You can show your body love, even if you don’t actually love your body. Acting in a kind, compassionate, gentle way toward your body is a way to offer your body respect and acceptance. And it’s a powerful practice because when you act loving, you often shift your mindset, which will impact your relationship with your body.
These acts of love are easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. Some of them you probably already do. If that’s the case, I invite you to perform those tasks with the intention to care for your body. Be deliberate and acknowledge the kindness you’re offering your body.
1. Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge.
Don’t hold it. Don’t wait to finish the task. Don’t avoid going because you’re in public. Just excuse yourself if needed and take your sweet self to the bathroom. You’ll feel immediate relief and so will your body.
2. Put on a sweater if the air conditioning is freezing. Or cool yourself down by shedding a layer if the heat is sweltering.
Don’t be uncomfortable if the air temperature is too hot or too cold. If you’re indoors, adjust the thermostat or turn a fan on/off. Don’t sit at your desk and shiver. Put a sweater on. Or if the heat is making you grumpy, take the jacket off. You don’t have to hide your arms.
3. Brush your teeth.
Give some gentle attention to those chompers. Don’t rush the two minutes. And if you’re feeling like offering something extra, floss too. Your teeth will feel smooth, your mouth fresh, and your body will feel a little bit cared for.
4. Drink some water.
Stick your head under the faucet and slurp it up. Or pull out a fancy glass and garnish with fresh fruit. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just hydrate. Don’t worry if it’s the “right” amount.
5. Rest when you’re tired.
Whether you’ve hit an afternoon slump or a wave of exhaustion is knocking you out, let yourself slow down. Maybe that looks like a long nap. Maybe it’s a ten-minute snooze with your eyes closed. Maybe it’s walking away from a tiresome task and coming back to it after you’ve had a dance break. Maybe it’s going to bed as soon as you’re tired rather than at a specific time.
Acts of Service
Acts of love are a way to be of service to your body. They show your body that you’re a trustworthy partner, even if you’re reluctant to accept your body.
Sometimes you’re so disconnected from your body that you don’t even notice the small ways that you do take care of it. This practice allows you to connect with your body multiple times in the day to see how it’s doing.
Pick a day this week and commit to practicing all five of these activities for an entire day. Then give yourself space to reflect on what happened. Possible journal prompts:
- Were any tasks easy to do? Did you resist any of these tasks?
- How did you feel after a day of taking deliberate care of your body in these ways?
- Is there a loving task(s) that you want to continue?