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A Quick Guide to Improving Your Body Image

Don't confuse size as being connected with your self worth. You're worthy wherever you are. Kg are just kg and mean nothing about you. Your size doesn't heal unmet childhood needs. Your emotions, your unhealed wounds will always find a way to express themselves, which won't be healed by your impression of an acceptable weight.

The messages we constantly receive in our society, the messages we receive from family, strangers, friends early on (you've gained weight, you've lost weight, comments that constantly reflect image) provide messages that the way to receive affirmation is through the way you look.

I love the following quote, it sums it up nicely:

“And i said to my body, softly. ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.”

Nayyirah Waheed

A Quick List of Some Kind Acts You Can Do for your Body Today...

- exercise for movement, strength or your mental health. Not for punishment

- eat food sometimes for pleasure, for health, for practical reasons and because it is what it needs. We do need to consider food for our body, that fuels it well, but sometimes, a kind act, is just eating something because it just tastes good

- rest instead of punishing yourself, with exercise, or putting yourself down, if you're tired

- do something kind for someone else

- listen to a meditation

- read

- do something for your own leisure

- get enough sleep (if possible!!!) - go to bed half an hour earlier or take a nap on the weekend

- surround yourself with people who make you feel good

- delete social media accounts that trigger body image issues and follow the ones that make you feel good about your body. Try these hashtags: #bodypositivity #bodyacceptance #selfacceptance

- write down the things you would say to a friend, if they were struggling with their body. Then practice saying the same thing to yourself - either out loud, or writing it down. This is much more powerful than just saying it in your head.

- Think about getting some therapy or even looking at an online course, if you're really struggling with how you feel about your body and your self esteem

Building your self worth or learning to accept yourself, is always a work in progress. It takes practice and patience. It takes constant learning and self reflection.

And remember this:

"if your compassion doesn't include yourself, it is incomplete" (Jack Kornfield)

Sarah Purvey is the founder and director of Eastern Shore Psychology, in Hobart, Tasmania. Sarah predominantly supports those with PTSD, workers compensation matters and parents during the perinatal period and well beyond. Sarah also enjoys supporting psychologists to have rewarding and long psychology careers.

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