Without friends to see and catch up with over brunch and coworkers to check in with daily, we're all a little bit more caught up in our own heads than usual. Being stuck at home and not dressing up in beautiful clothes and makeup adds to the feelings of inadequacy. Not to mention those quarantine 15 memes and jokes are being spread everywhere, all making it a hard time to feel good about your body.
We put together this list of 5 ways to show your bod a little bit of love, even in quarantine. So give it a try, and see what it can do for your mental state.
1. Edit Your Feed
The media we intake affects us more than we realize, and we're certainly taking in a lot of it now, with so many of us having extra time at home. Next time you're scrolling, question how the folks you follow make you feel. Does the "killer abs" content make you feel bad about your body? Unfollow. Do the tips on how to make the most of quarantine feel overwhelming? Unfollow. Search for some body-positive influencers to follow. Bonus points for following someone who has a body much like yours, and even more points for following someone fatter than you. Perspective is everything, and when your feed shows lots of thinner folks hard at work on "bettering" themselves, you're left feeling worse. But following some people that are fatter than you are and thriving can feel revolutionary and help you remember that your body doesn't need to be "improved upon" to be perfectly worthy. It already is.
2. Eat What You're Craving
Restriction right now can feel especially painful or even triggering for those recovering from an eating disorder. With there being restrictions on everything from toilet paper to hand sanitizer, and limited selection at picked-over grocery stores, now is not the time to restrict yourself from the food that you're desiring. Listen to your body and feed it what it wants. We're seeing a resurgence of all of the comfort foods from our childhood that also have a long shelf-life, like canned chicken noodle soup. If the food makes you feel better, even incrementally, it's a good food for you to eat.
3. Find Joyful Movement
Emphasis here on joyful. Remember how when you were a child, riding down a steep driveway on a tricycle would be coupled with an ear to ear smile and a laughing fit after? That is joyful movement. Find a way to move your body that makes you smile and feel incredible. Maybe that just means blasting your favorite tunes as loud as you can without bothering the neighbors and having a dance party in your pajamas. Maybe that means pumping up the bike tires for a ride on the trail by your house. If your quarantine routine already has movement built in, find a way to incorporate a little extra joy. If you're already biking on the trail by your house, maybe find an entrance around the bend that you haven't yet explored. If you're already going for a walk around the block, try walking backwards! You'll feel silly and start giggling, and even use some leg muscles you don't normally.
4. Add In Some Extra Indulgent Self-Care
If you don't know where to start, I recommend with your hands. How do your nails look right now? So much about our appearance is for others to see, but your hands (and your feet!) get looked at by you much more than anyone else. While you're typing at your home desk, you deserve to look down at your hands and like what you see. Slather on some heavy duty moisturizer, because all this hand-washing can be so drying, and sleep with those rubber gloves on just to wake up to your softest hands ever. Give yourself an at-home manicure in a color that makes you feel good. Bubble baths are, of course, highly recommended if you're lucky enough to have a tub.
5. Make An Excuse To Dress Up
Any excuse will do. Backyard photoshoot with the dog. Put a date night with your partner on the calendar, and ask your partner to dress up for the occasion too. Tell the girls that for the next zoom date, you want to get dressed up as if you were all headed to brunch. Chances are they're hungry to wear something more exciting than sweatpants too and will jump at the idea. When you do get dressed up, pick an outfit that you know is forgiving and go easy on your body. That flowy sundress is the perfect pick, but those skin tight jeans are better left on the shelf for now. Play a feel-good playlist and take your time picking your outfit and putting on makeup. Let it feel indulgent.
How is your body image right now? Are you suffering from seeing your makeup-free face on regular video calls? Being hard on yourself for snacking? Tell us how you're coping in our Facebook Group.