The Holidays and Being Body Positive

The Holidays can be a magical time of year. For many people the holidays are a time for giving, making memories, spending quality time with loved ones, and… eating good food!

Unfortunately, many of us can fall into engagement with negative self-talk resulting in feelings of shame and guilt during this time of year when maybe we are eating a little more than we usually do. This is not being ‘body positive’ and can cause a lot of stress and despair during what is supposed to be an enjoyable time. Here are some tips on being body positive during the holidays.

  1. Avoid talking about food and our bodies.

    • Food is not just for energy and
      nourishment. It is also a source of pleasure and a way for us to bond with other people, making it a common thing to share with one another during the holidays. Avoid saying things like “I should not have eaten that.” or “I just gained 10 pounds after that meal!” This is not helpful for you or the person you are saying it to. Remember how your words can influence others!
  2. Try not to overdo exercise.

    • It’s not uncommon for people to attempt and compensate for the increase in food consumption with extra exercise. While in theory, this is OK, it is important to be mindful of our intentions. Exercise should feel good and make us feel good about ourselves. If the extra exercise is physically exhausting you, resulting in physical pain, or feels like a punishment then perhaps it is time to take a step back and reevaluate.
  3. Do not get caught up in the idea of good and bad foods.

    • No foods are good or bad. Some foods may be more nourishing to our bodies than others, but that is it. Sometimes the foods we consider “bad” that may have more sugar, salt, calories, fat, etc. are nourishing for our minds and make our brains feel good and that is
      OK! Anything in excess can become unhealthy, including stereotypical “good”
      foods. Once again, it’s about being mindful.

Be kind to yourself and others this holiday. Life is too short not to allow yourself moments of indulgence!


About Shelton Piland: 

Shelton is a Supervisee in Clinical Social Work and provides services at our Fredericksburg location. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in Sociology. Shelton received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Throughout her time at VCU she has worked with elementary, middle school, and high school students in the Spotsylvania Public School system. To learn more about Shelton, visit here.

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