No one can be 100% body-positive all the time. The best way to bounce back quickly from body image struggles is to be prepared for them. When you’re having a good day, take the time to make a list of 5 or 6 traits that you love about yourself, or reasons you are grateful for your body.
Ex) “I am so happy my strong arms allow me to hug my nieces and nephews.“
Unsurprisingly, it’s usually extra hard to recall these positive things in the moment you need them most so creating the list in advance is important. Keeping the list on a note card in your purse, or even in a text message on your phone, makes it accessible when you need a little body image boost.
When you’re making the list, you may have negative body image thoughts pop into your head. That’s okay, notice the thought and replace it with a positive alternative. If it’s difficult to come up with your positive list, try thinking about it from the perspective of your friends, your kids or even your pets. They all love you for who you are and how you interact with them, not what you look like or how much you weigh.
Ex) “I am reliable and I show up everyday for my loved ones.” or “My body allows me to have fun with my friends.”
In addition to a list of things you value about yourself, a #bodypositivesummer mantra can help to center you before heading into challenging situations. For example, if you know you struggle with body anxiety during trips to the beach or pool, add little notes of inspiration or positive quotes to the items in your beach bag that you’ll be using throughout the day like a water bottle, camera or sunglasses case.
You can make-up your own mantras or print out the following 6 Statements to Support a #bodypositivesummer below.
Read more about the Body Positive Summer Campaign here.