You know it, I know it: it’s that time of year again. “New year, new you!” With global circumstances continuing to change the way we live, it hits a little different this time around. Maybe, like me, you’ve found that the relationship with your own body has changed. Personally, my goals for the time ahead are to reconnect and repair that relationship for myself.
And if that resonates with you, I’m sharing how I’ll be doing that right here.
Here’s some of my plan:
Identify the habits that keep me feeling bad, sad, guilty, overwhelmed… and do the work to change them.
A really big one for me, for example, is getting caught up scrolling Twitter. Part of it is simply needing to do something with my hands; part of it is looking for little pockets of humour, hope, and human connection amidst the dumpster fire. The problem is that even when I find what I’m looking for, I’m still going to see the dumpster fire, and it’s hard to ignore.
So now my strategy includes collecting fidget toys (for example, I got a dope infinity cube), and reintroducing old hobbies like colouring and making jewelry when the TV’s on, while also reducing idle screen time altogether.
Turn negative self-talk into neutral self-talk.
Notice I did NOT say positive.
Counterintuitively, trying to tell yourself to be positive all the time – “love every roll and stretch mark, you goddess!” – when you really don’t or can’t feel that way can leave you feeling worse because, well, you don’t feel that way so there must be something wrong with you. This is toxic positivity.
Instead, choosing only to respect your body instead of actively berating it could be the real game-changer. This can be a tricky one because it requires paying attention and recognizing when thoughts are going “off message” and actively focusing on more neutral ones.
Instead of “These pants are too tight and I bought them last year” try “Stuff’s changed and I’m not happy about it, but at least these new pants are soft and comfy.” Or (and this one is personal): “I shouldn’t have stopped practicing regularly for so long, I’ll never get back to where I was” to “I’m really rusty but I’m glad I practiced today and that chord progression is still fun.”
Check out this article from Healthline for more on body neutrality and how to start practicing it.
Prioritize self-care practices and pastimes that include activity.
Hard truth: too often “self-care” (even for me) turns into indulgences that don’t really serve our best interests, and we excuse it “just this once” in the name of self-care (or just not feeling like it)…
BUT then “just this once” is applied so frequently to so many things that doing the things that actually take care of you get crowded out in favour of “self-care”. Like putting off workouts in favour of another hour of Netflix or scrolling Twitter.
Sometimes, the most important form of self-care is tough love: getting out of your comfort zone and doing the hard thing. Like scheduling activity – like a lunchtime walk, morning yoga, and/or a dedicated workout plan – and following through.
It may take a lot of practice, discipline, and frustration to follow the changes and get a rhythm down, but it’s worth it to set the stage for that better relationship to come through.
Are you looking to reconnect with your body in the time ahead? If you’d like guidance in doing that, I’m accepting new clients! Hop over to my Services page to get started now.