When you are someone who has dealt with body image issues, you know the challenges surrounding the holidays. It is a challenge to block out negative messages surrounding body image. That is why it is crucial to head into the holidays with self-care practices in place so that you can navigate the holidays and take care of yourself!
Self-Care Tips for Body Image During the Holidays
Prep and Know Your Boundaries
Before you go into the holiday weekend, prep with boundary setting. You can practice boundary setting by planning ahead and knowing when to exit a conversation when the topic of discussion is something that will lead you to think negatively. You can plan for that convo and how you will respond, whether it is exiting the convo, letting them know your thoughts, redirecting the convo, or just steering clear of too much talk with that one relative.
Hopefully, you don’t have to worry about this but if you have relatives who do comment on your body, know how you will respond. Prepping ahead can make a tremendous difference and setting boundaries that focus on what is best for you is one critical way of practicing self-care this holiday season. We can’t change how others think or feel but we can control how we react and take care of ourselves.
Listen To Your Body
Listen to your body and eat when you are hungry. Don’t think about what you had the day before or that morning, fuel your body when it needs the fuel. It is easy for us to forget how hard our bodies are working and we never realize what stressors may be impacting our body more: listen to it and nourish it with what it needs. Our bodies will go through changes, regardless of the holiday season. We are always changing and that should not determine whether or not we properly fuel our bodies.
Continuously Celebrate Your Progress
Whenever I hear the diet industry ads and people discussing diets, I no longer feel much of anything or let it bother me because I know they don’t work and most importantly how harmful they are. They play no role in my life and that will not be changed regardless of the discussion and frequency of ads.
Remind yourself of your progress, and what you have learned, and be proud to have come so far. Celebrate the fact that you are no longer influenced by such a toxic money-profiting industry and that you have the knowledge of how unhelpful diets are. Give yourself a pat on the back that you aren’t one of those relatives sitting there talking about diets when there are far greater important things in life to be spending your time and energy discussing this holiday season. This has helped me to continuously focus on myself and not let others impact my ways of thinking while coping with a history of body image issues.
Put The Phone Down
Social media can be an additional challenge, whether it’s targeted ads that are hitting your feed or Insta accounts that make it easy for you to compare and despair, taking a break from social media is always a good thing for our mental health. It will not only help you avoid negative thoughts surrounding body image if you are prone to comparing on social media but a break from technology also helps us with our anxiety and staying grounded.
Take Time For You
Whether it is getting in meditation in the morning or a nature walk, take some time for yourself throughout this holiday season so that you can not just take care of yourself but also clear your head when needed.
Get Enough Sleep
Why is this critical? Personally, if I don’t get my eight hours then I am prone to anxiety and anxiety means that I am much more prone to negative thinking patterns which can ultimately lead to negative thoughts surrounding myself, and my body and comparing my progress to others which is not helpful for navigating body image during the holidays.