New Year’s Resolution: Body Acceptance
The year 2020 has not been easy. Restrictions and changes as a result of the pandemic have placed additional stresses on our mental health. In particular, social media has amplified body image concerns for many.
Constant talk of weight loss and healthy eating can shake our body confidence and redirect our valuable energy to focus on unhelpful goals. Cheryl Webb, a clinical specialist in the Pediatric Eating Disorders Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital, offers some advice to set you on the path of body acceptance.
Building lasting wellness
“This year, use your `clean-slate energy’ to build body acceptance. Take a pass on making a new year’s resolution focused on your body and instead set an intention toward lasting wellness,” says Webb. “Choose an inspirational word such as gratitude, giving, creativity, or fun and try to live this out through your actions.”
Living intentions through actions
“Choose one accomplishment you want to work towards and focus on how to make it happen:
- Get active in your community. Volunteer, organize or support ideas and agencies that matter to you.
- Clean up your social media feeds if they are encouraging unhelpful comparisons, promoting body shame or unhealthy dieting practices. Unfollow or mute those accounts.
- Build your self-compassion through mindfulness, mediation or by taking a yoga class.
- Make art, write in your journal, or learn a new hobby.
Taking care of your mind is part of caring for your body. Decrease your stress by paying attention to what calms and centres you.
Resolve that this will be the year you get off the body-shaming treadmill and take steps toward body acceptance.”
Personal resolution – outdoor exploration
“The pandemic – with its lockdowns and restrictions – has made me so much more appreciative of our local conservation areas and green space,” says Webb of her personal new year’s resolution. “This year, I resolve to get outside more and explore the waterfalls and trails around my home. Hamilton has so many amazing outdoor spaces and I plan to be in them whenever I safely can be.”