body communicates what it needs, and also what you need on an emotional level. Our emotions speak through the body. Part of the path of self-love is learning to listen to your body and emotions. You can begin to create this connection through conscious breathing, yoga, meditation, or grounding activities including massage. In addition to providing relaxation and restoration to the body, massage heightens your own awareness of your body so that you can more easily connect to it and embrace it. Massage can also boost self-esteem and body image in a non-threatening way.
3. Stay active. The idea of “working out,” such as running on a treadmill or going to the gym every day, might sound like a bore. Fortunately, the traditional ways of working out aren’t mandatory, and you have the freedom to be creative. You can join a rowing team, play basketball, dance, take a yoga class, go for a daily walk, or whatever sounds the most appealing to you. Staying active is one of the best ways to nurture your body as well as your mind. Physical activity has a host of benefits too long to list, but primarily it keeps your health in check, provides energy, and helps keep you in touch with your body.
4. Eat healthy. A “healthy diet” can mean something different to every person. Ask yourself what it means to you. How can you nurture your body with what you consume each day? How are your energy levels? Are you getting the fuel and nutrition your body needs to perform at its best? Is your diet sustainable and supportive of longevity, or are you setting yourself up for a crash and burn? Pay attention to how you feel and how different foods make you feel. If it doesn’t feel good, it’s time to change it. In general, the more variety of fruits and vegetables you have in your diet the better.
Cheers to you for taking this journey towards self-love. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.
If you’re looking for ways to connect to your body, Vita Wellness has accepting and welcoming massage therapists—they are not biased to body size. EveryBODY deserves positive, conscious touch!