Self-care has been the secret tool that helped on my journey to true body-love, appreciation and acceptance; and I know it can do the same for you.
While there are plenty of easy ways to practice self-care daily, what a lot of people don’t realise is that self-care has the capacity to impact your life on a much deeper level. It can be the tool you need to finally let go of negative body image thoughts and experience love for your body.
Firstly what is true body-love?
True body-love doesn’t just mean that you love the way your body looks. Sure, thinking your butt looks amazing in your new jeans is great, but true body-love encompasses so much more than that. It means loving all of you. With true body-love you value your beautiful body as a whole (not just the way it looks) and this includes loving your mind and your soul.
You are so much more than just a physical body. You mind and your thoughts also make you who you are, so when I say ‘body’ I mean your ‘mind, body and soul’. True body-love means seeing yourself as something that is already whole, rather than parts that needs to be changed. It means accepting and feeling grateful for everything that makes you who you are.
It also means loving yourself regardless of how you look or how you feel. Finding love and self-acceptance on the good days as well as the bad days. Being kind to yourself when you’re tired, stressed, heartbroken or feeling angry.
It’s feeling like you don’t need to change who you are or how you look to gain anyone’s approval – including your own.
So how can you use self-care to find true body-love?
Yes self-care means putting your own needs first, but know that doing so is not selfish. It instead shows the value you place on how you feel and how you spend your time.
To start finding true body-love, your self-care practice needs to connect your mind with your physical body.
Here are 5 simple practices that will connect your body and mind, and that have revolutionised the thoughts I have about my body.
1. Live mindfully
You can bring mindfulness to anything you do. When you drink tea do so with presence and really savour the warm, delicious liquid. When you shower, notice what the water feels like as it hits your shoulders. When you’re walking, pay attention to what’s happening around you. Feel all of your feelings without judgement. Tune into your breath whenever you need to feeler calmer.
Being mindful whenever you can really connects your mind and your physical body. It helps you to notice everything your body can do and experience, and this in turn will help amplify your self-love.
2. Spend time naked
I first felt true body-love during a nude yoga class. Without my clothes to hide behind or distract me I was 100% present in my body. And I felt so connected to myself as a whole being.
If you can, attend a nude yoga class. If you can’t, you can roll out your mat for a solo nude yoga session at home. You can also bring presence to your body by dancing in your underwear (or naked). You may feel awkward or judge yourself at first, but close your eyes and focus on moving from your heart instead. You can experience so much joy and body-appreciation by regularly getting naked in a judgment-free zone.
3. Give yourself permission to just be you
You don’t need to change who you are or what you look like to experience true body-love. Give yourself permission to stay true to you.
You’re allowed to put your needs first. You’re allowed to look after yourself before offering your time to another person. You’re allowed to take up space. You’re allowed to rest when you need to. You’re allowed to live however you want to live.
So give yourself permission to be authentically you. Give yourself permission to do the things that bring you joy.
RELATED: My Favourite Self-Care Tools
4. Create boundaries (and stick to them)
Boundaries are a huge part of self-care. In the past I’ve struggled with saying “no” or having any real boundaries because I was a people-pleaser and never wanted anyone to think I was rude. But having boundaries shows that you value your time, your energy and your needs.
Having boundaries is a powerful way to show others your self-worth, which they will then reflect back to you.
Every time you stick to your boundaries you’ll begin to respect yourself more and more. By not trying to constantly please people you’ll learn that acceptance starts within.
5. Explore your spirituality
Diving into the world of spirituality is a sure-fire way to learn that you are so much more than just a physical body. There are so many great authors and books on spirituality but Eckhart Tolle is one of my favourites. A huge part of spirituality for me, has been learning to connect with my inner voice or my intuition. I’ve worked on this through journaling, meditation, breath work and by spending time on my yoga mat.
Have fun exploring spirituality and connecting with your intuition (you might find this article on mastering your intuition helpful). This is an area where there is always more to learn and discover, but wherever you are in your explorations you’ll definitely notice a change in your approach to self-care and self-judgement. When you’re devotion to self-care increases and the self-judgements lessen, that’s when you start to experience true body-love – the highest form of positive body image.
As Buddha said,
Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.
When you bring presence, respect and reflection to your beautiful body, your self-love will increase tenfold. And making self-care a priority is the best way I know how to do that and to really experience true body-love.
If you want more inspiration for your journey to true body-love, appreciation, acceptance and confidence, then I recommended Mastering The Art Of Self Love – a mini eCourse, featuring yours truly. It’s simple, inspiring and designed to help you cultivate your own self-care practice. Plus, I recommend following these 5 women:
- Isabel Foxen Duke
- Lauren Fowler
- Amelia Harvey
- Brittany Baxter
- Kirsty Baines
Now, we’d love to hear from you. Do you love your body? What secrets and tips have helped you on your body love journey? Let me know in the comments below.
Thousands of incredible souls visit CASA DE KARMA every month for motivation and inspiration, so your contribution may help someone else on their wellness journey.
Thank you in advance for sharing your voice and making this virtual oasis a place for thoughtful, kind and encouraging conversations.
P.S. Who do you know that needs to inspiration for body love, appreciation and acceptance? Share this article with them now – they’ll thank you or it later.