How to Stay Body Confident and Keep a Positive Mindset this Holiday Season

December 21, 2017

Pressures on our bodies to look a certain way is constant all year round but at Christmas and Hogmanay you gotta add all this in too: Christmas Parties i.e. rooms filled with people who you feel you need to compare yourself to, mountains of foooooood which we are programmed to want to eat but then conditioned to hate ourselves for eating, the guilt and shame from toxic family members about diets and weight and being good or bad because they have eaten “1 too many mince pies”, loved ones hanging around too long, getting a bit tipsy and thinking they have a right to comment on your body, watching the Strictly Christmas Special and EVERYONE thinking they have a right to comment on other people’s bodies, New Year’s Resolutions and all the weight and exercise and diet conversation that brings up…

 

Ugggggghhhh….

 

As much as I love Christmas it brings the levels of diet chat and body shaming toxicity up to about a 10 out of 10 on the scale.

 

None of this stuff above is going to help you feel happy in your skin, be proud of who you are and what you look like and cherish your amazing body. So I am here to give you some handy tips to arm yourself for what the Christmas season may throw at you.

 

1. Remind yourself every morning that you and your body are incredible and beautiful. You can write yourself a little affirmation or reminder on a postcard like I have done, and stick it onto your mirror. If Body Positivity is new to you and full blown body confidence seems a long way off then start the day by thanking your body for keeping you alive and a good way to get on the body positive train is by…

 

 

2. Listening to your Body. This is bred out of us at such a young age: “eat three meals a day and eat everything on your plate”, “do exercise: it’s good for you!” So it’s understandably difficult to hear what our bodies are trying to tell us. But why not commit every morning to doing something your mind and body needs. To know what that is, spend a second listening to your body… Does it need water, does it need a stretch or a walk round the block, does it need coffee, does it need food? If it needs food then what kind of food: food that will comfort your mind or soul or food that will fuel your muscles? And when it comes to thinking about food and choices…

 

3. Change the conversation. If friends or family members start talking negatively about weight, mentioning diets, discussing bodies and body shaming you or others, if they are feeling guilty or shame about food or weight, attaching morality to food (“Oh I feel so bad I’ve eaten so much vs. ‘I’ve been so good for not eating xxx’ ) then find a new topic of conversation and quick-smart change the subject. And if that doesn’t work or you have run out of new topics of conversation…

 

4. Leave the room. Your mental state (aka your mental health) and your commitment to feeling happy in your body is way more important than listening to someone drone on. Don’t feel like you have to put up with rubbish toxic small talk to appear ‘polite’. Look after yourself first. You don’t have to roll your eyes and say: “oh for goodness sake, shut up” and stomp out, you can just say “This isn’t something that I feel like discussing” and go find someone else to chat to or…

 

5. Spend some time on your own. Christmas can be frenetic and busy and full on. Maybe a little time chilling out, meditating, watching TV or going for a wintery walk might be quite a nice idea to change your focus and take some time to listen to what your mind and your body’s needs are. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to…

 

6. Reflect. Because our brains are programmed to focus on negatives (it’s in our genes) and because we are constantly under pressure to achieve, achieve, achieve AND because we always have to be understated and never brag about what we have accomplished, reflection can be really difficult for some people. So give yourself a little gift this Christmas and spend twenty minutes thinking about these 4 questions, maybe grab a pen and paper and see what comes up for you:

 

QUESTIONS

  1. What are the main things I achieved this year?

  2. What one thing am I most proud of myself for?

  3. What am I grateful for? (Remember to be grateful to your body for allowing you to exist!)

  4. What am I excited about for next year?

Some of these might be difficult to answer. Sometimes if you are in a tough spot it can be difficult to pick out positives and can be very difficult to get excited about the year to come. If you are stumped then write down tiny little things. Maybe something like: going to a gig, learning something new, food you might want to eat, a friend you are going to visit, hunting for a new job, warmer weather coming (that’s one of mine…).

 

And if you are really struggling to find some positives this Christmas (or any time for that matter) then find a friend to confide in, make an appointment with your GP, check on-line for some helpful website’s like Scottish Action for Mental Health, or BEAT Eating Disorders. There are so many people and organisations out there which can provide a friendly ear.

 

And finally… the most dreaded of all…

 

7. New Year’s Resolutions. When it comes round to Hogmanay and those darned Resolution then instead of that new exercise regime or fad diet try this as a new commitment: Make 2018 the year of Respect and Reflection. Respect your own mind and body and Reflect on your achievements regularly.

 

I bet that get’s you a lot further than a gym membership….

 

Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2018!

 

Danni xxx

 

 

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DANNI GORDON

​​Tel: +44 (0) 7866 100 550

Email: danni@chachipowerproject.co.uk

Location: Central Scotland, UK

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