As we prepare for changing leaves and sweater weather, many of us feel the holiday season looming. After months spent indoors, we may feel anxious about experiencing body shame at family gatherings, work or events.
I want to equip you with 4 foundational tools to help you bring the energy of body positivity - not body shame - into this transitional season:
1. Make Comfort Your #1 Fall Goal
Did you know that your comfort matters? Yes, it does! You know what's uncomfortable? Constantly measuring yourself against others and constantly trying to change your body. What if comfort - rather than self-criticism - was the organizing principle of this season?
In our culture, goals are often centered around measurable performance outcomes or physical transformations. But a goal can be more subtle. It can be anything you want to put energy and resources behind. Think of comfort as your north star this season.
Yes, it takes time to go from constant self-judgment to self-acceptance, but that switch starts with recognizing that you deserve to feel good and prioritizing finding things that create comfort for you.
Instead of seeing fall as a deadline for changing the size or shape of your body (or worrying about others doing those things), remember that this season should be about about relaxation and the joy of slowing down.
Yummy hot beverages.
There are no body restrictions on this stuff. Remember: you, yes you, deserve to feel good. Take every opportunity for coziness that presents itself - and find more opportunities.
2. Be Brutally Honest About What You Need (i.e., You Have Permission NOT To Be Brave!)
As you are learning new tools and changing how you relate to your body and others, it's a brilliant idea to be brutally honest about what you might need to feel okay.
Remember: you may not need this forever. This is what you need today.
> Maybe for now you need a little more space. Have you thought about building more time before and after interacting with people or events that give you the stress tingles?
> Maybe for now you need a little extra boost of confidence, a cloak of bravery, some fashion armor, a good luck charm. Is it time to start a search for an amazing mug that makes you feel good, the fiercest shade of lipstick, the comfiest socks, or some bravery-inspiring boots?
It's an excellent idea to anticipate your fears and prepare for self-care.
3. Find & Commit to the Places and People That Make You Feel Good
If negative body image thoughts or feelings are set off by certain people or places, you actually don’t have to interact with them! If these are the absolutely only places or people you have access to - you always have permission to engage just a little bit less: stay for shorter periods, book a zoom call instead of an in-person hangout, schedule things tightly so you'll get out of sticky visit, or have a friend text or call you at a certain time to remind you to leave (I've tried it! It works.).
4. Think of Protecting Your Body Image Like You Think of Putting On A Coat Before You Go Out On A Cold Day
We put on a jacket so that we can protect our precious bodies from at-times harsh weather. Likewise, start to think of our culture as that harsh weather, and your body image as something you need to protect. In the same way that you probably wouldn’t sit in the blistering cold for an hour straight with nothing to keep you warm, don’t leave your body image exposed to toxic conversations, media or vibes either.
Guess what? You got this. Put these 4 tools into your autumnal self-care routine. Make this fall about fuzzy socks, not fear.
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