Thursday, November 22, 2012

How to Have a Body Positive Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about food. And giving thanks. But mostly, it's about food.

Everyone struggles with their body image. Whether you wish your legs were longer, your biceps weren't so big, you had an hourglass shape, you wish your teeth were whiter, or your hair blonder. It's human nature to compare ourselves to others but that doesn't mean it's healthy. So how can we think positively about our bodies on a holiday that makes us question our bodies?

1. Love Yourself

This is easily the most important part of having a body positive holiday. Take a look at your body, but not in the mirror. Look down at yourself. Think about all of the amazing things your body can do. Do you play an instrument? Run marathons? Sculpt? Build things? Give birth? Rescue others? Do you read and write? Focus on your gifts and strengths. Give yourself compliments. Love your long brown hair? Love the little gap between your front teeth? What about those scars? Give thanks for the amazing things your body can do instead of narrowing in on how your hair isn't as blonde as Jennifer Aniston's.

2. Build Your Support Team

Surround yourself with people who take you higher. Everyone has that relative who comments on your body. Be pleasant and civil to him/her, but don't go out of your way. Instead, help with the cooking or join in a family game. By choosing who you spend time with, you can set yourself up for success.

3. Practice Self-Care

Take time for yourself! Go for a long walk, take a bubble bath, play with your pet, read a book, dance, go to the movies... the list never ends! Everyone needs to focus on themselves. It's easy to get swept into the stress of the holidays. By spending time with yourself, you can reenergize for later.

4. Set Boundaries

If you're spending time with your family and someone makes a comment on another person's body, you can politely say, "Oh, we don't say things like that here". Usually, people only need to hear that once or twice before they get the message. This is a great way to get your point across and set the tone for the evening without causing a scene. Instead of pouring over a tabloid, gather everyone outside for a lively family game! Or break out the cards for some poker! You can easily set the stage for a body positive, and fun, Thanksgiving holiday.

The holidays are stressful for everyone, no matter what your situation may be. Take time to be with yourself, spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy your day!

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