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Throughout the last year most of us have gone through many changes in our lives. With a lot of time spent at home away from our offices, classes, and gyms, we have learned to slow down. Because of our more sedentary lifestyle during Covid we may have seen our bodies change. These changes can affect our self-esteem and body image, influencing us to want to diet or causing emotional distress if we don’t like what we are seeing in the mirror.
But have no fear, there are things we can do to raise our self-esteem and body image once again! Many fall into the trap of over exercising, restricting calories, and dieting with very strict rules. These options are not the healthiest for us, and dieting tends to not work in the long run. A great alternative is moving into a more body-neutral or body-positive stance.
Body neutrality is the idea that we can accept our bodies just as they are right now in this moment. Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean you like it, but that you understand where you’re at and are ok with it. Body neutrality is just as it sounds, thinking about your body in a neutral non-judgmental way. This is done by avoiding terms with judgment such as ugly, awful, worst ever, etc. Try thinking in neutral statements like “here is what I look like today” or “my body is helping me stay alive.” You can break down areas that you don’t “like” by appreciating them for what they do for you.
If body neutrality comes pretty naturally to you, body positivity might not be hard for you to move toward next! I know it can be hard for some of us, and that’s ok. Sometimes moving from negative to neutral is much easier than negative to loving. If you can move to body positivity, here’s what that may look like for you:
loving your body no matter how it looks
not allowing anyone else’s opinion to affect how you feel about yourself and your body
being confident in you body, and wearing things that you like
feeling comfortable in your own skin
giving yourself complements or saying positive affirming things to yourself like “you are beautiful even in your imperfections” or “you are enough just as you are” or even “I am proud of my body.”
Whichever you choose to try, just know you are not alone in your struggles this year with Covid. If you need extra support please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help.