SELF CARE | Body positivity during difficult times

10.9.21


How is your body feeling right now? 


Across the world, we've all experienced multiple lockdowns this past year and a half. And now, as we edge closer to freedom and travel, you may be experiencing feelings of excitement but also increased anxiety over how your body has changed wondering how you're ever going to feel comfortable in a swimsuit again.


YOUR BODY NEEDS YOU TO BE IT'S BEST FRIEND

For as long as I remember, I have always been harsh on my body and appearance. I'm not entirely sure where the negative thoughts and this self-view first arose. Maybe sometime in childhood. It could have been a simple throwaway comment that I clung to, who knows? 


The last year and a half of uncertainty and angst brought about by the pandemic has complicated my relationship with my body even more. Somewhere between giving up exercise, drinking more wine, and regular outings to the bakery (read essential service) - something had to give. (And girl, let me tell you, it wasn't the waistband!)


CONTROL IS NOT THE ANSWER

When we feel good and happy with our bodies, we feel body confident. It is very much personal as it's about you and your body. For some, this comes naturally, but it can sometimes be a struggle for others, like myself.


Intuitive self-care is not so easy to practice when the world is in chaos! 


The societal messaging we're confronted with that upholds unrealistic beauty expectations can make the journey to body confidence difficult. There are still perceived notions of what makes a person beautiful and, usually, this involves how a body 'should look. This can make it difficult for anyone who doesn't fit the mould to feel good about their body, which is where unlearning comes in.


In response to the waist expansion, I launched into an intense period of exercising hard, 6 days a week. I controlled what I was eating for several months in an attempt to halt the slippery slope I was sliding down. And I hated my body, the way I felt, and how I looked in my clothes, spending a lot of time talking about it to anyone who would listen (mostly my poor husband). Needless to say, nothing changed, I didn't lose the excess 10kg I had gained, and this controlling behaviour wasn't sustainable beyond a few months. 

 

LESS ACTION, MORE EASE


As the saying goes, doing the same thing over and over again, and somehow expecting a different result is just the definition of stupid.


This year, amid more lockdowns, more worry and more stress, something monumental shifted for me. I gave up trying to control what I can't. I now pay more attention to how I speak about my body and how I treat it. I'm learning to slow down and listen to my physical and emotional needs and respect my body and all it can do. And after a few months of unexpected illness, I am now also very thankful for my health. 


beautiful blonde woman walking barefoot on wet sand wearing loose linen dress

LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED


  1. Your body knows what it needs. Slowing down, listening to your body, and responding to its physical and emotional needs will positively impact your health.
  2. You cannot control everything, but you can manage your thoughts, how you react and respond to things outside of your control.
  3. Be aware of the power of the language you use when speaking about yourself and others.
  4. Remember, when you look at social media, you mostly only see what people want you to see. That is not reality.
  5. It is good to step away from the constant flow of news and information and only check in occasionally. Your mind will thank you.
  6. Becoming attuned and grateful for all the great things you have in your life is the best antidote to stress and anxiety.
  7. Create time in your day for you, every day. Make it a habit to rest, be in nature and with your own thoughts without distractions or technology.  


Be kind to yourself Angels. 🌸 Sass  x



Image Credits: Rhi (top) Georgie (middle)

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