Loving Your Body During a Pandemic
Along with all of the stress and events that occurred in 2020 (social injustice, social unrest, political turmoil - just to name a few) many of us have added yet another item to the top of the list: confusion and disappointment about gaining weight during quarantine.
Quarantine weight gain has been very real for many. There are memes and jokes all over social media about gaining the “COVID 15”, which refers to the pounds people may have added during quarantine. And while it may seem frivolous and unimportant to some when compared to life-or-death issues, your relationship with your body and your mental health are also of utmost importance during this difficult time.
Saying “thank you” to your body is one of the most important things you can do, especially when you’re pursuing a life of self-love, wellness, and actualization. When our foundation and self-image are shaky, it becomes hard for us to operate and function at our best. Your body is your home and your relationship with your body is the longest one you will ever have.
Here are three ways you can appreciate your body through simple rituals of self-love. We hope that by practicing these, or by finding other ways to appreciate your body (the way it moves, the way it looks, the way every part fits together) you will find a calmer, deeper sense of peace that will help carry us through 2021 - come what may!
Meditation is a beautiful and fundamental way in which to center yourself. When life is stressful and your heart and mind are racing, you can always turn to meditation. It’s also accessible to everyone because you can do it anywhere. All you need to do is find a quiet, comfortable space, close your eyes, and breathe.
If you don’t know where to start, an app may be helpful to guide you as you begin your journey. There are lots of great ones out there! And when you dedicate yourself to easing your mind every day, you will reap the benefits of meditation by becoming your own wellness advocate.
- Mindful movement
Moving your body in a mindful way is very different from simply working out. This isn’t about forcing yourself to do something you dislike (but if you enjoy exercise, that’s a totally different story). This is about listening to your body and asking it what it needs.
Some people enjoy walking, running, outdoor yoga and other different ways of getting outside to appreciate nature. Find a way to move that makes both your body and mind feel good! Maybe a hike or a class is what you’re looking for? If you haven’t found your mindful movement of choice, keep looking - it’s out there!
- Slow down
We live in such a fast-paced environment. Grant yourself the permission to slow down, enjoy the special moments, and take care of yourself. Here are a few different ways to slow down in your daily life.
Eat slowly. Every time you eat, make it a point to sit down without distractions and focus on each and every bite. Savor the taste and texture. Make sure you chew slowly and actually taste what you are eating. This simple practice is a game changer in how you feel in your body every day.
Breathe. During your day, take a couple minutes to just breathe. Take 10 deep breaths and check in with your body. Allow yourself to re-center and refocus before you move on with your daily tasks. Take a walk around the block outdoors and breathe in fresh air. Clearing your mind will help you perform AND feel better overall.
Rest. If you can tell that your body or your mind is overly exhausted, it’s important you allow yourself to give your body what it needs. Going to bed early without finishing the dishes is okay. Skipping your workout so you can get home early to veg out on the couch is okay. It’s okay to let your body rest. After all, it’s the vessel that carries us through every moment — it needs your attention and love. Resting in your own way will help you rejuvenate much faster and feel good in your body.
Remember, self-love is a multifaceted concept. Like any other relationship in your life, the one you have with yourself requires nurturing, patience, and kindness. Explore different methods of caring for yourself, and find the practices that give you the most joy — to heal your mind, body, and soul.