Love Your Body: Appreciating What Is Instead of What Could Be

Reset your mind and re-focus on loving yourself for who you are and what your body can do for you. The ‘ideal’ body type, hair type, skin type, and lifestyle that magazines sell is a fantasy designed to draw people into becoming consumers.

There is nothing wrong with self-care focused on looking good as long as it makes us feel good as well. A new haircut, joining a gym, or a benzoyl peroxide wash for acne treatment should make us feel like we are taking care of ourselves. It is meant to make us feel good about ourselves.

If you find yourself being critical of your body or feeling guilty about eating, you may need to step back and explore where that criticism is coming from. In a fast-paced world where everything must happen now, it is an act of self-care to slow down or even stop and take stock of your mental health.

Self-criticism may signal that there is something going on mentally that is affecting you physically. Mental un-wellness can take a toll on our bodies and make us more prone to getting ill. Luckily, recognizing that you need a break and then treating your body well can help you get back a more healthy physical and mental state.

Take a Deep Breath  

Start right now, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose, into your abdomen, and hold it for a count of three before releasing the breath through your mouth. Do this three times, slowly and steadily.

This kind of deep breathing technique is an excellent way to oxygenate your body and help you find calm when you are feeling overwhelmed or unable to focus. Do this as many times a day as your need, and you will find that it is easier to deal with your daily chores and tasks because you’re feeling calmer.

Stretch It Out  

This is especially important if you work the kind of job that requires you to sit or stand in one position for a long time. Take a break every hour to go to the bathroom and shake out your stiffness. Stretch your arms and legs, and rotate your joints and neck to loosen them up. At the end of the day, you will find that you no longer need to unbend yourself out of your chair. You also will not feel as stiff for as long and will have more energy.

We sometimes beat ourselves up for being so stiff at the end of the day and think negative thoughts about our age and physical abilities. This can, in turn, cause us to feel more lethargic than we actually go and cause us to avoid exercising. Less exercise will cause more stiffness, and the cycle will perpetuate itself.

Stretching can help to alleviate the stiffness in our body and the increased feeling of being limber. This is more likely to cause us to go through with any plans to exercise.

Start Dancing  

People struggle to exercise because they get tired and lack stamina. But exercising is one of the best ways to get in tune with your body and learn to appreciate it for what it can do. Thus, it is vital to find a way to regain stamina without losing the drive to become more physically active.

One of the best ways to get back into shape, regain stamina, and have a lot of fun doing it all is to dance. Make a playlist of your favorite songs and dedicate half an hour every evening to dancing. Seeing how much fun you’re having will likely cause your family to join in as well. It will make this a great bonding activity and a good way to regain stamina and get your body back to a state where you can enjoy doing other exercises.

After you have been dancing every evening for some time, you will find that you do not feel as winded as when you started. You can take this as a sign to start adding more exercise to your day. Start dancing for an hour instead of half an hour, or add a 30-minute walk to your daily routine.

Exercise by itself is not enough to help us become our best healthy selves. Dietary changes are necessary as well. It can seem like a lot, but the extreme fad diets and drastic changes they require are gimmicky and do not work for the long term.

All you really need is to make small changes that add to your existing routine. Keep a water tumbler with you at all times to make it easier to drink water. Increase your water intake by a glass every other day.

Replace one meal with healthy fats, reduced carbohydrates, and enough proteins. Do this for every meal alternatively till you find the meal that these changes seem to suit the most. As you learn how to cook these healthy foods for this one meal, you will find it easier to apply those cooking skills to other meals as well.

It may not sound like a lot, but after adapting to these adjustments, you will find that you enjoy being in your skins a lot better. That is because you will be better hydrated, better fed, feel lighter, and be happier with who you are and how you feel.

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