As someone who is fiercely committed to spreading and instilling body positivity, even I sometimes need a break from the hyperactive and constantly political existence that comes with being a BoPo advocate. Although shouting self-love mantras in your friend circles and reclaiming supposed flaws through unapologetic outfits are endlessly important, they can also become very tiring work when coupled with the additional stressors of work and everyday life. For instance, I'm not always consciously breaking the binary with my outfits or shoving my cute wiggly belly in the faces of others. This kind of body positivity is definitely helpful for enacting change in how we feel about ourselves. But for me personally, these actions feel better when done a bit more sporadically.
With that in mind, it's fine to "take days off" on your quest of hyper-visibility and general rad-ness. But that doesn't mean you have to take a break from the strong foundation of self love that you've built. There are a million little ways to show your body some love without the fear of feeling upset, challenged, or exhausted.
These are the 11 methods that I find to be safe and subtle ways in which I can love myself. I encourage you to try some of these if they resonate with you. And maybe replace the ones that don't with things that will remind you of your body's awesomeness when you're not feeling your absolute bravest.
1. Get Moving (If You Can)
Remembering to make some time every week for running, walking, or weights can be just what you need in order to give your body that extra sparkle. When I do yoga, my body feels much less achy and stiff, and I'm rewarded with a body pos job well done.
Exercise has always been the bane of my self-loving existence for my sheer inability to commit to a routine. However, you can try something fun (like hula hooping or jumping rope) to get your heart rate up and your body moving without the pressures of a specific workout routine. And if you forget to skip rope for one or two days, don't stress! Exercise should be time for you to move and discover what feels good.
If your movement is limited, perhaps try some gentle stretches according to your own ability, or check out some restorative yoga poses.
2. Revel In Scented Lotions & Exfoliating Scrubs
Why not pamper your body with luxurious oils and exfoliating body scrubs? Not only are these great for the health of your skin, but the delicious smells and the soothing feeling of a scrub are super relaxing and satisfying. They'll make for a perfect pick-me-up on your more blah days.
3. Take More Baths
Treat your body to a warm bath, and let those sore muscles (and your worries) take a vacation. You can even add epsom salts for detoxifying and a LUSH bath bomb for a more aroma-therapeutic experience.
4. Try A New Lipstick
There's nothing that makes me feel more body positive than trying a new lipstick color. It makes me feel so confident, in charge, and renewed. And the bolder, the better.
5. Indulge In Something Delicious
Treat your body to a delicious smoothie or any yummy food that makes you feel good or more awake. I love indulging in plenty of Kombucha, which gives me energy and soothes my easily irritated tummy.
Arguably just as important as eating the healthy stuff, you might want to revel in your favorite doughnut or visit your preferred cupcake shop. Because of my sensitive stomach, I avoid eating sugar. However, there's nothing that feels better than breaking my rule and indulging in a Boston Creme doughnut and lavender lemonade from time to time. In this way, I definitely feel like my body is being generously rewarded.
6. Snap A Selfie
Embrace your vanity, because you deserve it. Take a million selfies, admire yourself in the mirror, and maybe snap a couple of nudes. Your gorgeous bod is worth documenting!
7. Explore It
Masturbating is probably my favorite way of showing myself a little loving. Try different positions, methods, and sex toys... whatever you do, just have fun. If you're newer to masturbating, take your time and learn what feels good.
8. Treat Yourself To A Spa Day
Every now and then, it's fantastic to treat your body to a little pampering. Paint your nails a new color or check out that sheet mask you've been dying to try. Also, try to commit to some kind of regular loving maintenance with your body, whether it be through at-home masks or monthly massage and acupuncture appointments (if they're within budget). Taking the time to think more about what your body needs to feel good, and then taking steps to do those things, is a great practice in body positivity.
9. Show It Some Sunshine
When our jobs keep us inside and, in some cases, attached to our laptop screens, stepping outside to enjoy the sun can be your perfect dose of body love for the day. During the wintertime, it's even more wonderful to take advantage of the Vitamin D we get from the sun's rays. Plus, being outside and feeling the sun on your skin can be refreshing for your mind and mood.
10. Invest In Some Lingerie
Invest in some new lingerie that you feel good about, like the cute stuff at Neon Moon. This is about self love, so if you're the only one who ever sees your adorable panty set, then so be it. I know that just by wearing a cute bra or a pair of panties, I can go about my day feeling way more confident.
11. Dance Like No One's Watching
Celebrate your body by moving it unapologetically. Don't worry about how you look or what people might think of your awesome jiggly thighs. Break it down at your favorite concert venue, and show everyone the body pos warrior that you are.
Body positivity doesn't have to be all about OTT outfits or nudity on the streets or anything else. The wonderful thing about it is that you get to define your terms. And sometimes, it's the little stuff that really counts.
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